I love nature. All different types of it. Water, Land, Sky… Magma. All of it. And animals? Don’t even get me started on animals. If I had to choose a favorite type of animal, I’d go with all of them. Except monkeys, which I hate.
Long story short, the last month of spring semester, instead of studying for finals or doing literally any aspect of my job, I watched the Planet Earth series on Blu-ray. It was life-changing. And this wasn’t my first experience with nature documentaries. I watch a lot of documentaries on predatory animals too. Shark week, bear week, wolf week, praying mantis week; you name it: I’ll watch it. I’m an expert on worthless nature facts. Let’s begin, shall we?
Bears. Bears are big, scary bastards. They’re the Vin Diesels of the animal kingdom. Now, the statistic is that a bear kills about one person each year. (This fact was ridiculously easy to find, which probably means that at least 10 people have the job of counting deaths by bear per year. They probably work from home. I want that job.) On paper, that sounds reasonable, right? Oh okay, only one guy, that’s no problem. Maybe he pissed the bear off, maybe he insulted the bear’s ethnicity, maybe he stole money from the bear. But let’s put that statistic in human terms. If I went to a party, and a friend introduced me to somebody: let’s call this somebody Dennis. My friend says, “Hey, this is Dennis. He’s big and scary looking, and a lot of people are afraid of him. But you really have nothing to worry about, on average Dennis only kills about one person a year.” Well I’m still going to be leery of Dennis, you know? I’m still not going to be comfortable being in a room with Dennis.
The main thing I take from these documentaries isn’t how awe-inspiring nature is. It’s usually just this sick, heavy feeling in my gut that humans are ridiculously boring. What happened to us, guys? We use to be cool, didn’t we?
Let’s take a look at mating rituals (unless you have something better to do). Did you know that the male bowerbird builds a nest to attract a mate? The female is attracted to males with an abundance of colorful stuff. So the male spends all year risking his life collecting colorful shit, and then displays it in a neat pile in his creepy little bird sex shrine. This little guy works his ass off trying to find random blue garbage, keeps it safe during hurricanes and lightning storms, fights off cougars, tigers, and ninjas and shit; all just to get a girl to talk to him. And you know what’s a possibility? The female hates blue. The bitch might like orange. So his whole year’s a bust. That’s the bowerbird’s life.
Or the big horned ram. If another ram comes within like, a hundred yards of his mate, he tries his best to head butt that ram off of a mountain. Let me say that again. They head butt each other. On top of a mountain. Because of a goat. I’d get in a mountain top head butting contest for maybe, and this is a big maybe: Rachel McAdams on her best day. And even then, I’d really try to talk it out with the other guy first. I’d really attempt a compromise before we started the head butting. Meanwhile, these rams do it over whatever goat they happen to be shacking up goat-style with. Who says chivalry is dead?
And now let’s look at the human mating ritual. Some bro comments “gorgeous” on a bikini picture, then he gets the girl pregnant. And then they get married. Why don’t we build a house and put blue garbage around it? Are our females not good enough for blue garbage? Are they not head butt fight worthy?
Speaking of fights, another big take home I’ve gotten from these films is: Buffalo fights are awesome. If you guys don’t believe me, just go on YouTube and look at some buffalo fights. That was a weird request, I should explain. Buffalo fights are the most badass things I’ve ever seen. You watch a nice montage of buffalo fights, set to the score from Inception, and you’ll see what I mean. Buffalo are some of the most beautiful animals in existence, and they live in one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, and they look a bit like hairy dinosaur cows, and they beat the shit out of each other. What more could you ask for? Watch a buffalo fight, and believe me; you’ll see the majesty of nature.
Meanwhile, if you want to see the majesty of humanity, hop on the New York City C train at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday.
Shape up humanity, you look like shit.