Writing Out Loud:
Recognize the Normalcies

This month, 32 years ago, a phenomenon began that has been so accepted by the television watching public that without it, nothing would seem normal.

That is why it is so important, that today, among COVID 19, the civil unrest gripping the country, and the stretched to the max political climate in the United States, this programing goes on as usual. Reassuring all of us, that whatever the outcome of all this mess around us, we will still have this piece of Americana normalcy.

Thirteen years before, in theaters all across the country, the set up for the acceptance of the above event was determined by the success or failure of another, related happening.

Then in June of 1975, when the house lights dimmed and the giant screen showed a view of what it was like under the waters of a great ocean, and that sound in movies denoting being underwater hushed the audience slowly, a faint sound of pulsing music filled the room, and when it crescendo into a strong symphonic blast, all 200 plus in attendance were jolted off of their seats, and stayed mesmerized for the next 2 hours and 4 minutes.

This week, starting last Sunday, a series called, Shark Week began airing on Discovery Channel. When the program began, accidentally back in 1988, it was geared towards helping people understand sharks.

Why do they do what they do? Why should we avoid what they do? How do we not get eaten by them when they are doing what they do? That sort of thing. The idea was to show us, that we can still swim in the ocean without the fear of becoming a sharkatizer.

Sorry Discovery, that didn’t convince enough of us at first. After all, it was only 13 years earlier when were told just the opposite about going back into the water, that we decided the ocean was a forbidden zone.

That could be why this week’s airing is the 32nd time we are given a glimpse into the world of sharks. If you look at the line up though, you will see that even the world of shark education evolves. Over the years,
the folks over at Discovery had to make some changes.

It seems that other networks saw how much money there was in sharks, and they came up with shark tv of their own. National Geographic has Shark Fest, and maybe the most extreme from reality, spoiler alert, The Syfy Channel’s Shark Week consists of all of those Sharkumentaries called Sharknado…this and that.

There are, as of now, six of these movies, but there is always a chance that once restrictions from COVID19 are lifted, and Hollywood can go back to work, Sharknado 7 can’t be too far off into the forecast.

Discovery, then is the barometer of normal, at least in this case. Its Shark Week is what has become a sort of common denominator and equalizer in time. COVID19 vs. Shark Week? What’s a virus got when going up against such the likes of, ‘Sharks of the Bermuda Triangle’, or ‘Shark vs. Whale’?

Then, comes, ‘What the Shark?’ and ‘Shark vs. Surfer’. All of these, remember have a tinge of research data, educational value, and awareness making about them. The rest is pure speculation, which makes for some really good entertainment.

Then, in one month. August 22, prepare yourself for something even more frightening than Shark Week, and Shark Fest combined. On a scale of 1 to 100, though, 100 plus less educational. On that Saturday, the Syfy Channel begins its version of Shark Week with the first Sharknado movie.

‘Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the tornado…’ However, you prefer to celebrate this normalcy, by watching Roy Scheider say that famous tag line, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat,’ or Shark Week, please, feel that sense of nostalgia as you recognize these normalcies. After all, there’s no telling how long it will be until we can become familiar with the new norms of.

By the way, Shark Tank is probably not a spin off of any of these sharkathon giants. Although, there have been some frenzies on that show as well. Maybe one day, Sharktanknado. We’re not in Kansas anymore……sorry that’s a different tornado. Recognize the Normalcies

The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the Sun. George Stahl can be reached at stahl_george@yahoo.com