No News is Better News

Bear Grylls Let’s face it, news is depressing. I only buy our local newspaper on Mondays, so I can do the crossword puzzle when I have free time on my WoodSongs volunteer job.

I was so disgusted with the news, that I was planning to write a post that Where Did My Brain Go? would no longer feature any news at all.

However, everything changed when my buddy from Manhattan called, and gave me some news that really frosted my apricots.

Where’s the Juice?

I don’t watch much television, but every so often you see something really great, that makes you glad you own a set, and Man vs. Wild is one of those shows. The show features Bear Grylls parachuting into some wild place, and surviving horrific conditions, with only a water bottle, a knife, and a flint to start a fire.

Some of these places are bad! Grylls started out this year’s season of Man vs. Wild, by parachuting into the Everglades. The first thing he did after landing, was to start walking through murky swamps, carrying a big stick to ward off alligators. Would you do that?

Walking makes you hungry, so on the way, he stopped and ate a live frog. A live frog! He didn’t make a big deal about it either. He simply explained that it is important to kill it with the first bite, so it doesn’t wriggle all the way down. What a man! I have previously described him here as the man with too much testosterone. People might deny it, but I know that deep down in their heart, almost every American male who watched that show, wanted to eat a frog too.

He did not make a big deal about eating the frog either. All he said was:

“You can’t afford to be squeamish.”

But Grylls didn’t stop there! After being energized by the frog, he climbed a forty foot tree to get a good look at the surrounding area!

Unfortunately, once you get to the top, the only thing you can do is to go down. Alas Bear has gone down, not just in altitude, but morally as well.

Where’s Room Service?

Grylls is British, and Man vs. Wild is very popular in the UK, where it is known as Born Survivor. So Brits and Yanks alike, were stunned when The Times of London interviewed Mark Weinert, who is described as an “Oregon-based survival consultant,” and learned that parts of the show were faked.

In one episode, where Grylls is supposed to be on a desert island, he was actually in Hawaii, and spent nights in a hotel. In another episode, after he parachuted into the Sierra Nevada mountains, he stayed with his film crew at The Pines Resort at Bass Lake.

It gets worse.

Another time he supposedly builds a boat out of bamboo, hibiscus vines and palm leaves. Weinert claims to have built the boat for Grylls, and then took it apart so Grylls could reassemble it.

In my opinion, the worst lie, was when he tried to lasso a wild horse, and said, “This is one of the few places in the whole of the US where horses still roam wild.”

The studio brought the horses in by trailer.

Where’s Bear?

UK’s Channel 4 said:

“The programme explicitly does not claim that presenter Bear Grylls’s experience is one of unaided solo survival.”

America’s Discovery Channel said:

“Discovery Communications has learned that isolated elements of the ‘Man vs. Wild’ show in some episodes were not natural to the environment, and that for health and safety concerns the crew and host received some survival assistance while in the field.”

Bear Grylls, who once bit off the head of a snake, and ate it for breakfast, and doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything, has not commented.