Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Seal Station

I had my television tuned to WHDH as I was preparing to leave the house for trivia night. I use the station as a kind of background noise, really only paying attention when the weather comes on.

As I zipped up my boots around 4:30, the inanity of one particular story started to creep into my consciousness. (I preface this with the disclaimer that I wasn't paying complete attention to the item, and that the clip won't load on my computer for some reason, so some of the details may be a little off.) I started paying attention when I noticed Channel 7 had decided to trot out the breathless "JUST ONE STATION" logo.

For a story about a seal on a beach.

It would have been one thing if the story was a quick 30-second item that none of Channel 7's competitors elected not to pick up. But it just. kept. going.

There were interviews with eyewitnesses, who essentially told Byron Barnett that the seal rolled one way, then rolled back the other way. Children were delighted. Then Barnett chased the animal's rescuers down the beach as they carried the seal off the sand for observation. One made a snippy remark about how all the attention made it hard to save the animal, but Barnett wouldn't let their disdain keep him from the 4:30 show's big story.

I appreciate the cuteness of marine life as much as the next person, but the world has bigger problems than a little seal who couldn't manage to get himself off the beach. Unless we're using this as a metaphor for the continuing erosion of capitalism as we know it. Somehow, I doubt that was the intention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Little late to this post, but here's a not to common idea; Leave it the hell alone!

Seals are mammals, and they do come up on shore from time to time. in fact, they love spending time out of water.

So unless this was to protect it from over-zealous kiddo's and tourist, why not let him be and wait for him to decide when he wanted to go back in for a swim...