Smithsonian Using Taxes and Donations Fairly?

After taking my first trip to the Smithsonian Museum yesterday I left a little bothered. The dinosaur skeletons, the culture exhibits, and animals were all great, so my boyfriend and I decided to spend the $17.00 on tickets to see the short film that was playing in the IMAX theatre there—Sharks in 3D. How could we pass it up?

Sitting through the movie I learned that the Smithsonian wanted me to walk away from it believing two things:

1) That sharks are timid, mild mannered creatures and we only believe them to be dangerous because humans have portrayed them that way, and…

2) That human are causing the downfall of sharks. Not only are some species endangered because of out selfish actions like hunting and killing them for food and trophies, but also our pollution into the oceans is causing the numbers to decrease.

While these may not seem too far-fetched, the way the movie presented these “facts” was the most aggravating part. It seemed like every species they showed was in danger because of humans, according to the narrator. The majority of the 42-minute film just showed the sharks, seals, turtles and small fish swimming around. I’d say that maybe half of the film was spent following non-shark animals.

The biggest disappointment of all though was the lack of sharks attacking anything. Throughout the entire film there was only one attack by a shark on a small fish. The rest of the time was spent talking about how sharks are rarely aggressive, how they only attack humans if they mistake them for other sea creatures (how do they know what sharks thought process is though?) and how sharks are being killed off (how are they positive of shark populations past and present…the ocean is huge!)

Not only was I disappointed because we didn’t get to see sharks doing what they do best—using their teeth—but I was also a little bothered because I had to sit through what seemed like an environmental push for keeping oceans clean and protecting animals. Should the Smithsonian Institute really be using taxpayers’ money to promote an environmental agenda? That’s a definite partisan issue.

Hearing the basic scientific facts about sharks would’ve been just dandy, and probably what they should have done. The random blurbs of impossible to prove information and biased opinions shown at the Sharks in 3D movie just seemed like a desperate attempt at pushing an environmental platform, and not how tax money should be spent.


2 Responses

  1. Hi there, fellow DC Scene blogger. Since we’re all on the same team here, i won’t criticize. But just to clarify: You’re saying that the Smithsonian Institution should avoid showing IMAX films that promote a pro-Shark message at the risk of appearing too partisan? Interesting.


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