Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Tears it...

I’ve had a program sitting on my DVR for about a month now. It’s a part of The Bullshit* Channel’s ever increasing stable of annoyingly non-historical programming. In this case it’s a two-hour special called Seven Signs of the Apocalypse. It includes such illustrious guest commentators as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I think John Hagee was in there somewhere, too. For the record, Tim LaHaye is one of the creepiest people on the planet. He’s just got these horrible, dead eyes. Anyway, I’ve been thinking of doing a Bill Simmons-style running commentary on the program (the link is to a really old one, but it's by far my favorite. Just remember, the Rays made it to the World Series last year...). It’s been one of those things that I haven’t had time to do. But I’m taking tomorrow off due to complications from today being my birthday and tonight’s Local H show at the Double Door (life-long Chicagoland-ian, never been to the Double Door. Something’s wrong with that). There’s actually a reason I’ve finally decided to do this: Darwinius masillae. No, seriously. You’ve probably heard of the huge uproar caused by the discovery of a 47 million year-old adapid fossil. “It’s the missing link!” screamed the media, mostly because the scientists who did the study apparently didn’t follow actual, y’know, scientific processes. They resisted a full cladistic study, instead preferring to cherry-pick data from the results and work on their press releases in conjunction with a television network. Which one? You guessed it. The Bullshit Channel. It’s bad enough that The History Channel has been busy sensationalizing history and credulously reporting on things like Nostradamus and the book of Revelation. Now they’re going after paleontology, too. Darwinius masillae is not the “missing link.” There is no such thing as “the missing link.” That’s a bit of tripe thrown around by creationists in an attempt to say, “Nyah, nyah, your science is wrong!” I’m pissed that The History Channel is involving itself in this sensationalism. However, I’m no biologist or paleontologist. I’ll have to leave the commentary about the science stuff to folks like Brian Switek, Carl Zimmer, PZ Myers, and Ed Yong.** They’re the experts. Sensationalist bull that turns Tim LaHaye in to a serious voice with regards to history, though? That I can do… ---------------------------- *History **Oh, and the picture that accompanies Yong's take is priceless.


Sue Bailey said...

Oh, *big sigh of relief* it's not just me. I watch the UK version of the BS Channel. (I live in France, we have no local TV worth mentioning at all.) I've been increasingly going "but this is called the *history* channel.... but that's not history...." for months now. Thank you, for reassuring me I wasn't the only one on the planet not signing up for PMDism.


Leigh said...

Happy Birthday!
I've been growing more and more irritated with the History Channel as time goes on. I really hate that they screw up the accounts of Greek and Roman battles, and that they completely ignore whole cultures, and that they give credibility to the dumbest crap.
Thank god I'm not the only one who feels this way.