Sunday, October 27, 2013

Late Night Laughs

If my husband and I have one major disagreement, it's TV in the bedroom. During his years of bachelorhood, he was used to going to sleep with the TV on. Heck, I think it stayed on all night. While I can literally turn a deaf ear to the sound, the light bothers the heck out of me sometimes.

We get around that with different schedules most of the time. He's on an earlier work schedule than me and my shut down time is later than his, so by the time I head to bed either the TV timer is kicked off (he gets an hour) or I can cut it off to go to sleep.

One way we get around that is by occasionally finding something I find entertaining, or football. For some reason I can go to sleep to football.

Some people turn on the Late Show for laughs before sleep, but for me there's a plethora of laughable shows on such unlikely channels as History, Destination America and Animal Planet.

Seriously, if you've never watched Ancient Aliens, Mountain Monsters or, my favorite, Finding Bigfoot, then you don't know what you're missing.

On these shows (as well as some others, I'm sure), people essentially take a myth or legend and spend a lot of time and money "proving" it to be so. They apparently make a living and become famous doing it. They treat it like fact and discuss how what they are doing proves the "facts" about whatever myth they're discussing.

Especially Dave Mustaine on Ancient Aliens, who wraps his pseudo science in a serious atmosphere as if that gives it credibility. Frankly, that's probably one of the reasons why I find that show less entertaining, and apparently I'm not alone. When I went looking for images for the show, I found that he's become a meme in a host of languages. I was almost distracted from my original task by laughing at what had been done with his photo.

Basically, as the memes suggest, he takes a lot of historical things that are unexplained -- from construction to carved images -- and credits them to aliens. Because he wraps it up in a package that would make it appear to be real science, I find him irritating. I think that is because there are likely to be people who, because of the way it is presented and the fact that it's on the History Channel, will accept it as fact. Oh, please.

If it's true, then what did we do to piss off the aliens that they've quit helping us out? Seriously? If they could provide construction tips to ancient civilizations, why don't they back and show us some clean energy, or a cure for cancer, or impose world peace? So we don't have pyramids to carve their inexplicable images on. We'll put them on satellite TV for the whole world to see. But enough of that before I get irritated just thinking about it.

One I don't find irritating, although the fact that they apparently carry loaded firearms into the woods at night makes it a little frightening, is Mountain Monsters on Destination America.

This group of guys, who were either recruited in the back woods or grew beards to hide their true identities so they can go home without being laughed out of the community, travel around mountain regions investigating specific legends of terrifying creatures. They don't just want to find evidence it exists, they want to capture or kill whatever is out there. If something makes a noise in the wrong place, firearms are blazing and I wind up hoping everyone is on the safe side of the guns. Of course, they could be shooting blanks, depending on where these guys are really from. I sometimes think they may have recruited local talent for that particular show, in which case the bullets are live.

Then there is my favorite. If Finding Bigfoot is on the Animal Planet, it's a safe bedtime TV choice and eventually I may quit laughing enough to go to sleep.

No, there are no punch lines to share the next day, but the unlikely cast of characters, especially Bobo, are a blast. Bobo (who may actually be a bigfoot in disguise) mimics the "sound" of bigfoot, from whacking trees with limbs to unlikely calls. They talk about what bigfoot does and the habits of the species as though it were as well documented as the domestic cat. There are the sounds and foods that attract it, the places it frequents, what it eats in the wild. Their "knowledge" is extensive.

They travel around the country in search of bigfoot sightings to investigate and spend their time interviewing the locals, visiting the areas where the bigfoot was seen, and rambling around the woods at night, which I found had sparked another meme.

Unlike the Mountain Monster hunters, they don't have the goal of capturing or killing bigfoot (or sasquatch), just seeing him and recording his (or her) image on film. Yet despite all their time in the woods at night with infrared and night vision, they've done neither of those things.

I've suggested to my husband that in fact, the shows are all about the same thing. The ancient aliens are still among us, but now they are masquerading as mountain monsters and sasquatch. And the reason no one can find any evidence that they exist?

Well, if we get too close, or if they die, they simply teleport home.

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