Posted in Shark Week

Shark Week: Why It Stinks

Shark Week is the Discovery Channel’s tentpole event. The Great White shark seems to get a fair chunk (sorry) of the popularity. Thank the film Jaws, which did more for fear of sharks and taking baths than any film in cinema history. I love the film, make no mistake, and watched it in my impressionable teens. I have watched it innumerable times and marvel at its ability (similar to my wedding video) to instill primal fear.

This was, other than the underwater sunken boat one, the most shocking scene in the film.

I am far from the first person to express the opinion that Shark Week does more to increase the fear of sharks. Why would I want to HELP animals that are the psychopaths of the ocean, as they are portrayed?

Shark attacks immediately conjure up images of the film Jaws. They happen so infrequently, that one can see the same footage many times, so seldom such an occurrence is recorded. More people die from taking selfies on clifftops, than in shark attacks.

The Greenland Shark. Clear your calendar if you plan on inviting one to your house.

This does not mean that they are not fascinating creatures, there being over 500 species of shark. The Greenland Shark can live up to 400 years, and, like a sloth or your Uncle Ken, has an EXTREMELY slow metabolism. This means that for over 150 years it is a sullen teenage shark, staying in its room, playing loud music, slinking into the kitchen for a chum smoothie from time to time.

I only wish that they did not concentrate on the more lurid details, and attacks that occur  very seldom. Sharks do not eat human beings as a rule, and beyond taking a bite, will likely stop when they realize that you are not a seal. I bit into a carrot that I thought was a cocktail weiner, at a party recently. That is close to the gastronomic disappointment a shark must feel.


I understand that the Discovery Channel, bless them all, want to improve ratings, and the ploy has worked like gangbusters. I am of the opinion that these shows only serve to increase the fear, and therefore lessen the desire to help these creatures, many species of which are endangered.

Give to a non profit if you wish to make a difference. Visit an aquarium. Learn about sharks – they are elegant and beautiful creatures – they just get a lot of bad press.


I am a Sansei, with two teens, and a hamster. This blog is a repository for ideas and observations, expressed in cartoon form, by and large. A bit of a journal too. Feel free to follow me on INSTAGRAM @ WILTOONS, (the Twitter for people who like to go out) where I post a journal comic. Thanks for dropping by! The pic is of me and my boy Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. (not really a fan but he wanted his pic with me) © Wilton Sugiyama and Wiltoons, 2009 to 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Wilton Sugiyama and Wiltoons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. So there.

8 thoughts on “Shark Week: Why It Stinks

  1. You’re spot on, as usual!

    I never understood all of the hoopla surrounding shark week. But then again, I am the one person in the world who thought Sharknado was a documentary.

    Still, I wish we’d just leave the poor sharks alone. They serve a purpose, too. Or should that be “They serve a porpoise?” Either way, they have a job to do and we are constantly interfering with it by making them go extinct.

    Great post!

    Have a happy, relatively shark-free weekend!

    1. Thank you for the kind comment, Biff. ‘Sharknado’ must have been one of the shortest elevator pitches in recent memory, along with Jaws In Space (for the film, Alien). No sharks round her, thanks to a Robert Shaw cardboard cutout on the lawn.

      1. Yes, I agree. Sharknado was one of those movies that I really wish I could have been in the room (or elevator) when it was pitched. I’d love to have seen the blank, incredulous look on the studio executive’s face! And whoever pitched it must be one helluva salesman!

  2. I actually met someone who had his leg bitten off by a shark. He was surfing in Australia at the time. Got the shark to let him go by punching it. That man was as tough as nails.

    1. I doubt that I would have the presence of mind to punch a shark. (Props to that guy.) But that’s ‘lying on the sundeck with a caipirinha’ thinking. Perhaps if you held its nose, who likes to eat when you can’t taste? Thank you for your comment Anne.

    1. Yes, I am in the midst of a teenage storm system with one of my kids that is interminable! 5 day outlook looks like more of the same. Thank you for your kind words Robbie.

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