5 Reasons Shark Week Is Just So, So Ridiculous

August 3, 2013

Humor

Shark Week starts again on the Discovery Channel this weekend.   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!”

Seen here: A great white, who’s mortified they chose this picture. 

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 severe 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 every year. Every. 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, 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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82 Comments on “5 Reasons Shark Week Is Just So, So Ridiculous”

  1. angelajardine Says:

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so true … the hyped commentary, I mean. Well, it was funny too but you know what I mean.

    What is it about the Discovery Channel that they pay good money for such sensationalised crap? Oh, ratings, I see.

    Loved this, BM … 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s especially amazing that it keeps working, year after year after year. I like to imagine a meeting around a big table where Mr. Discovery says he wants ideas for a ratings booster, there’s a long silence and then someone says, “Shark week again?” and everyone claps and shakes hands and they go get drunk over lunch.

      Reply

      • angelajardine Says:

        Hmm, BM … that sounds way too plausible. Perhaps we could suggest something else like … the Perfidy of Terrapins (they can be aggressive little buggers) or the Savagery of Gerbils or some such. Yes, ‘Gerbil Week’ has a good ring to it.

        Reply

  2. Renee B-W Says:

    We did have a recent fatal shark attack on the west coast of New Zealand, not far from where I live. My friend steeled herself to have a conversation with her surf-mad 10 year old about it, hoping he hadn’t been hit by the hype. “Does it make you worried about going surfing?” she asked him. “Oh, no Mum, you’re more likely to be killed by a falling coconut!” he replied nonchalantly.

    Good thing they don’t have discovery channel… 🙂

    Reply

    • Michael Says:

      ‘Coming next summer….Falling Coconut Week. Watch as these deadly menaces rain down from the trees, striking heads in an indiscriminate deluge of terror!”

      Reply

    • Elyse Says:

      I was actually once knocked down by a falling walnut. I wonder if I should contact the Discovery Channel. (The walnut fell from a tree located on a ledge, so it fell far enough that my call should not be viewed as the act of a wimp.)

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Gilligan’s Island tried so hard to teach us all about the dangers of falling coconuts. Sadly, people just laughed.

      Reply

      • thesinglecell Says:

        They made up songs. “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts… here they are standing in a row…”
        Oh, if you ever get the opportunity, watch “When Fish Attack 2.” It’s the topic of the most read post on my blog because there are ungodly numbers of people who conduct Google searches for photos of tarpon, but that’s neither here nor there: the point is, it will stun you speechless with its ridiculousness. It’s waaayyyy worse than shark week, in that, among other things, sharks are actually sharks, whereas some of the creatures on this show are not fish.

        Reply

  3. picayuneporcupine Says:

    Wow! You’re really killing it on here, Byronic Man! Another winner.

    Glad I found your blog. Love your wit!

    Reply

  4. UndercoverL Says:

    You made me laugh at 4:35 AM on a Saturday morning. Amazing. It was the comment about food that looks like people, especially the gingerbread man. M’kay… going back to bed now.

    Reply

    • Paul George Eberlein Says:

      From the “Too Much Personal Information” Department:

      In my graduating class, I was voted most likely to eat my fellow passengers if I were the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Wilderness.

      MMM…tastes like pork…

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That part’s based on something I saw on Shark Week once where “scientists” basically made a meat-shark, drenched it in blood, stuck it next to hungry sharks and then acted shocked and horrified when they were willing to eat something that vaguely resembled another shark.

      Now THAT’S science.

      Reply

  5. Derek Zenith Says:

    See, I’m not as worried about sharks as I am about jellyfish.

    Reply

  6. Tish Farrell Says:

    A post with teeth – great stuff. Personally I feel, whatever the truth about sharks, that it is simply good manners not to mess around in their dining area; I stay on the beach.

    Reply

  7. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    Yeah, but what about the shark in the tornado thing? I could only picture one thing, the chef at Izzy,s throwing hunks of meat out to the diners waiting on the front porch for the place to open up, to get them swarming.

    Reply

  8. Hippie Cahier Says:

    >>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? <<

    Also the premise behind the Real Housewives franchise.

    Love the gingerbread caption!

    Reply

  9. vgfoster Says:

    Hilarious observations. Thanks for another thought-provoking post. Remind me not to provoke or insult the next shark I see minding his own business.

    Reply

  10. BrainRants Says:

    They’re just very, very hungry… like giant, restless Om nom nom machines. You just have to stay out of the Om nom range.

    Reply

  11. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Well said! Sharks are fascinating and so misunderstood because of things like Shark Week.
    As if people don’t have enough to worry about, now we have to manufacture fear.

    Reply

    • picayuneporcupine Says:

      Now, hold on a minute. Let me check something … here… Yes, I found it. ‘The sole purpose of mainstream TV is to pacify, numb, indoctinate and instill fear.’ It’s been built in from the beginning. But it’s marketed as entertainment of course, with all kinds of flashy thingies and strange sounds to make it fun for everyone! Yeah!

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Which is especially weird because there are some amazing amazing amazing facts about sharks that require no level of fear-mongering, or monster-creation.

      Reply

  12. Word Rummager Says:

    This was awesome. But perhaps we can solve a few of the world’s ills by placing some nubile reality show idiots in the Sharkweek waters. Makes sense right?

    Reply

  13. Vickie Says:

    Great post and on point. We have become a country that thrives on fear and sensattionalism!!!! However I for one do like a bit of a scare on film sometimes 🙂

    Reply

  14. silkpurseproductions Says:

    It seems ever since the words “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” were uttered by Roy Scheider the shark has become a much maligned fish. There has to be a way for us to reach a compromise without anyone becoming anyone else’s dinner.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I don’t know if I believe him, but Benchley (author of Jaws) has said he regrets writing the book because of all the harm it’s done to sharks, in terms of fear and that leading to sport-killing and such.

