I’m adding a new feature that will appear occasionally and will consist of things that annoy me and deserve a jaguar snarl! Sometimes all you can do is bare your teeth and let out a low rumble of disgust. 😉 OK, here goes…
- Authors of books on wolves, other wildlife or nature, please stop using Leopold’s “Thinking like a Mountain” (“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes…) and Beston’s “Outermost House” (“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals… they are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time…). For the love of God, stop!! They are beautiful passages, much more lyrical than anything I could ever write, but they have become cliches. Leave them the hell out of your work!!
- Producers and directors of films on wildlife of the Western US please ban the use of banjos, harmonicas or Jew’s harps when you show raccoons in a stream, coyotes and badgers hunting or otters frolicking in a river! If you’re going to go that route, why not pay the big bucks and just play the theme from “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “Dueling Banjos” from Deliverance? Christ….
- Another one for wildlife filmmakers, especially those doing the “big topic films” like “Asia” or “Planet Earth” or whatever, I realize you are trying to cover a huge amount of information, but it’s so annoying to get 37 seconds of a unique and rarely-seen animal (e.g. Tibetan fox) before running off to look at something else for another half minute. Yes, most people have the attention span of a gnat and yes, you’re loading your films with never before seen footage, but , really, slow the hell down. It’s like being on vacation with an ADHD sufferer!
- The general tone of Animal Planet and many National Geographic shows is complete bullshit fear-mongering. Yes, I know it’s about ratings, but do you need to make it seem that most predatory animals are just biding their time before they rip you and your children to bits? I don’t have proof but it seems to me that the kind of crap they push makes people freak out when a puma walks through their subdivision or a bear ambles past an elementary school and the inevitable result is a dead animal (or at least calls for blood). For many people, wildlife shows are their main source of info on animals living “out there”. Now, I’m not asking for a Treadwell-like fantasy that predators won’t ever hurt you, but some sort of respectful and rational examination of the risks of living near these animals would be a great step forward in my mind. I think they could still be interesting and well-viewed programs without the blaring music, overwrought narration and cheesy re-enactments.
- Arizona Game and Fish sent out an invitation to a pubic meeting regarding designating critical habitat for jaguars, but added this at the end of the email: “Game and Fish believes that the unwarranted designation of critical habitat for jaguars would likely result in denial of access to lands for jaguar conservation and research efforts; fewer observations of jaguars being reported; and, less timely sighting reports from people that do choose to report a jaguar.” WTF? That’s like sending out invites to a party that say, “Come join us to celebrate Edward’s birthday with drinks and cake!!! But, you know, he’s really been hitting the sauce hard lately and alcoholism runs in his family. Come to think of it, so does diabetes. Hmm, … well, anyway, yeah, please come. Really, Join us. We’re serious….” Morons.
And thus ended volume 1 of Swjags Snarls.