After almost three months of watching movies and old “Simpsons” episodes on DVD, I finally had the cable hooked up a few weeks ago.
For the first week, I wondered why I bothered. Aside from Jon Stewart’s quips and the fact I can now watch new episodes of “The Simpsons” (along with the reruns they show four times a day), there didn’t seem to be much reason to watch TV.
In fact, as I was flipping through the channels, I was reminded of a line from a Bruce Springsteen song: “There’s 57 channels and nothing on.”
Admittedly, I do have more than 57 channels — although not by much — but there was definitely nothing on.
I should point out that for the past few years, I worked swing shift and totally missed all the shows everybody was talking about. “Lost”? Completely clueless. And what was the whole Soul Patrol thing on “American Idol”?
However, earlier this week, I was very glad that I had the cable installed. On Sunday, the Discovery Channel debuted its much-hyped “Planet Earth” miniseries, and you can be sure I was parked front and center to watch it.
I’ve always been an animal lover. Every summer, my family would go hiking in the forests surrounding Oregon’s Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson, where we’d see deer, elk and other woodland critters. Sometimes we’d visit my uncle at his cabin in Montana, where I’d feed the squirrels, go bird watching and keep an eye out for the occasional moose that wandered through his property.
So of course I was excited to see the strange and beautiful animals from around the world that we share our planet with.
What fascinates me most is that life is found in every corner of the globe. From the oddities of the deep sea to the snow leopard hunting on the rugged heights of the Himalayas, from icy landscapes to sun-baked deserts, this planet is teeming with life.
But the flip side to this beauty is the harsh reality behind it. For many of these animals, every day is a struggle to find food and avoid becoming food for something else, a constant fight against the sometimes overwhelming elements of nature. Add to this the fact that so many species are threatened by humanity’s actions, and this struggle becomes almost awe-inspiring.
Life, and nature, on this planet are interconnected in many ways, from vast weather systems that move across the globe to complex food webs that can collapse with the removal of just one animal. Our actions toward Earth today, either good or bad, can have a dramatic impact on tomorrow.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s a “Simspons” rerun about to come on.