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Comic for: July 6th, 2015
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Shark Week 2015: "Remember When"
Posted: Monday July 6th, 2015 by

Apparently it's Shark Week again. Now, I remember not too long ago, that used to mean something to me. There was this concerted effort on Discovery Channel's part to present factual information and spread the message of "conservation" when it came to our big, under-sea buddies. But year after year it became more about spectacle. Though we're being asked to not to judge them too harshly, the dominant Shark Week focus were the attacks. Soon after that, I started hearing about how participating scientist were being misled and misquoted to sensationalize a story. And, like most legitimate marine biologists, I now refuse to participate. That is to say, I stopped watching.

It frustrates me to no end that while real science gets shifted to the back burner, the viewer numbers for Shark Week continues to rise. That's the nature of the television beast these days though isn't it? The History Channel no longer shows history. The Learning Channel is no longer about learning. MTV is no longer about music. And, the News is no longer about news. It is, in my mind the media equivalent of the South Carolina Turd Bird. Along the highways and biways, in the convenient stores (that are no longer convenient) are tourist baubles with no real value. I recall specifically, in South Carolina, seeing a shelf full of "Turd Bird"s for sale. Someone had taken some animal's poop and, with a few feathers and a few bits of plastic, turned it into something remotely resembling a bird. I'm not certain who would buy such a thing, but I assume they did so for the humor factor. But, the simple truth is that they'd paid for a dressed up piece of shit.

With it's sensationalism, fearmongering, psuedoscience, and outright lies told in an effort to secure more views, that's Shark Week to me now... a dressed up piece of shit.

That being said...
Discovery Channel's new president, Rich Ross, said that the spurious, week-long drivel had "run [its] course" that "it's not something that right for [the channel]". And, a spokeswoman for Discovery, Laurie Goldberg, assures us that there will be 18 hours of pure shark science.

I guess we'll see.

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