You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
Archive - Aug 2008
Memo to Search For Bigfoot, Inc.: YOU ARE DUMB.
Do I even need to keep writing? Is it not self-evident that a "company" devoted to Sasquatch-hunting is inherently stupid? Could I perhaps just stop here, bag it, and rest comfortably in the knowledge that my astute readership knows exactly what I mean?
I could. But that takes the fun out of it. The devil, as they say, lives at 666 Details Lane, Details, DT. And the details of this week's Great Sasquatch Corpse story are devilish indeed. Devilishly stupid, that is. By now, you must have heard about the two gentlemen from Georgia who claimed to have found a dead Bigfoot. They held a press conference, then turned the frozen body over to the "scientists" at SFBI, who determined it was a gorilla suit in a block of ice.
Now, right there, that gives Search for Bigfoot, Inc. the highest starting value in the stupid finals. So how did they do on execution?
Well, according to news stories, SFBI paid "an undisclosed sum" to the Georgia pair for their story and the find. Without seeing it. Just based on their word that they found some Bigfoot roadkill. That's the kind of stark raving genius that you wouldn't even expect from people who hunt Sasquatch for a living. I mean, this can't be the first Sasquatch hoax they've encountered. I mean, EVERY Sasquatch they've encountered has been a hoax. Because Sasquatch doesn't exist.
But no. The Georgia boys got their money, and the Bigfoot hunters got a rubber gorilla suit. Which is my second-favorite part of the whole thing. What's my favorite part of the whole thing? The part where Steve Kulls, host of Squatchdetective Radio, attempts to salvage the scientific reputation of the Bigfoot hunting community by describing the events in a cold, impartial style he clearly learned from X-Files circa Season 2. Kulls, who claims to have had doubts from the beginning, gives us the moment of truth thusly: ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"On August 17th, 2008 Searching for Bigfoot Team Director of Field Operations, TJ Biscardi and myself, were up early to discover that some hair was now exposed. I extracted some from the alleged corpse and examined it and had some concerns. Bob Schmalzbach arrived and concurred. We burned said sample and said hair sample melted into a ball uncharacteristic of hair."
And, I'm guessing, with the kind of smell that made them wish it was a rotting Sasquatch after all. But wait, there's more!
"Within one hour we were able to see the partially exposed head, as I was now able to touch it, I was able to feel that it seemed mostly firm, but unusually hollow in one small section. This was yet another ominous sign. Within the next hour of thaw, a break appeared up near the feet area. As the team and I began examining this area near the feet, I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot."
Unfortunately, his account stops before his painstaking description of "a long, toothed metal strip running parallel to the spine, unlike any previously described Sasquatch feature". But still, every word that IS there is redolent and dripping with the epic-ness of this epic fail.
What puzzled me from the get-go is this - where the hell does Searching For Bigfoot, Inc. get the funds to pay off hoaxsters? Do they have investors? They can't possibly be funding the entire operation from web ads for local Mexican restaurants and, I shit you not, thirty-dollar Bigfoot commemorative belt buckles. Is there some insane venture capitalist calling them angrily even as we read this? Or is he reassuring them, comforting them, explaining that when the tests came back and "the size of the DNA was consistent with human/ape DNA"*, they had no choice but to move forward?
I wish I knew. But until then, I'll have to console myself with the knowledge that once in a great while, stupidity and gullibility and superstitious fanaticism don't actually lead to financial success and powerful government positions. We take what we can get.
*I'm no forensic geneticist, but I'm pretty fucking sure that's not how DNA testing works, and maybe they should be checking the credentials of their scientists more thoroughly.