Sunday, October 28, 2007

Alas, Dear Mozart

The Meerkat with whom wayward girls identify the most is now lost to us. The lifeless body of Mozart, Jezebel of the Whiskers clan and meerkat without a country, was found in the Kalahari, presumably left there by a Jackal.

Oh, the pain. Meerkat Manor is truly the stuff great tragedies are written of and the episode in question can be seen online.

Rejected by the Whiskers clan again and again, Mozart wandered in the wilderness until she finally found a man to care for her. Wilson had been out sewing his oats and when the two hit it off, he took her home to meet the fam, which happened to be the Commandos that murdered her litter in a raid last year but let's not get petty. She needed a man and Wilson needed to become one. When they got to the homestead to see if the folks would accept her, Wilson's fam and Mozart's ex-fam were in a gang war so she skeedaddled on back to the desert alone while her man took care of business. When he went looking for her the next morning, he found her dead.

Geez. It was like watching Romeo and Juliet without the dialogue and no jester tights to cover the hairy little bulges.

I held my tongue when producers stood by and watched as Flower, the matriarch of our beloved Whiskers clan, was attacked by a Cobra, but Mozart? You just watched as-- what -- she got mauled?

How cruel can you be, Animal Planet! I'll need therapy after this!


Anonymous said...

siestakay1 06:04:20 PM Oct 28 2007
Hi,I just posted this on an AOL blog, so am bringin' it over here:

With all due respect, I don't really know where the producers were coming from with the way this "show" has recently played out. To show us a program in documentary fashion illustrating that life is hard in the wild, no matter what endearing (or not) species is involved, and that natural selection and nature don't have favorites, is fine. We get it. Life is hard in the Kalahari. Like elsewhere. But to introduce us to these little critters and to develop them in soap-opera fashion, naming them, drawing us in to their world and cultivating humanesque personalities for two seasons, only to let us all witness their rapid systematic demise in season three is pretty cruel. And stupid. With Merkatt Manor's devoted and mushrooming fan base, this could have been an excellent vehicle to not only educate, but to raise funds for all the Kalahari wild life programs. Instead, we are all turned off, saddened and angry, and wish we had never become enamoured and invloved with watching.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I first started watching Meerkat because I was fascinated by the writing. I think it's brilliant storytelling. I would love to sit in when it's being put together and see how it's done.

There were a lot of upset viewers over Flower and hardly a month later, this! As for me, they lost me for awhile after cameramen stood by and let a wandering pup get stolen away by a hawk but that's another story. I understand the whole "not interfering with the natural scheme of things" but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it or like it.

I do agree that as a viewer drawn into the drama of the story, this felt cruel and I wonder what the backlash will be over it all.

esruel said...

I'm afraid this 'not interfering with the natural scheme of things' only happens when the show people aren't threatened. But humans have interfered with nature since the beginning of time. Just viewing the meerkats interfered with their way of life - and probably helped cause some of the things that hapened. Nothing is more dramatic than death - so they let it happen. It mirrors our own life, though, and that's what disappoints the most - despite our apparent sophistication, we seem to hold some kind of destructive link.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

That's a good point. An EXCELLENT POINT. Any human presence whatsoever changes nature - the scent of a human being, somebody's shampoo, a candy bar wrapper, whatever. It disrupts nature the moment a human arrives. A cameraman's lunch may have attracked that stinkin' jackal to begin with.

And yet, if we don't do these kinds of programs and create interest in the natural world in the very people who would destroy it (intentionally or accidentally), then who will plant the desire to preserve it? Somebody watching at home may be the key to preventing global warming or protecting rain forests. Who knows?

It's a conundrum.

Unk said...

I stopped watching these kinds of docs/reality shows when I watched a baby elephant drown in a mud pond a few years ago.

God forbid anyone try to haul his butt outta there.

Fuc* 'em.

Geez. I just interfered with myself.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

And hauling an elephant out of a mud puddle is a lot harder than throwing a rock at a jackal. (yeah, I know, I'm over-symplifying but you get the point)