Bigfoot is big in popular culture today – many things to many people

LA Times has an interesting round up of Bigfoot in pop culture today:

Bigfoot? He’s not so elusive

“We all want to believe that there are still monsters lurking in the secret corners of the planet, and that’s the allure of Bigfoot,” said Marjorie Kaplan, president of Animal Planet, home to the hit series “Finding Bigfoot.

The series, which attracted 1.6 million viewers for its second season premiere, will launch its third season this summer. “If anybody’s going to find him, it’s going to be us,” Kaplan declared, adding with a laugh, “hopefully after 100 episodes.”

Source: LA Times

Marjorie: Does that mean if you DON’T find him, he doesn’t exist? No. But it’s a silly thing to say considering the Finding Bigfoot show is a group of self-styled experts in something never shown to exists, dragging a film crew through remote areas like suburban New York. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of this show that tries to pass off contrived situations as “scientific”. But, I digress to more important parts of the article…

The piece highlights the growing popularity of the big guy, as we noted here on Doubtful News in many pieces. A new crop of documentaries and movies are on the way.

Dr. Meldrum notes:

“There’s been a real upswing in scholarly interest along with this huge undercurrent of popularity among the general public,” said Jeff Meldrum, the Idaho State anatomy and anthropology professor and primates expert who wrote “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” as a companion to a Discovery Channel special of the same name. “There’s something about the human psyche that really connects with this icon.”

Every time Bigfoot or Yeti makes the news, the public goes searching online, finding amateur Bigfoot groups, blogs and forums to share their views.

Finding Bigfoot member Cliff Barackman said, “Our show reinforces the fact that we’re looking for a species, not an individual, and that we’re trying to help people understand what a Bigfoot might actually be.”

I don’t agree. They have come into the project with a preconceived notion of what it is – a legendary but genuine man-like beast with paranormal smarts that seems to give away its location but always remains juuuuuust out of reach of the seeker’s grasp. They push this view that is likely NOT the best one. More realisticly, Bigfoot is many things – a catch-all for things real and imagined. Finding Bigfoot fails to show the complexity of the idea of Bigfoot (relegating it to a “Squatch”) but this current wave of cryptozoology in pop culture does express the range of ways we view and use this legend.