Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Eaten Alive, Schmeaten Schmalive

I don't believe most of us walking around today would have been able to hack it as pioneers migrating to the west during the 1800s because of our aversion to and our outright rejection of anything that's even slightly uncomfortable, but I think we all would have fared just fine during the Roman Empire, when the Colosseum was booked solid with gladiator battles, public executions and other events where human heads were lopped off and launched into the stands like foul balls at a baseball game.
On Sunday, the Discovery Channel aired a program titled "Eaten Alive", during which viewers were led to believe that a man would be, well, eaten alive. Actually, the plan was for the man, wildlife author and conservationist Paul Rosolie, wearing a special snake-edible exoskeleton suit to be ingested by a 25' anaconda, hang around in there for a little while to see what's going on and then be regurgitated (TA DA!) back out. All for the alleged purpose of increasing awareness of the Amazon rainforest.
This is not what happened.
Early prototype of the snake suit, abandoned after determining anaconda's can't read English.

Instead, the snake, a different one than they intended, one who was presumably not in on the gag (HA HA!) started to swallow Rosolie's head and crush his arm (two things I would have predicted even without so much as a layman's level of experience in being eaten by giant snakes) and he called the whole thing off.

This resulted in people being very, very angry. Many, ironically, lamenting the time they had wasted (as though it would have all been totally worthwhile if the dude had simply let the snake pulverize his body and gulp him down). The Discovery issued a statement addressing the letdown, but people are still pretty jammed up about it.

"Paul created this challenge to get maximum attention for one of the most beautiful and threatened parts of the world, the Amazon Rainforest and its wildlife." - Discovery Channel

"The only thing that anaconda swallowed were the two hours of my life I'll never get back. #EatenAlive" - Zach Aplin (@Zaplin64)

"He went to great lengths to send this message and it was his absolute intention to be eaten alive." - Discovery Channel

"There's 16 minutes left and this man is not in a snake's mouth. What have they been doing for the last hour and 44 minutes?? #EatenAlive" - Amy Mariani (@AmyMariani)

"Ultimately, after the snake constricted Paul for over an hour and went for his head, the experiment had to be called when it became clear that Paul would be very seriously injured if he continued on." - Discovery Channel

"So the snake never eats the guy?  What a farce.  I'm going to bed.  #eatenalive" - Matthew Unga (@matthewunga)

"The safety of Paul, as well as the anaconda, was always our number one priority." - Discovery

"Whoa, whoa, whoa. This is bullshit. I erased a ton of 'The Bachelor' and 'Scandal' so I could DVR someone being eaten alive by a snake. You promised me someone being eaten alive by a snake and I want to see someone eaten alive by a snake. Now, it doesn't matter who it is. You can get some useless elderly person or an ugly baby that nobody wants anymore, I don't care. But you need to send a crew back out to the Floresta AmazĂ´nica and feed somebody to a goddamn giant snake, because if we can't grant a level of trust to the people who provide us educational programming like  'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' and 'How To Be Eaten By A Goddamn Giant Snake', our society is a joke!" - Clark Brooks (@clarkbrooks)

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