With summer officially in full swing, I decided to actually take advantage of the gorgeous weather the last few days by doing a bunch of outdoor activities and mini road trips, which has hindered my ability to blog. So if you’ve missed me over that time, then go outside, you loser.
Now that I’ve patronized my small contingent of loyal readers, let’s move on.
Rather then recapping everything I missed — which, unfortunately, was headlined by tragic shootings at two military facilities in Tennessee, followed by Donald Trump (predictably) saying stupid things, and Bill Cosby getting “pwned” by the New York Times — let’s just focus on one single thing that happened this weekend.
A surfer was attacked by a shark live on television. In other words, his death was almost broadcast live to the world.
Mick Fanning, an Australian professional surfer, was waiting for his turn in a South African competition when the unmistakable fin of a shark appeared next to him. Moments later, he disappeared into the blue, and naturally, everybody feared the worst. Even one of the announcers voiced his shock live on TV by exclaiming “Holy shit.”
But he reappeared seconds later and swam — with his board — to a rescue boat, and lived to tell the tale. That is one bad-ass mofo. Or one weak-ass shark.
Some time ago, weren’t shark attacks viewed as one of the scariest things that could ever happen to a human? The prospect of being face-to-face with one of nature’s most predatory beasts, in its home territory, used to strike fear into the souls of us all.
But I think movies have conditioned us to fear other things that don’t actually pose a threat to us in reality. Like zombie attacks. Weather-inducing worldwide apocalypses. Marvel super villains and scientifically engineered dinosaurs.
Jaws tapped into that age-old fear 40 years ago, but now, even contemporary movies clearly think that the basic premise of an ocean-based shark attack is not enough to carry a film. Instead, in movies like Sharknado — which, unbelievably, has another sequel coming out on Wednesday — sharks rain down from the sky to attack people.
But we forget that being stalked by a single shark is enough. Just look at the reaction of Mick Fanning when he’s being interviewed after his dance with death. That’s pure fear. You can’t fake that in a movie.
Let’s regain our respect for nature’s greatest predators.
And no, I’m not referring to Bill Cosby.