BOSTON (CBS) – I try my best to keep up with popular culture, I really do.
But somehow it escaped me over the weekend that a cable TV channel was airing a swimming race between Olympic champion Michael Phelps and a great white shark.
I guess I didn’t miss much, because it seems the hour-long special was much hype about nothing. It turned out they never intended to put Phelps in the water with the shark, luckily for him; the “race” was a simulation.
And get this – some disappointed viewers are angry about it.
You can read their cries on Twitter, how upset they are, how “robbed” they feel.
You really thought Phelps would risk being eaten to prove he could outswim a shark, and that the producers would risk the liability of letting him do it?
It just goes to show, despite all the learning tools and alleged cultural sophistication we enjoy these days, gullibility still reigns, as much as it did back in the mid-19th century when P.T. Barnum allegedly said “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
We see it in our politics all the time. And we’ll see it in action again next month when Ultimate Fighting Challenge star Conor McGregor gets in the boxing ring with boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., an almost certain rout.
A hundred bucks for the HD version on pay-per-view, for those who like to throw good money away.
And of course, it’s only been 31 years since we wasted two hours of our lives waiting for Geraldo Rivera to open Al Capone’s long-lost vault.
For some, the suspension of disbelief never ends.
And every minute, you-know-what is happening.