Thursday, October 13, 2011


After watching a few of the baseball playoff games the other night I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch and I tuned into the History Channel which usually has some interesting viewing on it. The show that was on when I tuned in was Life After People: The Series. I had never watched it before so I tuned in for a while.
According to their “hit”, (their word not mine), “thought provoking” and “amazing” series- “Life After People: The Series-begins in the moments after people disappear. As each day, month and year passes, the fate of a particular environment, city or theme is disclosed. Special effects, combined with interviews from top experts in the fields of engineering, botany, biology, geology and archaeology provide an unforgettable visual journey through the ultimately hypothetical.”
I found myself thinking, how is this useful information? Who cares? Does it really matter what happens after mankind is wiped out? Is there some kind of ultimate purpose to the current residents of planet Earth on how long it would take Air Force One to blow itself up in five to ten years after all of the people on the planet have expired? Or what will happen to the Alaskan Pipeline, Mount Rushmore, Lost Art, Trash, Sea Vessels or Wrigley Field?
They present the show like it’s a murder mystery, too. The baritone voiced narrator tells of the destruction in a strained and sinister voice matching an Alfred Hitchcock-like thriller soundtrack as though we’re watching a horror movie.
The show begins: “Fade in to a view of Wrigley Field while sinister music plays in the background. Narrator breaks in:-(A deep strained and sinister baritone voice)-One year after people…there is no crew to maintain Wrigley Field…these vines have been flourishing since 1937 but without a grounds crew to give them their monthly trimming the ivy threatens to take over the whole stadium (Da, DA, DAAAAA)…Five years after people…the ivy has crawled up and blanketed the stands…decades after people, Wrigley Field is almost unrecognizable (ominous music strains to a crescendo)…” UNRECOGNIZABLE TO WHOM??!! Oh, the destruction! Oh, the horrible things that will happen…AFTER HUMANS ARE GONE and NOBODY will be here to CARE!
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Just use your remote, man. Stop torturing yourself by watching it. But here’s the thing, I wasn’t “thought provoked” or “amazed” by their subject matter as much as I was astounded by the fact that anyone would waste their money putting this show on about stuff that doesn’t really matter. Shouldn’t we be putting these kinds of resources and efforts into something meaningful?
Yes, some of the information presented in the show was interesting and my mind is as inquisitive as the next but I would much rather see a production company occupying the minds of these experts in engineering, botany, biology etc. by using their expertise to make sure that mankind isn’t wiped out by its own destructive tendencies instead of imagining what will happen if it does. Maybe we should put our resources into saving our oceans or reducing greenhouse gases and cleaning up polluted water sources or finding real and sustainable alternatives to oil and leave the mind-numbing, useless television productions to the likes of Jersey Shore or something.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”-Peter Drucker (1909-2005).

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