Friday, June 5, 2015

Clancy Brothers, The Mermaid (better than Animal Planet on mermaids)

Our song for the day is "The Mermaid", by Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers. I don't have the lyrics memorized anymore, but it was one of my favorite Irish folk songs to sing:

Why is the narrator alive to tell the story after his ship sank to the bottom of the sea? I think it's because the mermaid rescued him.

While I'm fond of fictional works involving mermaids, I draw the line at cable channels trying to drive up ratings by claiming that mermaids actually exist. This is a problem with Animal Planet:
In May 2012, a Mermaids: The Body Found, a television docufiction aired on Animal Planet which centered around the experiences of former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, showing a CGI recreation of amateur sound and video of a beached mermaid and discussing scientific theories involving the existence of mermaids. In July 2012 in response to public inquiries, and the possibility that some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary, the National Ocean Service (a branch of NOAA) made the unusual declaration that "no evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found". 
A year later in May 2013, Animal Planet aired another docu-fiction titled Mermaids: The New Evidence featuring "previously unreleased video evidence", including what a former Iceland GeoSurvey scientist witnessed while diving off the coast of Greenland in an underwater submersible. The videos provide two different shots of what appears to be a humanoid creature approaching and touching their vehicle. NOAA once again released a statement saying "The person identified as a NOAA scientist was an actor." The actor is separately identified as David Evans of Ontario, Canada.
It appears that market incentives aren't set up to prevent for-profit TV channels from boosting ratings with mermaid pseudo-documentaries.

2 comments:

  1. There are 2 things about this that bother me: that the channel would put this up as a fake doc knowing full well that there are people who will accept it as true, and that there are people who actually exist who accepted this as true. Isn't it strange how we will believe things because we want so badly for them to be true? This is one reason I think religions/woo-woo will never go away. The heart wants what the heart wants.

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    1. That's what bothers me about it too. It bugs me a little less that the people accepted it as true, because I know that some confused people are going to do that. But I'm surprised that there aren't sufficient incentives for major institutions like TV channels to avoid such nonsense. It casts doubt on everything else you present as fact!

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