The ‘Fuel of Hope’ Is Bug Spray

How do you get one group of people who looks at the evidence and sees contamination, while another decides “The data conclusively prove that the Sasquatch exists”? To find out, we went through the papers data carefully…


via How the attempt to sequence “Bigfoot’s genome” went badly off track | Ars Technica.


A simpler explanation might be, you know, that one of the groups is bonkers.


The key problem with “sequencing Bigfoot’s genome” is, of course, that there is no such thing as Bigfoot. But an attendant problem stems from the current mania for crime-themed entertainment. Anyone who watches television for more than a few minutes could be forgiven for believing that police investigators can solve any mystery, just so long as they can collect enough schmutz from the right places. Whatever else, that is just gross.



More to the point, “Finding Bigfoot” has been on TV for four seasons. Note the present progressive tense in the program’s title. Obviously the act of finding implies that the looked-for object will be found, but it also makes it clear that whatever it is has not been found. The finding is ongoing. Taken further, it means that it can never be found; this is why movies about time travel are so complicated.


“Tune in next week when nothing will happen that will prevent us from asking you to tune in the week after that.”


It is interesting to note, too, that there are well more than a dozen television shows on so-called paranormal phenomena being produced in the world, not including programs about Bigfoot. None of these, through hundreds of episodes and decades of taping, have made a single, credible determination.


The greatest achievement of this pursuit has been the cultivation of the nimble intellectual dexterity needed to patch the inevitable holes in the story of whatever-it-is. Are you kidding: Bigfoot? Yeah, why not? Where do they live? In swamps, forests, mountains? O.K., seriously now, how can a stable breeding population of Bigfeet exist for centuries without being detected? They’re sneaky. Are they also burying their feces? You’re gross. (Sigh.) But why has no hunter ever killed one? There are few hunters and lots of empty spaces. That’s where you are going with that? Sure.


Paul Fussell, in much more serious circumstances, wrote that “irony is the attendant of hope, and the fuel of hope is innocence.” For the Bigfoot finders, it must be a tortured existence. The moment one of these poor hairy bastards is dragged out of the deep woods, covered in ticks and howling in anger, those TV shows will be sent straight to public television.


Anyway, it seems to me that the time for DNA tests will be when they change the name of that show to “Found Bigfoot” or “Finding Bigfeet.”