Posted in Shark Week

Shark Week: Why It Stinks

Shark Week is the Discovery Channel’s tentpole event. The Great White shark seems to get a fair chunk (sorry) of the popularity. Thank the film Jaws, which did more for fear of sharks and taking baths than any film in cinema history. I love the film, make no mistake, and watched it in my impressionable teens. I have watched it innumerable times and marvel at its ability (similar to my wedding video) to instill primal fear.

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This was, other than the underwater sunken boat one, the most shocking scene in the film.

I am far from the first person to express the opinion that Shark Week does more to increase the fear of sharks. Why would I want to HELP animals that are the psychopaths of the ocean, as they are portrayed?

Shark attacks immediately conjure up images of the film Jaws. They happen so infrequently, that one can see the same footage many times, so seldom such an occurrence is recorded. More people die from taking selfies on clifftops, than in shark attacks.

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The Greenland Shark. Clear your calendar if you plan on inviting one to your house.

This does not mean that they are not fascinating creatures, there being over 500 species of shark. The Greenland Shark can live up to 400 years, and, like a sloth or your Uncle Ken, has an EXTREMELY slow metabolism. This means that for over 150 years it is a sullen teenage shark, staying in its room, playing loud music, slinking into the kitchen for a chum smoothie from time to time.

I only wish that they did not concentrate on the more lurid details, and attacks that occur  very seldom. Sharks do not eat human beings as a rule, and beyond taking a bite, will likely stop when they realize that you are not a seal. I bit into a carrot that I thought was a cocktail weiner, at a party recently. That is close to the gastronomic disappointment a shark must feel.

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I understand that the Discovery Channel, bless them all, want to improve ratings, and the ploy has worked like gangbusters. I am of the opinion that these shows only serve to increase the fear, and therefore lessen the desire to help these creatures, many species of which are endangered.

Give to a non profit if you wish to make a difference. Visit an aquarium. Learn about sharks – they are elegant and beautiful creatures – they just get a lot of bad press.