A thread of development in the thematic outlook of nature shows including but by no means restricted to the Fox Television Network, titles like "When Wild Animals Attack!" and programs generally focusing on disastrous aspects of the interaction between man and nature, have rung a disturbing bell with me for as long as I can remember them cropping up.
It seems that someone or some series of commitees of someones somewhere decided a good way to present the wonders of the natural world, or what's left to stand as an excuse for it in these latter days, to the general joe and judy sixpack tv viewing public, would be in the form of as feral, marauding, and menacing representatives of the state of nature that anyone could dredge up and infuriate for the camera.
Was the idea that people are happiest with these images of the wild state, so they can congratulate themselves on escaping that mess and identifying themselves with the species that had the management skills to put all that bad ass nature in its place, like a zoo, for example, or a concentration camp, er... wilderness preserve? So when headlines occasionally pass momentarily along details of the ongoing evolutionary process such as mass extinctions (but haven't there always been those, after all?) it can be not only accepted, but greeted, at least in cases of those big, bad, aggressive animals that will fight humans for their territory, their food, their niche in the worlds intricate labyrinth, and so on.
You know, all those animals with the bad attitudes.
Not to mention the shows that dwell on the totally unstoppable disaster scenarios, your storms, your earthquakes... asteroid strikes, that kind of thing. Man, what a bastard Nature is, what a a cold, unfeeling bastard. We are so lucky to have it as far under our thumbs as we do, even if we are suffocating it and ourselves in the process. Maybe there won't be as many dangerous things about nature to worry about in the future, if we're lucky, and do as we're told, and accept the explanations we're offered. Because after all, there's no cooperation in nature, no symbiosis, no exploitation of the higher functional value of compromise. At least not on prime time T.V.