Thursday, April 11, 2013
Rumble in the Research Jungle - Domeier vs Fischer
(We had some prescient words about this image back in 2009.)
Fischer's program series is so lofty that it has ensnared almost every known asset in the shark community and created seismic fault lines everywhere it has gone. And it has gone everywhere.
You are either for Chris Fischer or against him, and many of those who have joined his merry band of televised shark rock stars have the scars to prove it.
Many of the sharks this program has featured also bare scars of their own as well.
For the record while many in the commercial shark diving community were running to Fischer to supply him with everything from whale meat to shark cages my direct response to his request for a shark cage in 2010 was -"Go Fuck Yourself Chris".
I rather enjoyed that phone call.
I have never been one to mince words with folks I find disagreeable - it's one of my better traits. I find many who would put their public declarations for sharks by the wayside for a few minutes of televised fame even more disagreeable. But that is the nature of film and tv these days.
I once thought (call it an evolution) that science and tv could be married together to deliver the best and brightest to waiting audiences. Then the major cable players started cutting doco budgets, slashing and burning them in an almost Visigothic manner until a 60 minute show was left with a budget of $150,000 and that included post production.
What do you get for $150,000 or less?
You get Gurney Productions and sharks. There will always be someone who is willing to drop their pants and chain wrap a Tiger shark, and film it, (yes ABC that's you buddy) for a few film credits and the chance to film the next piece of shit that comes down the chute.
But I digress. Sorry about that, Emma is fine now, her chain scars are healed, and the low rent cabal who enjoy swimming in effluent are on to other shows. God bless them, someone has to do it.
This post is about another evolution I am having and that is of Dr. Michael Domeier.
This week the whole Fischer Shark Men thing blew up on Mike Da Sharks Blog and for the first time I read an in depth response from Dr.D to what happened out there in 2008 at Isla Guadalupe and the Farallones.
If Dr.D has been reticent about posting, he should do more, not less of it.
It takes a lot of cojones to get up and set records straight. I am of the mind if those who are trying to take you down are beneath you or they pose little threat over the long term because they eventually destroy themselves, you sit and watch. It's amusing to watch, trust me.
But, in the case of Fischer, and the research career that has been sidelined by bombast, self aggrandizement, a PT Barnum lust for the media that overshadows everything?
Oh no, no no no, you have to get up and Rumble in The Jungle and set a record, otherwise it gets set for you, and kudos to Dr.D for setting that record this week.
I am beginning to actually like the good doctor once again and that's another evolution. There's an Act Two here that Dr.D is about to realize having been through the crucible of out of control productions and Titanus Egoist, he may well become a spokesperson for film and tv, or something that fits both worlds.
The fact is production budgets will never come back, so someone has to create the actual research that can be done for the few paltry production shekels being offered. Science on the cheap can be done, and it can be educational, but it requires a PhD to pull it off.
Something to think about.
I am if nothing an optimist who fervently believes that change can happen and good things can come if people think out of the box. Dr.D is good man who got cashiered by a true used car salesman, you could see that train wreck a mile away, but his voice, now the ooze is off the rose, could lead to great things.
More please, and kudos to Mike for stirring that pot.
Oh, I know the industry HATES us bloggers, always poking into things best left alone and our multi syllabic ways of getting points across.
But if there is any good to be had of Shark Men it is Act Two for Dr.D and I have a feeling that his Act Two will be a good one...I have a way of prognosticating these things, and they tend to come to pass, so we'll see you on another blog post in two years.
Go get 'em Dr.D.
PS1: Shark Alley has some words...and as per usual they made me laugh.
"The most challenging experience one will face during a career in white shark research is being suckered into working with someone that is a dick. Like a one-night stand, they/their projects may look attractive and say all the right things, but then you wake up and realize that you’re some wrinkly married man’s mid-life crisis."
Currently enjoying semi-retirement
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives (yeah we built a few) Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.