We Have a Few Concerns, From Sharks
We hope everything is going well up there on land. We, the sharks, got together to write a quick note about some things that are on our mind.
First, the positives – thanks for Shark Week. How exciting to be the only animal with it’s own week! It put those high and mighty whales in their place, that’s for sure. You have no idea how holier-than-thou they are, floating around like they run the place. Man, when they heard there was a whole week for us but nothing for whales – it was great. The look on their faces alone was worth it. Thanks.
And no hard feelings about aquariums. Frankly, from what we hear, it’s a pretty sweet gig – no boats zipping around, a bunch of people coming just to see you, food delivered right to you. Pretty neat! Maybe we could start a rotation system? Some of us out here could switch out for a year or so, get some R & R in an aquarium, and then head back out into the ocean? Just an idea.
We wanted to address some of the things you’ve been saying in the media about sharks and the effect it’s having on our shark-body image. Sharks are having a hard time reconciling how we’re being depicted with how we know ourselves to be.
For example, the footage you air of us swimming head on at those underwater cages you love to plunk into the water. Do you think we’re not startled? You know as well as we do that most of us just swim by and don’t charge wildly into the metal cage. But that’s not what you put on TV or in movies. You only show the bad apples that are trying to start trouble. Think of it this way: how would you feel if we only chose to show humans running headlong into parked cars?
And it’s not just the “bad” depictions that are harmful, the positive portrayals are hard too. All this talk about how incredible our sense of smell is might seem like a compliment. It’s no big deal you might think. But you are greatly exaggerating. We do have a very sensitive and nuanced sense of smell, but we can’t trace a tiny drop for miles and miles. That’s preposterous.
Again, it’s a positive portrayal, but it has a negative impact. It’s especially hard on our pups. You can’t imagine all the body image issues they have. As parents, it breaks our two-chambered shark hearts to look our kids in their glassy eyes and reassure them that they’re normal. That all the other sharks can’t smell better than they can. That it’s okay that they can’t leap out of the water and grab seals out of midair. How do you make a shark-child understand that they’re still wonderful and special even if they can’t perform these super-shark feats?
Can you blame the little guys? When all they hear is that they’re supposed to be able to find a solitary bandaid from miles away? When all they see are sharks that can kill anything that flies over the water? That’s not how it works in the real world. Just ask yourself if it’s worth it to warp these little sharks’ sense of self worth, just to market some shark television.
What we’re saying is just be a little more responsible with the images and descriptions you’re putting out there. Understand that it has an effect on us. It’s hard enough for us without having to live up to the unrealistic and unattainable expectations that your media puts out. Put yourself in our fins – would you bombard your human children with images that set unrealistic physical expectations?
One last thing: we are starting to get worried about the seeming total lack of responsible stewardship for the oceans. In your defense, your complete apathy doesn’t make any logical sense. So we figure you guys are planning some big move to take care of global warming and environmental degradation. I mean, no one would stand by this idly. We all can’t wait to see what you have planned!
Lastly, please don’t stop referring to fat humans as whales. The whales hate that, and it’s so excellent.
Keep it sleazy,