Friday, December 12, 2008

Survivorman Versus Man vs. Wild

I love watching Survivorman on The Discovery Channel and used to get into Man vs. Wild but don't really care for it anymore and here's why:

Les Stroud, the host of Survivorman goes into every situation on his own with several cameras. He mans them all. So when, on that show, you see him trudging off into the distance you have to realize that he has to walk ALL the way back to pick the camera up again. That's a lot of work, and in a survival situation it seems ludicrous to do. However, that is his dedication to bringing the realism to YOU, the viewer.

There is nobody standing off camera munching on a ham sangwich offering a half to Les. No, if he doesn't find something to eat he goes hungry, Bow-Bow-Bow! It is captivating television. I've seen him dig into certain creepy-crawlies that he has caught with such relish that I have thought to myself, albeit momentarily, "Hmmm! I should try some ground squirrel, wood grub, or Booby bird." The show is real and raw and addictive.

Man vs. Wild is hosted by a dude named Bear Grylls. Cool name. Kind of like Grizzly Adams, or Hank the Hermit. But when you see Mr. Grylls you realize that he neither looks like a bear nor are his teefs sporting any grills and to me that rings out as false advertising. Bear is an ex-British Special Forces member and loves to bring that up in most episodes.

When I first starting watching the show I liked it but there was something about it that just didn't sit right with me. On one show he was in the American West. He spotted some wild horses in the distance and the next thing that you know he was standing next to one with a chord made out of a vine and then placed it over the horse's neck so he could ride it. Now, I am not much of an equestrian, as a matter of fact, I have only been on a horse once and that one needed a quarter to run and stood right in from of E.J. Korvette's in Port Chester, NY. But I knew that it would not be that easy to corral a horse, let alone a wild one.

A little bit after this it comes out that portions of the shows are staged which was not disclosed before, but are before every show now. Now if that was pointed out at the beginning of the series it would not be a big deal, but it looks like they were trying to get away with something. Compared to what Les Stroud does it is cheap and deceptive.

So here's what I propose: A Survivathon between these two! They both get dropped off in some remote location with nothing but their wits and whoever walks out of the drop-off area alive is the winner. They get no help from ANYONE but themselves and their past experiences. They would be in an area where hidden cameras have already been set up where their progress, or regress, could be monitored. Sounds great doesn't? Yes it does!

So, Discovery Channel, make this happen! So let it be written, so let it be done!

Friday, December 5, 2008

"A Wink's as Good as a Nod to A Blind Man. He Saith Knowingly. Wink, Wink. Nudge, Nudge."

My son and I were watching the Tube the other day when a commercial came on that made us do a double take. This is the time of the year where skads of companies air commercials touting the good that they do to make you feel better about them and better about giving your money to them in form of commerce. I can't stand these self-serving commercials because I was taught by my parents, Sunday School, and the Word (That's the Bible for youse heathens) that when you do a good deed you leave it alone and don't draw attention to it. JUST DO IT and then walk away.

Well, now this commercial was from Best Buy, and perhaps dear reader you have seen it too. In it an employee is telling the viewers how they helped a customer pick out an HDTV/Plasma Display/Jumbotron/Enormo-TV and they also arranged to be there to set it up for said customer. The employee even helped the customer learn how to use the remote control, which the employee said was a challenge.

You may be axing (as we used to say long ago and far away),"What's so bad about all this? Best Buy wants people to know that they will go above-and-beyond regarding customer service." Well the problem that I have with it all is when they let you know, early on in the commercial, that THE CUSTOMER WAS BLIND! I kid you not! Best Buy sold an expensive TV to a blind customer. I know, the customer may have wanted that but it really came across in a way that, to me at least, makes Best Buy look like they were taking advantage of this dude.

I have imagined it going something like this:

"Can I help you sir?"(And it really should be MAY I, not CAN I)

"Yes I have heard so much about this thing called an iPod and since I am BLIND, which means I CANNOT see at all, I would love to get one for all of my music, being that I am BLIND and use my EARS far more than I would if I had the power of sight. Which I don't. Because I'm BLIND. Meaning I can't see. One of the Senses down, only four to go."

Waving his hand in front of the customer's face and getting no response, "Um, yeah, um, I have one right over here, yeah that's the ticket."

The customer reaches out and touches the TV, "My that's bigger than I thought that it would be."

"Um, this is the brand new model which just came out today, yeah today. It even has a remote control."

"Is the remote control easy to use?"

"Why yes it is! Even a, yes it is!"

"OK, I'll buy it. How much?"


"That's more than I heard."

"Will you be paying with a credit card?"

"Why yes I shall."

"Excellent! Then for all intents and purposes let's just CALL it $200. OK?"


"Um, yeah, well, how would you like to be in a commercial?"

"Radio or TV?"

And so it goes. Keep looking for the commercial and I am sure that you will see it. And let me know if you think that I am wrong, which I am not, but let me know what you think anyway.

No Go Make Somebody's Day