November 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
It’s a tradition every Thanksgiving that I go over to my family friends’ house and we watch the National Dog Show on NBC before settling down to eat. I honestly have no idea how they judge these competitions and my friend and I usually just spend our time making fun of the ridiculous haircuts that they put on the poodles. So what satisfaction do humans take out of simply watching animals walk around? Is it really that fascinating to see adorable collies parade around an arena or to spend your life devoted to documenting and spending time with wild grizzly bears? Timothy Treadwell did all that he did for love, because he simply loved bears and wanted to know everything about them and protect them. But then people don’t typically watch the documentary on his adventures because they want to know more about bears, it’s because they want to know more about Treadwell and his death. So if the majority of people aren’t naturally inclined to watch the footage that Treadwell spent a great deal of his life filming, then why does the National Dog Show attract almost 20 million viewers if a lot of us could simply look across the room and see a dog that doesn’t seem all the different from the one on tv? Maybe it’s the cute factor. I mean, it was the cute scenes in the Treadwell documentary, such as the baby foxes, that made people perk up and those were a lot of the parts that people remembered and talked about afterwards. But then again, half the dogs in the show aren’t all that cute, especially the ones that have been shaved on numerous parts of their body. Or maybe it’s because they are so unknown to us. The fascinating thing about Treadwell’s footage is that it showed a side of grizzlies in nature that people had never seen before. But in the dog show, the humans control the dog’s every move and its appearance so its not like the dogs are acting in some strange way that we don’t know about. I don’t even know why I watch it but it is oddly entertaining and a good distraction from the pain of waiting for our Thanksgiving meal.
November 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
From watching the film Grizzly Man alone, I never really understood the level of trust that ran between the bears and Timothy Treadwell. That was until I read Ned Zeman’s article. First let me start by saying that the movie just didn’t cover Treadwell’s life before he took to the Alaskan wildnerness. Zeman writes that
“Tim Dexter died in Long Beac, California, amid a cloud of drugs, guns, and brawling. He was arrested twice (for assault and for illegally firing a gun). He lived with cokeheads and dealers, slept with a loaded M16, and nearly overdosed on a “speedball” of cocaine and heroin. One night, tripping on LSD, he nose-dived off a third-floor balcony and landed facedown in the mud (which rendered a perfect imprint of his face, including his sunglasses).”
Until I read this passage, I thought that Timothy Treadwell had always had a heart full of love for animals. The way he handed himself in the film, telling grizzlies “I love you” over and over again made me think that he had always been an innocent, gentle individual for the entirety of his life. Zeman later writes that
“Before Booble went off to gather food-the only time a mother will leave cubs-she nudged her little moppets toward Treadwell. In fact, several mothers availed themselves of the new day-care service, parking the kids at Treadwell’s feet, heading off to run errands, then returning.”
Accounting for these two passages together, I feel that the blonds of love that exist between Treadwell and these grizzlies cannot be described with words alone. The grizzly bears saved Treadwell’s life, and for that, he is eternally grateful. They brought the very best out of him, and although many people criticize Treadwell and his daring work, he truly loved what he did for a living (and the bears loved him back), something that few can say today.