Friday, 24 December 2010
Jaws: A movie review
A group of so-called government funded "experts" whip up alarmist fears of a killer shark off the coast of Amity, a sea side town. Their goal is to destroy the local tourist industry, send Amity back to the dark ages and thus achieve their underlying socialist agenda of wealth redistribution. The heroes of this tale are the local major and business leaders who lead a successful audit of the alarmist claims and by doing so manage to delay action long enough that the beach remains open. In the end it turns out a shark has been eating people.
It all starts when a body washes up on a beach. Of course bodies wash up on beaches all the time in natural cycles called tides. It happens. I was very unsurprised by this, but the so-called "experts" in Amity are opportunists and exploited the situation for their own agenda.
The coroner is tasked with determining the cause of death. Rather than just admitting "we do not know" he instead coins a bizarre theory that a shark is to blame. The police chief, Martin Brody, a kind of Al-Gore figure, believes the claims of the coroner unquestionably. Just laps it up. One minute he's on the phone to the coroner, next minute he's writing the cause of death on a report as "shark attack". Unbelievable.
The Town Mayor, Larry Vaughn, comes up with a much plausible theory - that the cause of death was a boat propeller. He should have thrown some more theories in there though in case they find a problem with the boat propeller one. Keep the experts busy addressing various counter explanations, however implausible, and action will be delayed.
If I was Mayor Vaughn I would have also sent an FIOA request for the coroner's raw data and all the emails sent between the police chief and the coroner. Then I could have sifted through it looking for something wrong.
Ben Meadows, a journalist for the Amity Gazette, was more effective at delaying action. First he cites technical procedures preventing closure of the beach:
"Technically you need the instruction of a civic ordinance or a special meeting of the town selectmen"
When that doesn't work he appeals to uncertainty and doubt:
"We're not even sure what it was."
Indeed. It could have been a boat propeller, or perhaps a particularly sharp piece of water. Keep the experts on their toes, don't let them reach a "conclusion".
Mayor Vaughn sums up alarmism:
"It's all psychological, anyway. You yell 'Barracuda' and everyone says 'huh'. You yell 'Shark' and we've got a panic on our hands. I think we all agree we don't need a panic this close to the 4th of July."
Another Dead Body
Another dead body is found. Yawn. Of course the alarmism hits the roof and the "shark theory" goes public. The Mayor wisely holds a council meeting, kind of like a congressional hearing, and invites all the local business leaders.
Even if there IS a shark, is mitigating the problem by closing the beach really the correct solution? Can't bathers just adapt to a killer shark? Not that we are conceding ground on the existence of the shark yet. As one of the locals helpfully points out: "Nobody's seen a shark.". True at least no-one alive has seen one, and that's all that really matters.
Enter The Scientist
Matt Hooper from the "Oceanographic Institute" turns up. No-one seems to have called him, he just kind of appears. I've heard that scientists can actually smell sources of funding from up to 50 kilometers away. Hooper takes one look at the body and arrogantly proclaims:
"It wasn't an 'accident,' it wasn't a boat propeller, or a coral reef, or Jack the Ripper. It was a shark."
What alarmist nonsense! He just blew through all those equally good explanations. And as the local pointed out "nobody's seen a shark". So it's unscientific for Hooper to assert there definitely is a shark. He's hiding the uncertainty and doubt. Of course if he admitted there wasn't a shark all his funding would dry up...
But just like the CAGW fraud, the locals fall for Hooper's academic speak as if a so-called "shark expert" is some kind of authority on sharks. They are seemingly forgetting that Mayor Vaughn's theories are just as valid.
What Mayor Vaughn should have done here is start a blog called SharkAudit or WhatsUpWithTheShark. Unfortunately he doesn't think of this.
The Shark is Caught
While the so-called "experts" are playing with their "theories" and models, the local townspeople in the real world manage to catch and kill the shark, it's a large tiger shark which they bring back onto land. At this point we can conclude it was a shark attack after-all, because now that the possibility of beach closure has gone there is no reason to deny it anymore.
Of course Hooper the shark "expert" is not happy. He refuses to accept facts and claims they need to open the shark up to check it's the right one. The police chief, who is probably a communist stooge, is only too happy for this to go ahead.
Mayor Vaugn successfully prevents an autopsy on the shark. There's no need for evidence anymore.
The Scientist Admits To Losing the Raw Data
Hooper finds a Great White shark tooth in a wreck containing another dead body. Wow that's convenient. A dead body AND a Great White shark tooth. You couldn't make it up! Oh but wait it gets better - the Mayor wisely does an audit:
"Is that tooth here? Did anyone see it?"
Hooper admits he LOST the shark tooth in the water. If I was that incompetent in my business I would go out of business. But this is Oceanography we are talking about.
So the mayor wisely ignores the 3rd body citing the missing shark tooth:
"Well, I'm not going to commit economic suicide on that flimsy evidence."
Quite right! That's exactly what these socialists want you to do - commit economic suicide!
We Need More Funding!
The police chief makes a play for more funding:
"We have got to close the beaches. We have got to get someone to kill the shark, we need non-corrosive mesh netting, we need scientific support..."
Such a transparent grab for socialism and government control of the beach! The so-called shark expert also makes a frenzied last ditch attempt to fool the masses:
"Out there is a Perfect Engine, an Eating Machine that is a miracle of evolution -- it swims and eats and that's all. Look at that! Those proportions are correct. I know sharks."
If he actually believed there was a killer shark out there about to eat people would he really get so hysterical about it?
The mayor exposes his hidden agenda:
"You'd love to prove that. Getting your name in the National Geographic."
Yes it's all about funding and fame with these so-called "experts". They want to get their names in magazines. Can't trust them.
Anyway in the end it turns out a great white shark killed all those people. But on the plus side the beach does stay open.