Shark Week: Inspiring More Fear Than Actual Sharks Do For Over 20 years

August 13, 2012

Humor

I love sharks. Love them. I do not love Shark Week.  In honor of the Discovery Channel re-airing its Shark Week, I re-offer my examination of TV’s most prestigious week.  Oh, you have not read it before.

So, why do I think Shark Week on The Discovery Channel is just so, so ridiculous?

Well, because…

“Sharks are calm, by nature.  Focused.  But for ages scientists have wondered: how will they react if we throw blood and food in the water, then slap them in the face and jab them with sharp sticks and tell them they’re fat?  We endeavored to answer this age-old question and – Holy crap, they’ve gone berserk!  Look at that rage!  That destruction!  I did NOT see this coming!  This is as surprising and shocking as it is photogenic!”

Did you know that sharks have 6 senses, instead of 5? Yeah, well, you wouldn’t be thinking about that when their teeth slice through your rib cage like 50 Ginsu knives!

Because…

“Here we can see seven or eight tiger sharks swimming rather aimlessly. Notice the coloring. Here we see one nosing the camera curiously.  Hm.  But if we speed the film up… now it’s like they’re swarming!  It’s a frenzy! Oh, the terror!  That one’s coming right at the camera!!! Aaaaaaaahhhh!”

Because…

“Here we see a Yellow Shark patrolling the ocean floor, scanning for prey. He comes upon a fish and, whoa! Did you see him eat that fish?! He ate the hell out of that fish!  Can you imagine if your child was that fish?  Think about it!  Take a minute and think about your child being that fish!  Oh, there he is, slapping the water with his little palms!  Look at me, mama, I love the ocean!  I love you and trust you so mu – CHOMP. GULP. GONE.”

Because…

“No one knows why, exactly, shark attacks have taken such a dramatic rise in the last few years. Could it be because over-fishing has made the search for food more desperate? Could it be because there’s almost 7 billion people now so, logically, there’s going to be more people having these run-ins?  Or could it be that sharks have developed an insatiable taste for nubile human flesh?  Whatever the reason, shark attacks have become so common that someone who lives at the ocean and surfs every single day for years is now 8 times more likely to be attacked by a shark than he is to be attacked by a Himalayan snow leopard.  In fact, shark attacks now account for nearly 0.000000000000013% of all unnatural deaths in the world each year. Each.  Year.”

Because…

Then, over on the dessert table we put – Oh, Jesus, it’s like they don’t even care that they obviously look like little people!

“Now, in order to get a sense of how humans eat, we’ve made this meatloaf in the shape of a smiley face.  Next, we put it in the buffet at Izzy’s at the start of the dinner rush.  Let’s watch what happens… okay, a few of them have bumped it… they’re curious; checking it out… someone’s taken it!  They’re eating it! They’re eating the face!  Oh, lord, this is horrifying!  Look at him eat the face!  If that was your face that would definitely be fatal!  Your face would totally be getting eaten by that guy!  OH GOD, he’s eating the little meatball eye we put in the face!  Truly, it reveals the cold savagery of humans that one would eat something made of food that vaguely resembles its own species!  It’s own species!

Because…

“For too long have these mysterious and majestic creatures have been misunderstood because of our fears.  Humans have spent countless hours ignoring the fascinating history and facets of these titans, choosing instead to fixate on the myths, simply because sharks are so much more powerful than we and we’re helpless, out there, feet dangling in the bottomless depths like that skinny-dipper at the beginning of Jaws? Remember that?  Tug.  Oh my God, what was that?  That scene was pretty freaky, right?  Because of their rows of teeth, and cold, dead, black eyes that just seem to be soulless, you know?  Like you’re looking into an abyss of evil?  Like your nightmares live behind those eyes? And they’re so FAST, and the teeth which reproduce in ROWS, and they can swallow you WHOLE if they’re big enough, so you’re still alive in there, and the BLOOD, and RIPPING, and SWARMS OF PURE TERROR.  So, in the hopes of learning more about our planet’s oldest dominant species, we present: Shark Week.”

