...what's a gal to do when Shark Week jumps the shark?
Unless you are living under a rock deep at the bottom of the ocean, you know this week is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.
Annually, for the last 25 years, viewers wait with baited breath for a week-long, shark-tastic bundle of programming featuring one of the ocean's most notorious alleged mass murderers.
Yes, alleged. Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and then some are even innocent after being proven guilty. (Little shout out to my readers who are locked up. I've received your fan mail. Thank for you taking the time to write to me. I always enjoy a handwritten letter via snail mail. You don't get that a lot these days and I like feedback, good or bad, so know that it does not go unappreciated.)
So, am I a shark enthusiast? Sort of.
Sure. I mean, my heart lies with the octopi, but I enjoy a good shark tale and anything nautical or aquatic, so I find myself getting reeled in to Shark Week every year. The suspense, the educational aspect, boats, water - I love all that stuff.
Sharks are pretty intense and fascinating creatures. They're huge, they've got teeth for days - fun fact via livescience.com: "Shark teeth are covered in fluoride, making them cavity-resistant. One 2012 study published in the Journal of Structural Biology found that sharks' enamel is made up of a chemical called fluoroapatite, which is resistant to acid produced by bacteria. This, combined with the fact that most sharks replace their teeth throughout their lives, means that sharks have excellent dental health."
Sharks: 1, Shamokin: 0
Anyway, they have a reputation equivalent to how we view people like John Wayne Gacy because they hit beaches like we hit Chinese food buffets and just have at whatever they feel looks delicious that day. That being said, this year, something was fishy.
On Sunday, Shark Week debuted with a two-hour special titled "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives." Boiled down, it was a cheesy mockumentary about a giant shark - so giant, it pretty much ate whales as snacks - that actually did live millions of years ago but has since been classified as extinct by scientists. Discovery threw the idea out there that, since 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored, there is a chance that Megalodon is still out there. Science does not support this claim. They flashed a disclaimer at the beginning of the program basically saying none of this is backed up by facts and it's all kind of made up, but we're going to quick try to pass it off as science fact because, hey, we are the Discovery Channel and that is what people come here for.
That wasn't very nice to do to your viewers.
Don't you even start, Discovery.
You even ticked off Wil Wheaton. Yes, Wil Wheaton, little Gordie from "Stand By Me," took to the Internet and said you betrayed your audience. When you fire up Wil Wheaton, you know you've gone too far. First, NASA's brain child TLC switches up from educational television to its Here-Comes-Honey-Boo-Boo stupidity and now Discovery wants to throw scripted tall tales at us?
If I want shark nonsense, which, on any given day I very well may, I'll turn to SyFy and its royal baby named "Sharknado." See, but, that's what I expect from SyFy. No one goes there for science fact, hence the name. I'm not going to take something serious when they tell me Ian Ziering, aka, Steve Sanders from 90210, is the lead. That's easy for me to process. Steve Sanders equals don't take this seriously.
But we come to you for facts. Documentaries. The raw and real world that is nature and the universe. The stuff that our minds are blown by because it's actual data that one can barely wrap their head around when they contrast it to their car not starting one day or a fight over who drank the last of the milk.
The universe and the vast areas of the world that remain unexplored are tales that can be told for centuries and will never get old, because, as we learn more and more about the unknown, it gives us perspective as to what we are and how insignificant the space we take up in this universe is in the grand scheme of things.
Science puts us in our place when we're all, "Hey, I own the joint. Let me buy a Hummer and let my garbage pile up or better yet, go dump it out the mountains." Science reminds us that we are just a mass collection of jerk meat running around ruining this amazing, beautiful planet. We should instead be cherishing and thanking higher powers for allowing us the luxury of living on it.
You're supposed to remind us of that. You're supposed to remind us of the beauty and often forgotten intricacies of this planet. You're supposed to be on the side of science. Don't let this happen to you. You are better than that.
Shark Week has been entertaining; I'm not boycotting. I know they've lost a lot of viewers who are more along the lines of Shark Week purists, and I don't blame those people. It had to hurt them, but I continue to watch. I just fear Discovery will spiral down into the dark abyss of what television has become: reality garbage.
What's up for next year?
"The Real Sharkwives of the Blue Lagoon" with female sharks all blown up with botox, platform stripper shoes and tight dresses swimming around the ocean spending money with total disregard? The Ocean's Got Talent, with shark banjo players and sharks swallowing record numbers of people? Come on. Aside from the fact that I'm impressed by anything that can play a banjo, that just sounds ridiculous. Please don't do it.
Stick with science.
The week goes on
The majority of shark shows I have watched this week, I've thoroughly enjoyed and been terrified by at the same time, which is something I apparently like to subject myself to or I would have never allowed myself to fall in love ever in life.
Nevertheless, I can't shake the paranoia that something is about to clamp down on my one of my legs at any time during the day or night in an effort to devour me. Huh. That makes me think that perhaps I could have written of Shark Week and relationships and their similarities this week, but, no.
Back to my point
I have to tie this all in with fashion, you know. This is supposed to be a style column. That's why I have that fancy tagline at the end boasting my makeup skills instead of my actual qualifications for this job as an editor. So, anyway, I like what I'm seeing for the remainder of the week.
That being said, there are a few shark items I'd like to put on my list of "Things I Want Bad, But Do Not Need Bad."
I just scored a sweet Shark Attack tank top from Forever 21 (Forever 35 in my case), but to my collection, I'd like to add, shark knee socks, a shark purse, a shark sleeping bag that makes it appear as though the person using it is being eaten and the coveted Sharkini®, because, although it's not very forgiving, a gray bathing suit complete with a cut-out lined with shark teeth that looks like a chunk is being taken out of it is right up my alley.
As for Discovery, I've got plenty of sources for nonsense in my life. I'm a little disappointed in you, but I'm still coming to you for science because I love to learn and I can't get enough, so let's make this work. Don't let me down again.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)