I think that Sea World is absolutely loving this. How often does it occur, at least in the post-Shamu/Free Willy days, that you see a two hour block of CNN dedicated to solely Sea World? Press conferences. Still shots of the suspect whale. One video clip of the trainer that died being played over and over and over again. And the mother of them all: Jack Hanna.
OK. Let me talk for a moment about the purpose of Jack Hanna in this universe. It is to put out a series of VHS tapes about baby animals when I was eight or nine years old. He doesn’t belong in an era not filled with celluloid tape reels. The DVD age is not conducive to Hanna’s animal bloopers and two hour cute-fests. But here he is once again, IN THE FUCKING BLU-RAY AGE. This is way beyond his time. In fact, before seeing him on CNN today I was almost 150% sure he was dead because some tiny fucking animal finally bit his eye out and then the mother actually tore his head straight off. Guys that fuck with the young babies of bears and tigers and such deserve to be killed by their mothers. Darwinism and even Lamark’s views on evolution will back that up. Just don’t mess with the biggest wild animals on Earth and you’ll seriously be alright.
But Steve Irwin didn’t listen (although he should have been killed by a “croc” about five years ago) and he’s dead, so who does CNN get to replace him? JACK FUCKING HANNA. Seriously? You couldn’t maybe talk to an actual biologist or someone who has a scientific background not based in baby animals or VHS salesmanship? It isn’t that hard. There are probably a couple of people that could answer your questions right here at Ursinus. They wouldn’t be the best, but simply their professorial aura would give them more authority, at least with myself, than Jack Hanna.
OK. So we’re done with Jack Hanna. But seriously. Could Sea World have handled this a bit better than making all about themselves? I didn’t listen to the press conference, but I do know that it lasted over about 40 minutes and was held in front of one of their giant tanks holding yet other killer whales. Is this seriously how they pay remembrance to a person they call “their best trainer?” This is fucking pathetic and is just being used as Spectacle. Yes, yes. Welcome to the conversation Guy DeBord. I’ve missed you. This isn’t even to be socialist or state-smashing, but it is meant to be Sea World-smashing. Those guys can go fuck themselves. Have we really reached the point where a human’s death is the ultimate way to publicize and try for greater profit?
WHAT AM I SAYING? OF COURSE IT IS! Every celebrity death is great for the producers of their pieces of media. Heath Ledger’s movie sales skyrocketed, as did the hype for the already over-hyped (Not that the movie wasn’t good, there was simply too much hype) Dark Knight. There are plenty others but I think we all know that death is great for someone’s career (See: Sublime or Dave Grohl [finally he is back to where he belongs with Them Crooked Vultures-not writing or singing]). The Spectacle of death is quite the powerful event in a celebrity’s lifetime. In a different vein, it is for everyone else as well, but they aren’t the ones making the money. Death is expensive and vast. Death sucks, but spectacle is worse when it comes about from death. It makes me believe more in the hyperreal, but I’ll save that one for another day. Who knows.
Go fuck yourself Sea World.