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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70 Comments on “Shark Week: Inspiring More Fear Than Actual Sharks Do For Over 20 years”

  1. The Shoreman Says:

    Brilliant (and very funny too)! “Run….I mean swim….for your lives!”

    Reply

  2. writrsblok Says:

    Very good read. I freaken hated Jaws. Cheers

    Reply

  3. She's a Maineiac Says:

    AHHHHHHHH! (ahem)
    oh yeah and AHHHHH! We’re all doomed I tells ya! oh the humanity, oh the sharkanity!

    Hilarious post!

    Reply

  4. gojulesgo Says:

    CHOMP. GULP. GONE. Hilarious!

    Reply

  5. Blogdramedy Says:

    I don’t know what frightened me more…the sharks or the fact you watch The Discovery Channel. ;-)

    Reply

    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Not to backtrack or be an apologist, but I’ve only actually seen little bits of Shark Week. I love sharks and am utterly fascinated by them to the point of considering starting a shark-worshipping cult (application are available!), so I’ve watched bits of Shark Week first as genuine interest, then disdain, then mocking belittlement.

      Reply

      • k8edid Says:

        I’ll take an application, please. I sometimes swim where sharks live, I mean FEED (what was I thinking – this is Shark Week!!)…I am hoping a “WSW” (World-wide Shark Worshipper) charm dangling from an ankle bracelet will spare my life – or at least one leg…

        Reply

  6. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    I would “Like” this, but that seems inappropriate because I love it! I especially appreciate the shark/Himalayan snow leopard attack comparison. I wish statistics like that were used exclusively in humorous posts, with the latter part not whispered!

    Also, I assume you would not be interested in my Shark Week bag from Comic Con?* Call it a hunch. ;)

    * These bags are shoved in your face as you’re walking. I’ve never actually watched Shark Week in whole or part.

    Reply

  7. Gow Says:

    Wouldn’t a “mocking belittlement” week be chock full full of chewy-gooey awesomeness?

    Not that I’m hinting that you should write anything remotely like that. :-)

    Reply

  8. girlonthecontrary Says:

    Not to be contrary (Get it? Contrary? Get it? You totally get it. ) but I think Shark Week is some of the best television all year. It doesn’t make me scared of sharks at all- it makes me want to be a shark. I think you’re missing the point of shark week, which is clearly that sharks are awesome but when you put music to videos of sharks they become totally freaking awesome.

    Reply

    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      Pretty much everything makes me want to be a shark (because of the awesomeness). And I suspect in the wild sharks hum their own music to enhance their bad-assness.

      Ohhhh! “Contrary”! I just got that.

      Reply

  9. japecake Says:

    So, those thousands of sharks who marched in the 1960s and sacrificed so much for their cartilage-skeletoned brethren don’t even deserve a week of their own? You must be from Arizona.

    Reply

  10. Walter Says:

    I just read an article in the current Outside magazine about the rise of shark attacks. There is great controversy regarding the chumming of the waters to get old sharkey to come and scare the crap out of tourists in a cage. The point I like the most was that we don’t go to Africa and throw out a carcass in order to attract a lion, tiger or bear, OH MY! (sorry) But we do that to the fiercest, oldest damn predator in the ocean. Stupidheads.

    Reply

  11. Walter Says:

    Oh and by the way, the locals here call sharkey The Man In The Grey Suit. Respect!

    Reply

  12. pithypants Says:

    Just got back from Australia. I said something was “shocking” while I was there. Between my accent and their preoccupation with sharks, the Aussie I was speaking to thought I said, “sharking” and asked if that was an American expression. Apparently they think our Shark Week obsession has led to stupid expressions as well. Good on ya, dumb Americans!

