If you’ve been trying to find something to be thankful for the last couple of days, be thankful you’re not a horse who’s currently working in the American TV industry. Pretty specific on the “thankfulness list”, I know – probably somewhere between “I’m thankful that I’m not an aspiring throat-singer who didn’t make the cut for the Moldovan Throat Choir” and “I’m thankful I don’t have an udder,” but trust me.
The first instance involves an apparently real TV show called Full Metal Jousting. Jousting. A TV show I’d like to think came into existence during a meeting that went like this:
Ethics-ridden employee, talking to a colleague: My God, look at the crap we’re putting on the air. Freak-shows, self-humiliation for money… Jesus, what’s next? Jousting?
Comically bloated, cigar-smoking executive producer: Jousting! I love it!
Ethically-liberated employee: Uh, thank you, sir!
Anyway, on the set of the show one of the jousters punched his horse. Punched him. His horse. Punched his horse. The horse made him made and so he punched him.
Not smacked him instinctively/accidentally like how you hit your shin on the coffee table and so you kick it, which hurts even worse, and you yell, “You stupid coffee table!” or something. He got mad and then hauled off and decked the horse. This, to be clear, is a dumb thing to do.
Maybe I’ve concerned you. Maybe you’ve had moments where you’ve thought about resorting to fisticuffs with beasts of burden who could easily kill you. Here’s a simple quiz to determine if you should punch the horse:
1. Are you currently starring as Mongo in a local production of Blazing Saddles?
2. Are you kind of a jerk?
If you answered No to either of those questions, then horse punching is not for you.
The second thing is much worse. The new HBO series Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman, has just had to put down its third horse in the last several weeks, after it sustained serious injuries (the horse, not Dustin Hoffman). So the show, which premiered on January 29, has killed three horses. Think about that.
If the show was run by some pagan cult who were sacrificing horses to their god in hopes of good ratings? They’d have killed fewer horses than this. The high priest would have been like, “Listen, the second horse was just, you know, to be sure. Let’s not go nuts here.”
If during the course of your job, you kill three horses in three months, and your job is anything besides “professional horse assassin,” you are not doing your job well. You need to consider something different.
The show has said they will cease shooting any scenes with horses until they get this figured out. What’s to figure out?! Making sure to add a “Don’t maim or kill the horses” box on the production list?
And what scenes?! It’s a show about horse-racing! What, are the horse races going to be implied? Done with puppets? Because I would watch that, HBO. I would watch the hell out of that.
So, in any case, HBO, you suck for the moment. And smug, entitled jerk on the jousting show? You also suck. Horses, sorry. On behalf of everyone, sorry.
And finally, if you, my cherished reader, are in fact a horse in the greater Los Angeles area, this might be a good week to call in sick. Hang around the pasture. Catch up on some staring into space. And if you’re not a horse, and you see one, give ‘em a smile. An apple. Maybe take an extra moment to not punch them.