Like most Americans, I was initially thrilled to learn that the Discovery Channel is going to give back to nature. Since 1985, its documentary crews have been invading the burrows, swamps, trees and duck ponds of animals the world over in hopes of catching them in the midst of their most intimate acts: Molting, mating, savaging wildebeests and impregnating spiders with their larvae. Finally, I thought, Discovery is going to compensate its stars for their decades of exploitation by the scientific paparazzi.
And just in time for Thanksgiving, too.
This year, we can give thanks to this man: Paul Rosolie. He is a “naturalist,” according to the Discovery Channel, and because he loves nature so much, Rosolie is going to let an anaconda eat him.
By Jove, I thought, and they say nobody cares about the environment. This man, this frightfully charitable man, is willing to go out there, into the thick of things, and feed himself to some poor, starving beast – a lonely, disgruntled monster minding its own business of hunger in the depths of some jungle or whatever. Ladies and gentlemen, forget Turkey Day, that’s the kind of act they write Christmas songs about.
Yet I, along with the rest of my fellow Americans, have been duped by the Discovery Channel’s crack marketing team. It turns out that Rosolie is going to “feed himself” to the snake “for science” while wearing a “snake-proof suit.” Apparently Rosolie is only interested in seeing what the inside of a 500-pound snake looks like if he gets to come back out when he’s done.
This is the kind of half-assed charity that is ruining America. Rosolie and Discovery Channel should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of conviction. It’s Shark Week all over again: Here I am, enjoying a nice documentary about Megalodon, only to find out from the liberal media that apparently giant sharks no longer exist. Forget Christmas, that’s the kind of infidelity they write Taylor Swift songs about.
I’m not alone in feeling betrayed. Over 27,000 people have signed a petition to stop Discovery from airing this travesty. As a lifelong fan of snakes, the man who started the petition, San Francisco’s Ben Paramonte, feels that “this stunt is void of educational value while ruining Discovery Channel’s credibility.”
I couldn’t agree more. This Sunday, I was expecting to gather my nearest and dearest around the television to watch a saint deliver himself into the horrific jaws of a godless behemoth, not sit back and relax as they pull him out by his ankles. How am I supposed to teach my hypothetical children to fear enormous reptiles if Rosolie doesn’t end up as a slowly-disappearing bulge in the gut of a green anaconda?
Paramonte also writes that the show is “perpetuating stereotypes that condition people to fear these animals,” which, I admit, is ridiculous. If anything, this show will condition snakes to fear people. I mean, when you go to Subway, do they jerk the buns right out of your mouth? No. That’s rude and disconcerting behavior and we don’t tolerate it in a civil society.
The Discovery Channel should not be feeding people to snakes unless it really means it. Otherwise, they’re just turning the snake into a prop for some kind of ratings stunt, which is something the fine people at Discovery would never do.
Rosolie’s people have already filmed this act of gastronomic blue balls, but if you, like me, are just so darn fed up with critters not getting fed right, sign the petition to stop the airing of “Eaten Alive” and boycott the Discovery Channel – or call them directly at 1-571-262-4899 and tell them that spitters are quitters.