    Reply

    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      That’s actually not a bad expression. If something was overpoweringly cool, it’s “Sharkish”. “Sharky”. “Sharking”. No, they all sound dumb. Never mind. That’s a funny story , though.

      Reply

  13. uneforeigner Says:

    I would never have guessed shark to the the animal with a sixth sense. I was thinking more, maybe the owls. The just sit there waiting for something, like they know its happening, like they’re psychic.

    Reply

    • uneforeigner Says:

      ….shark to be the animal*

      Reply

      • Byron MacLymont Says:

        Apparently they can basically feel the electro-magnetic energy that others beings give off. There’s really cool video of it in action. Like a digger fish burrows in to the sea floor, covers itself up. A little later a shark comes swimming by, passes by the spot – whoop, hold up! – whips around and chomps in to the ground, bad day for the digger fish.

        Reply

  14. 1pointperspective Says:

    I too can feel the electro-magnetic energy that other beings give off. Sometimes it’s cool, but other times, it’s just a headache. I’m constantly having to re-Gauss my video screens and don’t get me started about airport security.

    Sharks can sense my sixth sense and give me a wide berth in the briny deep. Jellyfish are nowhere near as polite.

    Reply

  15. Life With The Top Down Says:

    I’ll have to show this to my son. He recently caught a 4 1/2 foot brown shark on the NJ surf. He is actually holding it with his hands for a photo shoot. 3 girls asked him if they could take a picture with him and he got 2 phone numbers. So, in his 17 year old world..Sharks Rock! Don’t worry he thanked the shark over and over before he put him back. They had an understanding..I’ll get you some girls, you put me back…capiche.

    Reply

  16. speaker7 Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. I love how the media starts the shark frenzy stories around August when news is relatively slow. It gets to such fevered pitch that I think I will be attacked by shark the minute I step outside. I’ve written about this topic myself: http://speaker7.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/shark-week-is-every-week/

    Reply

  17. Fish Out of Water Says:

    I was watching it last night when they were throwing in the rubber seal to get it to attack and I was thinking that must piss them off real bad. They think their getting a yummy seal treat and lo and behold it’s a wetsuit. Blech.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I suppose they’re happy about all the chum being thrown to them, but after that it’s all tease. I saw a segment once in which they made a fake shark out of fiberglass (or something), and put dead fish and blood in it to see if sharks would eat it. It did, which on ONE hand might show that sight is not a dominant sense for sharks, which would seem obvious. On the OTHER hand, though, it might prove that SHARKS ARE WILLING TO EAT OTHER SHARKS. THEY JUST DON’T EVEN CARE.

      Reply

  18. susielindau Says:

    I remember seeing Jaws for the first time. When that great white first raised its ugly head, I put my knee through the theater seat ahead of me!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Isn’t it weird that because the mechanical shark malfunctioned and Spielberg had to improvise (seeing things from the sharks point of view, etc.), that ever since we’ve got hundreds of movies where you don’t see the monster/villain until the end?

      Reply

  19. JenniferVaughn Says:

    While watching Shark Week I saw a few statistics along the bottom of the screen that seem to prove that even Shark Week isn’t taking its campaign of terror very seriously anymore. One staistic was along the lines of in 2006, 26,000 people were harmed by air fresheners and 43,000 people were harmed by toilets, while only 25 people were harmed by sharks.

    Reply

  20. madtante Says:

    Interesting. My dad told me a joke about sharks this weekend & I assure you, he doesn’t know it’s Shark Week. I wouldn’t have if not for you!

    Reply

  21. spilledinkguy Says:

    Candygram.
    *Please tell me you’ve seen the old SNL Land Shark skit… otherwise I’m going to feel even sillier than I normally do by this point.*

    Reply

    • k8edid Says:

      I loved the Land Shark skits…and whenever I knock on someone’s door I say “Candygram”…

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      *knock knock*
      “Who is it?”
      “Plumber.”
      “I didn’t call for a plumber.”
      ‘”Flowers.”
      “Flowers from whom?”
      “Candygram.”
      “Oh, you’re that landshark. You can’t fool me.”
      “Listen, ma’am, I’m not really a shark. I’m just a dolphin.”
      “Oh really? Well I guess that’s okay then-AAAAHHHH!!!”

