The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Snakes and other adventures in media

I may be horribly old-fashioned, and I do realize that there are good many people who will roll their eyes at the idea that I might be old-fashioned and say, no, you are not old-fashioned, stupid, you are completely behind the times and would you please hurry up and catch up with the Zeitgeist before you embarrass yourself completely, but I cannot fathom why anyone would think that watching an anaconda swallow a grown man is in any way entertaining.  But it seems that someone does, because I have seen a commercial for this…actually, I am not sure what to call it.  I do not know if this qualifies as a reality show, a wildlife documentary, or a cooking show. I realize that the advent of cable and satellite television, and the subsequent need for ever more content to fill the hours, has led inevitably to a diminution in the quality of the programming available for broadcast, but frankly, watching a giant snake swallow a grown man is more than a little ridiculous.  This is not entertainment; it barely qualifies as bread and circuses.

First, a spoiler alert: our intrepid hero, who has gone boldly where no man has gone before, survives his encounter with the anaconda. I know this because our intrepid hero is in all the ads for this program and appears to narrate the program as well, two bits of showmanship that more or less preclude the snake’s having digested him. That’s a dead giveaway there, if you ask me. There is no suspense involved in watching a snake swallow a man if you already know that the man survives the encounter, only a vaguely annoyed feeling with yourself for watching such rubbish in the first place. If you must feel annoyed with yourself, you may as well watch the further adventures of the Kardashian sisters; whatever else you can say about them, they are certainly better looking than a giant anaconda.

Second, what is the point of this particular exercise, other than to deny a snake its dinner?  If we must learn about the digestive processes of snakes, wouldn’t it be easier to have the snake swallow a camera the same way I do when my GI guy insists that I have a colonoscopy. Snakes have no trouble swallowing anything; their jaws uncouple, as we all learned in eighth grade biology, so that they can swallow animals bigger than their own heads.  It’s what they do.  Therefore, it should not be wildly difficult to induce an anaconda to gulp down a camera, even if there isn’t a grown man attached to it.  But why do it in the first place?  I am clearly missing something here.

Finally, swallowing is not interesting. Everyone does it every day. Our intrepid hero would be better off if he skipped being an appetizer and did something constructive like campaigning to end such violent spectacles as bullfighting, high school football, and the Miss America pageant, and replacing them with wholesome entertainment like giraffe swatting, wherein teams of drunken dwarves armed with fly swatters and equipped with pogo sticks try to swat the most flies away from the heads of giraffes running around a track before the time clock or the whiskey run out. Now, that is something I would pay good money to see and I would pay it knowing that no one was about to offend my sensibilities.

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  • At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Count me in for giraffe show. I'll watch them even without the swatters, pogo-sticks or not.

    Glad to see you in fine form, dear AA.

    Have a great holiday

  • At 10:29 PM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    I'd pay to see some tv talking head be swallowed with her microphone and camera and give us a live report from inside the snake. And see if her hairdo survived.

  • At 12:56 PM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    If you explain to me the mountain climbers, I will explain to you the anaconda... er... creepers, for lack of better term?


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