…as I’m currently at work, but the good citizens at Reddit brought this article to my attention:
…and more accurately, the actual blog post in question (Bad Archaeology)
I just wanted to get my two cents out into the interwebs in case there was any doubt/confusion/shenaniganry, etc.
I am indeed an archaeologist and I do in fact work for the company that makes Ancient Aliens. I worked on season 2 and a bit of season 3. (For the curious: s2ep4 and s2 ep8. Episode 8 had the highest ratings of the season [haaay]). This job will always mean something to me because it quite literally rescued me from financial (and general life) ruin after two long periods of unemployment. The people here are lovely and while the actual process of making the show is hilarious, maddening, stressful and occasionally downright ridiculous, it’s a good job and it could be a whole lot worse. Is it a proper job in academia? Lord no. I never really fit in there anyway and even though I’d like to get a Ph.D. someday, I don’t think my place will even be fully in the academic community. I’m not exactly a paper-writing person but I do love conventions and seeing what everyone has been up to over the past year and what exciting new discoveries people are making. (Bonus: free snacks!) I love learning and being around people who are just as excited about 1,000+ yr old stuff as I am. I love being out in the field and getting down and dirty in a trench somewhere, even if it makes my tendonitis go ballistic. There is nothing more exciting than troweling on your merry way and then finding something that’s not a rock.
I’ve been lamenting the state of historically-themed television for many years now and have definitely yelled at many a History program before angrily changing the channel but the unfortunate reality is that, well, people want sensationalism and escapism even if it’s in the form of someone else’s reality. The world is a pretty tough place right now and the last thing most people want when they turn on the TV is something that requires them to pay attention and devote more of their already taxed and frazzled mind, so they turn to the more mindless programs to attempt to take their mind off of the usual woes of the modern human. That’s why reality programming is so popular. It allows people to live someone else’s reality and forget about their own for 30 minutes or an hour. Obviously, the farther removed it is from their life experience the better (Swamps! Celebrities doing things! People living in remote/ridiculous places! Cakes!) so those shows get the viewers and the networks choose and create shows accordingly. Unfortunately, this means those of us who actually like to learn things get the short end of the viewership straw. If I want to turn on the TV and learn about something other than creating a sugar sculpture in an hour I’m SOL until the next showing of ‘Wonders of the Universe’ (Hands down the best show on TV right now. There is no debate.) History International is usually pretty good about having non-alien shows, but if you’re like me and no longer get any of the fancy extra HD channels it’s back to square one. I’d love for something like Time Team America to actually take hold in the US and get people as excited here as they are in the UK about history. Granted, it’s a bit easier to get excited if there are Roman ruins in your back garden, but we’ll work with what we’ve got. We’ve got about 300 years of history in our little baby of a country and most of it’s on the East Coast. What we also have is a whole population of people who want to learn about everyone else’s history and those people watch TV! So until we can elbow our way back into network priorities, I guess we’ll just keep pirating BBC documentaries and scribbling down ideas for what will hopefully be amazing shows someday. I’ll keep helping make silly shows for History and maybe someday I can help make a difference.
TL;DR I don’t even know what this post has turned into, but yeah. There you have it. I’ve got to get back to work 😛