      Reply

  22. anecdotaltales Says:

    If made a pizza in the shape of a doe-eyed kitten, I would eat that pizza. Happily. With no remorse. I’m with the sharks on this one.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You know, it would be an interesting experiment to see what shapes of food people are more reluctant to eat. It wouldn’t prove very much, but it’d be interesting. I mean, people eat gingerbread men and animal crackers…

      Reply

  23. Hippie Cahier Says:

    I’m only one paragraph in but I already “liked” this. . . . I’ll be back. Reading from work: the sharks are circling.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, work sharks are the most dangerous. Great whites only attack out of hunger.

      And judging by my dismal hit count today… you have not been back. Everyone’s over me, aren’t they…

      Reply

  24. musingsoftheamusingmuse Says:

    I don’t watch much of the Shark Week events on Discovery Channel (“Shark Week” means something different around my household), but I STILL have “cage dive with Great Whites” on my Bucket List. They can’t scare me!!!

    Reply

  25. pjsarecomfyn Says:

    Shark Week teaches us all the importance of not impersonating a seal and jumping around making seal noises….regardless of if you live in Colorado far away from any sharks. Better safe than sorry.

    Reply

  26. Ape No. 1 Says:

    I imagine the other 51 weeks of the year sharks get terrified by watching tv shows depicting what humans do to other humans, the environment, animals, space, the oceans, …

    Reply

  27. thesinglecell Says:

    I love Shark Week and I don’t care what you say. You cannot take my Shark Week away from me. They’re ginormous, most humans never see one, they have razor-sharp teeth in rows and their entire faces retract when they open wide. Awesomesauce.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, I love them and their hunting perfection. I just tire of 58 minutes of “KILL DEATH TERROR” and then 2 minutes of “Of course, sharks don’t actually like to eat people and prefer to be left alone.”

      Reply

  28. mistyslaws Says:

    Oh man. I will never feel the same about eating those delicious scrumptious gingerbread men again! Thanks a lot, B. Thanks for ruining Christmas for me. What a scrooge!

    Did you see the story of the guy who was rescued after his boat sank and when they showed the video of him treading water, they pulled back and you could see like 20 dark shapes in the water all around him. For some strange reason, though, he was not eaten. Maybe they were just full from eating the OTHER guy who was in the boat with them. Yeah, that’s probably it.

    Reply

  29. Amy Says:

    I love sharks. I root for the shark in those documentaries. I also root for the bull if ever I’m forced to watch bull riding or similar nonsense.

    Reply

  30. The Bumble Files Says:

    I’m all excited about shark week now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. You have to admit, the sharks are cool. But, I don’t want to swim with them ever. :-)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I keep meaning to do a “Why I love sharks” post, but I’m afraid it would just sound like a 12-year-old girl describing a pop star. “Omigod, they’re totally sooooooo cool! I love them! They have six senses and can swim super fast and, omigod! Eeeeeeee!”

      Reply

  31. onestreetshy Says:

    Am I a bad person because your post made me crave gingerbread men?

    Reply

  32. funnyphuppo Says:

    For making me laugh every time I come on your blog, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

    https://funnyphuppo.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/inspirations-and-awards/

    I am not sure if you have gone through this before, but these are the 3 steps to follow if you choose to accept it:
    1) Backlink to the blogger who gave you the award
    2) Tell us 7 things about yourself that we don’t know yet through your blog
    3) Nominate 15 blogs that inspire you

    Since you have probably done this many times before, you can just reply to this comment with a link to the last time you did it.

    Reply

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