Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sharky boo boo?

And she's got her own doll as well!

And I cite.
It stopped actually being "about sharks" a long time ago. 
It's about the individual and what the sharks as a vehicle to notoriety can do for them.
Anybody come to mind?
Anyway, apart from the stellar R and R (!!!), this year's DEMA has been a rather uninspired affair. High-quality business traffic was rather lackluster but in exchange, everybody, his dog and the dog of his dog was into Sharks, and a whole gaggle of new and old self promoting Sharkwhathaveyous was busy making the rounds to showcase their newest and greatest "feats", or whatever, and to try and land some new gig for next year. 

Don't get me wrong - for the most part, that's perfectly OK.
Shark diving is part of the entertainment industry and like there, we got our celebrities and heroes - and by the same token, plenty of B-listers, wannabees, moochers and outright charlatans. The plebs wants to be entertained, bills need to be paid, smoke and mirrors - and that's that, no big drama.

Which brings me straight to a surprising DEMA dinner conversation.
Looks like the meteoric rise of Sara the (umpteenth...) Shark Whisperer has been ruffling quite a few feathers - and I must say, I can certainly see why!
A 16-year old girl being awarded some Ambassador of the Planet medal and thus being elevated to the ranks of, inter alia, Sylvia Earle, the Dalai Lama and Al Gore sure is, for lack of a better word: remarkable, the more as off the top of my head, I could think of several dozen people deserving of the honors miles ahead of the whispering Sara!
But then again, maybe Wyland is a visionary. Or maybe he just likes very young girls. Or both. Or neither. Who knows.

Even more remarkable is the genesis of her nomination.
It involves a Beqa Adventure Divers t-shirt, a good friend of mine (think: Brie-de-Meaux-and-peanut-butter-sandwich!) and a parking lot somewhere in Florida. There, the story goes, having been outed as a Shark man by the sharky t-shirt, he got cornered by a, for lack of a better word: assertive mom who somehow convinced him to nominate the daughter - this very much Sara unseen but after having previously consulted the endorsement by Shark Savers.
And so it goes.

I say, so far so good.
From what I can see upon exploring her website and the links, Sara appears legit in her wish to make a difference, and kudos for that.
But having said that and in the softest possible way, the awards, sponsorships, endorsements and real and perceived celebrity friend "names" that are being dropped are certainly not adequately balanced by according deeds - yet!

So far so good- tho a bit mom-heavy?

But there is certainly hope.
If the equally remarkable original can get her own reality show, so can Sara - and we shall then see whether she will use the opportunity to appeal to the younger generations and educate them about the importance of sharks as her bio announces. If so, it will certainly be a welcome counterbalance to the brazen BS in the upcoming Shark Wars featuring the ever weasely Ms. Andersen!

Most certainly!
Apart from the impending vagaries of puberty that may, or may not derail the whole process, the whole exercise is just a tad to "polished" and "adult", if you know what I mean.
There is a fine line between highly supportive mothers who mentor their children and help out by engaging in ghost writing, and proverbial obnoxious stage moms; and there is equally a fine line between outreach, marketing, self promotion and outright BS - see the above citation and yes I shall certainly leave it at that!

Sharky boo boo or upcoming stellar Shark conservationist?
As always, we shall see, shall we not!

And on this note!

Sharky boo boo is a trademark belonging to the Yellow Pimpernel.
Thankfully used with kind permission.

PS: Patric about Sharky boo boo here!
Greybeard??? Talk for yerself!


jsd said...


What generation are we at now?

1) Dedicated pioneers (Hans Hass, Cousteau, R and V Taylor)
2) 1st generation of celebrity-chasing charlatans and self-proclaimed shark behaviour experts
3) 2nd generation - prettier, younger, sexier
4) 3rd generation - borderline children
5) 4th generation - any guesses? How about Nude Teen Supermodel Skinny Dipping to Save Sharks??? ...Anyone watching the sharks?

DaShark said...

But to be fair, there are others.

There's actually plenty of people out there doing the heavy lifting - without any fanfare, away from the frothy media, just because they believe it's the right thing to do.

It really is a difficult one.
The outreach=media game as you know is a tricky one - but it is necessary and yes, we have all seen where it can lead.

So here's to this being a great and above all, legitimate success - tho having heard some of the back stories, the ambitious mom may well end up pushing it over the edge.

OfficetoOcean said...

Until the public at large starts demanding better, they'll just keep getting the crap, the problem is, the public at large don't know the better stuff is out there because the TV isn't telling them. It's a vicious cycle, kind of like a big turd rolling down a hill, collecting other turds on the way.

I've never heard of this Sara girl so can't really comment but we live in a world where precocious young girls, given every opportunity on a plate, are becoming celebrities for not really doing anything, hopefully she can sidestep all that and contribute in a worthwhile manner. Even if she does have competitive super mom clearing the way and barging down the doors for her, she certainly has to have the get up and go of her own so good luck to her in doing something positive. We'll just have to wait and see what direction she takes.

The other side of the coin is the Honey Boo Boo side, the freak show which I'm ashamed at myself for finding hilarious despite it being anything but.

What am I saying, probably nothing of any value, but I'm saying it anyway because I can. Such is life in the 21st century.

Worst blog comment ever :D

Anonymous said...

Jesus, we missed you Mike. This post gets printed, gold framed, and set in the prayer cove with those little multi-armed deities some intense and of course fruit.

You know as an ongoing prayer for the commercial shark diving industry.

Bless you sir.

jsd said...

Agreed - if she makes a difference, bravo.

My knee-jerk cynicism about the relationship between shark conservation and media interest got the better of me in a context where - fingers crossed - it is undeserved.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Ah yes the ever evolving, "Shark Entertainment Complex."

You can have that one for 2013, I have a feeling you'll need it.

Fine blogging sir, damn fine blogging.