Television is spawning a new “reality” show about every week. And as I write the word “reality,” I’m smirking just a bit.
In the context of these “reality” shows it has about come down to a definition of “we don’t have to hire actors.” Someone walks around with a camera and records humanity in its many activities that range from looking for ghosts and monsters to shooting alligators.
But let’s face it. It’s entertainment. I watch some of it fully realizing that the greatest parts of it are orchestrated. I know that when the alligator hunter sticks his hand down in the water, and we get that close-up shot, there’s a submerged camera down there where we would expect the alligator to be. But, I love to hear Cajuns talk, so I do occasionally watch “Swamp People.” “Chute ’em Liz! Chute ’em again!
And there’s the “Call of the Wild Man,” who’s a poster child for how not to take care of your teeth. He seems to be a likable fellow who would jump your car in a rain storm.
But again, he’s pointing between two barrels where the coyote he’s trying to catch is supposed to be hiding. But the camera shot is in reverse so I know that the camera man is behind the barrels and not the coyote.
I guess to really be entertained by these shows, one can’t be too critical of those minor technical aspects.
Now at 9 p.m. on Friday, we have a new “reality” show coming to us. It’s called “Chasing UFOs.” This show is on the National Geographic Channel. National Geographic just commissioned a survey that shows more than a third of Americans believe in UFOs. And one in 10 believes they have seen one.
Now keep in mind, UFO stands for “unidentified flying object.” It does not automatically mean a flying vehicle from another galaxy. The fact is, with the right amount of propulsion, pigs can fly. And if they fly fast enough, you can’t tell what they are.
This survey shows that 17 percent of those questioned don’t believe UFOs exist and 48 percent aren’t sure. Some 79 percent think that the government has kept information about UFOs a secret from the public.
Further, this survey says 22 percent of those questioned would try to be friendly, 13 percent would run and 2 percent would try to do bodily harm to the aliens.
I think being friendly is the best option. Maybe just greet them with a big old toothy grin and say, “Y’all ain’t from around here are ya?”
Let’s face it. Beings that have the technology to zip through galaxies faster than the speed of light would likely have weapons systems that would make anything we have look like spit wads. And I know running would seem the natural thing to do, but if it doesn’t make sense to try to outrun a grizzly, what sense would it make to try to outrun an alien?
Now perhaps to put this survey into better perspective, 21 percent would call in the Hulk to deal with the issue, 12 percent would call in Batman and 8 percent would call Spiderman.
Batman? Really? Call in a cartoon character with no superpowers accompanied by a boy who wears his underwear outside his leotards?
OK, put on the popcorn and get ready for some eerie sounds, some out-of-focus shots of trash can lids and old footage from Roswell, N.M.
For the record, not only have I never encountered a bigfoot, I’ve also never seen anything I thought was an extraterrestrial space vehicle. I did see green men one time, but it had to do with a homemade cigar, and it was very terrestrial. In fact, I was truly holding onto the earth because at the time I thought there was some chance I might be flung into space.
Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.