So, I’m watching Mythbusters (because explosions), and I get distracted for a moment and forget to skip through the commercials. That’s when I see it. The trailer for a brand new show – Alien Mysteries.
I remember when Discovery was about science and nature and all those good things that you want your kids to watch instead of Jersey Shore. But now as I go thought the program guide, all I see are these crappy reality shows, including Moonshiners, a Mark Burnett style docusoap about hillbillies running around in the woods making, you guessed it, moonshine. Sheesh. There’s some good role models for the kids.
And Finding Bigfoot. BIGFOOT! I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but there is no Bigfoot. There is also no Santa, Easter Bunny, or Great Pumpkin. (Zombies are another story.) Despite decades of searching which have found nothing but some questionable tracks and hair, AND that there are no bones or evidence in the fossil record, AND that the best recording remains a grainy film from 1967 shot by a man who literally never did an honest day’s work in his life, this myth continues to sucker the gullible into running around the woods looking for hairy hominids.
I shook my head when Syfy let plumbers run around in the dark and scare each other like ten-year-old girls at a sleepover. I mourned when the History Channel went from Hitler documentaries to the full von Däniken ancient astronaut nonsense. (It happened in the past, so it’s history right?) I laughed out loud when The Learning Channel repeatedly beat its head against the wall until it forgot what the word “learning” meant and turned into a mutant hybrid of E! and an alcoholic’s home movies.
Now you say, why should I care? What does it matter if all you can see today on television is Honey Boo Boo and Ancient Antarctic Haunted Gold Mine Truckers™?
Because I have to live on the same planet with all these idiots, and I don’t want to waste my time going around explaining why the world isn’t going to end this month. If we keep lying to people about how fairies are real just to sell soap, they will find it easier to believe that the government is about lock everyone up in death camps, tap water can cure cancer, and astrology is a science.
The only alien mystery is why people still watch this garbage after sixty years of finding nothing.
Also, if you want to hear a good program about myths and monsters, check out the Parsec Award-winning Monster Talk podcast. No explosions, but still pretty cool.