      Reply

  15. Lorna's Voice Says:

    There are a lot more dangerous things than sharks, like me tripping over my dog as I run away from the TV when one of these horrible “Jaws” inspired programs creeps into my viewing time when I thought I was going to be watching a crime drama about serial killers.

    Reply

  16. Exile on Pain Street Says:

    Being eaten by ANYTHING has got to be the most humiliating way to go. Imagine. You don’t die immediately so you’re fully aware that, holy shit, I’m being eaten! You’re FOOD for fuck’s sake! All that work, the career, the broken hearts and sleepless nights and all you amount to is dinner for something else. Then guess what? You’re POOP! That’s right. You went back to school for your masters, found that perfect soul mate and now you’re just POOP. I’d rather be hit by a crosstown bus. At least I’ll inconvenienced a bunch of people.

    Reply

    • Paul George Eberlein Says:

      On the bright side, at least you went “Eco-friendly” instead of adding to the Green House Gases by being cremated.

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’d really like to think that there’s a little part of the brain that would tell you, “Well, it’s the circle of life. This is the natural way to die” but somehow I doubt it. I suspect that little part of the brain would be saying, “AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!! OW OW OW OW OW AAAAAHHHH!!!”

      Reply

  17. Adventures in Kevin's World Says:

    Had a great laugh over this, thanks.
    Makes me think of the hoopla made over (phenomenally and incredibly rare) bear attacks. But no one talks about the thousands of people who die regularly in vehicle accidents.

    (sighs and shakes head, walking away)

    Reply

    • Paul George Eberlein Says:

      Personally, I’d like to see Ralph Nader (or maybe Michael Moore) do an up-dated documentary version of “Unsafe At Any Speed” just to remind myself that I’m still living a daring life. Then I could comeback against guys in Flying Suits: “You call that dangerous? Pfff! Try rush hour on the Friday before a long weekend!”

      Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think the ONLY reasons there isn’t more “Bear Week!” stuff is they’re cuter. But, yes, I agree completely.

      Reply

  18. David J. Bauman Says:

    Brilliantly share-able.

    Reply

  19. Teepee12 Says:

    We won’t be having a shark problem much longer because in a classic case of man bites dog, we’re fishing the hell out of the shark population. Of course we are. Naturally. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’ve read that for every pound of shrimp caught commercially (just as an example), about 24 pounds of other sealife is killed in the nets, then just chucked overboard. Oh yes. This is going to end well.

      Reply

  20. theduffboy Says:

    Reblogged this on Duffboy and commented:
    Did you read SuperFreakonomics? It poses that shark attacks are quite rare.

    Reply

  21. talesfromthemotherland Says:

    Blood thirsty killers, really. Everyone knows that shark week is nothing but the real stuff… ask my 16 year old.

    Reply

  22. thesinglecell Says:

    Okay, so first of all, STOP RUINING ALL THE SIMPLE JOYS IN MY LIFE. Gah.
    Secondly, of COURSE it’s fabricated. I don’t care that they attack sticks and whatnot. I just like to watch them and go, “Wow. That thing lives in the ocean. In that big, vast, deep ocean that we think we understand but we so totally don’t really understand it because Finding Nemo.”
    Thirdly, yes, it’s exploitative to poke sharks and use their understandable fury for our amusement. But to be fair, they totally chomp the shit out of stuff just because they have nothing else to do. They swim around all, “I am so. BORED. There is NOTHING to do down here. Oooh, something to hunt! I’m on it!” Nom nom nom nom nom… “Wait… am I just eating because I’m bored?”

    Reply

  23. becomingcliche Says:

    I hate shark week because every flippin’ week seems to be shark week. They know a week is only seven days, right?

    Reply

  24. angeliquejamail Says:

    You have beautifully captured the essence of the Scary Announcer Voice (cue creepy music) that is the hallmark of so many cable networks which were at one time educational. Did you catch the “documentary” on mermaids a while back? I think it might have been on Animal Planet or something. I only heard about it because #mermaids was trending on Twitter and I couldn’t believe that, so when I checked it out and saw people’s responses to the show — well, suffice it to say that for a brief time I was terrified for humanity. And not because I thought mermaids were scary.

    Reply

  25. Snoring Dog Studio Says:

    And when sharks get caught up in a tornado/water spout, they can wreck havoc on a city. I know this. I’ve seen pics. It really hurts when a shark lands on you from 100 feet up.

    Reply

  26. pegoleg Says:

    Good analytical summary of Shark Week. You’ve got me rethinking my decision to take the week off work to watch.

    Reply

  27. Jen and Tonic Says:

    I LOVE Shark Week. Everyone knows this, and I get a billion people reminding me a week or two before the big event. I don’t care that I’ve seen the same five episodes over and over and over again. BECAUSE SHARKS.

    I hope one day I become famous enough to have Morgan Freeman narrate a movie about me riding Megaladon around the Great Barrier Reef, and have it shown during Shark Week.

    Reply

  28. susielindau Says:

    I don’t think we have changed much since the gladiator days. It’s whale week right now. Yawn….

    Reply

  29. List of X Says:

    Our infatuation with the Shark week is basically a result of our obsession with food and our obsession with ourselves. Combining ourselves and food into a “what if we were food?” question creates that winning formula.

    Reply

  30. ShortSightedYouth Says:

    If humans need a villian from the natural world it might as well be sharks! Them and bears! Cold hearted, viscous bears…

    I’m surprised Fox News doesn’t have a North Korea week, something semi-informative but mostly constructed for the sole purpose of scaring the daylights out of people.

    Reply

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