Monday, December 31, 2007

gilt



so it's new year's eve. there's my perfunctory nod to all the hoo haa i should be feeling on this glorious new year's eve. i mean, the weather's gorgeous today (near 50), the sun is shining, and my view of manhattan is utterly gorgeous. but it's no better than the great day that was yesterday, or the day before that.
ok, i know tonight is the last day of 2007, but unless your year was riddled with iniquity, addiction, or chemotherapy, i don't see why passing into the next year should be heralded with such acclaim. and i'm done with that.

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now, the real topic of today's convo is the slew of nature shows we all of high intellect find ourselves drawn to on uneventful weekend afternoons that don't involve a trip to the beach. they're really terrific, actually. just think of the wide range of content; one show will be solely based on the huge range of insects that inhabit the jungle's floors, while the next hour encompasses the vast array of rodents that live on the arctic tundra. some are heartwarming, such as the birth and post-natal nurture of kangaroos and other marsupials, while others are downright horrifying, like when an entire pack of ravenous lions attack a single, formidable elephant.

but what really ruins it for me is, after spending an entire hour marveling at the unseen world of what lies three meters below the brazilian rainforest canopy, that little hidden public service message rears its fugly head. sigourney weaver's voice happily trails around the cute capuchins playfully romping in the trees, then suddenly drops to a solemner note, saying, "but we mustn't forget about the endangered capuchin's main enemy--man," and as she says, "man," the screen abruptly changes to a screaming monkey, all bloodied up as its fur is brutally torn off its still-living body. or perhaps a two-hour feature on the majestic whales of the deep, entrancing visions of the gargantuan creatures weightlessly flying around the water, and just as you're about to nod off for a reflective nap, the harsh reality sets in and chunks of whale blubber and mustached russian men in chunky skullcaps now dominate your screen, while poor james earl jones narrator man struggles to keep his shit from crying.

is this absolutely, crucially necessary? i mean, we all know the planet is in a pretty shitty position. it's no secret, and yet our generation, and those younger than us aren't doing a damn thing to help. my 18 year-old brother, who should be at the apex of environmental awareness, continues to ignorantly throw plastic bottles out of his car window, as if the very roads he drives on publicly serve as his own personal trash receptacles.

we watch these nature shows to observe the beauty of unbridled nature. why must they be tainted by such poison at the end? even though it's reality, i think these clandestine public service announcements should be presented as such, and perhaps at the tail end of commercials. after watching a presentation on the albino wolves of northern sweden, and upon hearing about how deforestation threatens their habitat, nobody's going to rush off their couches to buy thousands of acres of swedish forest in the hopes of opening a wildlife preserve. it's bad enough we have to see the harsh reality of one animal savagely devouring another. to cringe like we're in the amusement park funhouse and waiting for the chainsaw people to pop out, in that constant state of tension, just anticipating that horrible little message at the end, is no way to watch the discovery channel.

i'm out, kids. see ya next year.

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