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Niagara yawner

Call me cynical, but did Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over Niagara Falls really warrant 3 hours of TV coverage? Wallenda needed the underwriting to pay for his long-dreamed-of stunt, and ABC needed some cheap programming, I guess. But three hours for … what was it … about a 15-minute stroll? And the guy wore a safety harness, so where was the drama? Not that I would have wished an accident to happen. ABC had already thoroughly sickened me by repeatedly playing the tape of Wallenda’s great grandfather Karl falling to his death. TV is such a wasteland these days!


    • I was mildly curious a few days ago because of the name Wallenda. But the tether was a deal breaker. I wonder what his grandfather would have thought … Even so, 3 hours!?

  1. Switching between the tightrope show and Hugh Laurie on PBS, I managed to miss the big finish. One minute there was the “high drama” of his slow-motion-like walk on a dripping wet wire through clouds of mist, and the next was some Canadian lady (jokingly?) questioning the reasons for his visit to her country! Apparently I didn’t miss much…

  2. I agree with the sentiments in your post, PT. However, I see Wallenda’s stunt as merely one more in a very long series, one that is consistent with both American culture and human nature, and by human nature I mean the craving for attention. P. T. Barnum, freak shows, sword swallowers, human cannon balls. People going over Niagara falls in barrels (even surviving sometimes). Evel Knievel breaking his bones. And you’re right about the tether. Because of that, this stunt had less drama than the opening of Al Capone’s vault. I would have liked to hear more about the engineering and placement of the steel cable he walked – now there’s the real stunt!

    Stunts I do find interesting are the guy(s) (is there more than one?) I occasionally hear about who climb skyscrapers (illegally) with no tethers. Gives me the shivers.

"There is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we’re brave enough to be it." ~ Amanda Gorman

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