Friday, February 27, 2009

REPORTER BLOG: Sewers in the Media

by Ed Zelaski

“Oh god, this cannot end well, but it should make for an interesting blog entry." Those were my first thoughts on Monday when I found out that I would be covering a story on the sewers. We had some old video of the sewer facility and the city sewer division building, but it was getting a bit old (by old I mean a week or two). I made a comment about having to “go out and get some fresh sewer video.” After I said that, I sat back and realized what I said. Yeah, I didn’t mean it like it sounded. Anyway, if you didn’t get to see (or well, read) my story on the web, you can check it out here.

Well, now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue with this blog entry. (A quick recap now case you forgot while you were reading my web story). I was very intrigued when I found that I would get to report on the sewers. At first, I was a little grossed out. I mean, they are sewers after all. It is certainly not a topic for the squeamish. Don’t worry though, this blog is not going to get dirty, I promise.

Sewers In The Media
With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s continue. Most of my experiences with sewers have come through the media. One of my favorite clips is from the television show “Monk.” There’s a great scene where he’s in the sewer, and well, I figure I’ll let you watch for yourself. I couldn’t find the clip on YouTube from the actual episode, but it’s in the intro. It’s about 48 seconds into this video, but I suggest you watch it all. You get to hear the music of Randy Newman. What could be worse than that? I couldn't put the video in the blog, but you can watch it here.

What’s Living Down There?
So what else have I learned about the sewers from the media? Well, apparently there are Kung-Fu master rats and mutant turtles that are teenage living in the sewers. I will admit that I was not a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan growing up (I always preferred GI Joe and Beast Wars, if you wondered), but I still enjoyed the show when I watched it.

There was a great Ninja Turtles video game for the old Super Nintendo. I remember playing it at a friend's house when I was younger (I didn’t have a video game console until the PlayStation came out all those years ago). Back on topic, it was a great video game. Somehow Shredder made Manhattan float in the air or something like that. I don’t remember exactly how he did it, but he did. I could never manage to beat the game, though. My friend and I would always make it to the final level (the floating New York City) but would never be able to make it to the boss. What a pity, I know.

Making an Escape… to Victory!

The media have also taught me that the sewers are good for making an escape. I cannot think of how many times I have watched a show where someone made a daring escape underneath a city through the sewers. It seems like that guy on “Cities of the Underworld” on the History Channel is always crawling through some ancient sewer, or another.

My favorite escape moment from the media comes from Sylvester Stallone’s classic 1981 film, “Escape to Victory.” Basically, Sly Stallone is an American POW in World War II. He and his other prisoners form a soccer team to play a German team. It stars some great soccer players like Pele, Osvaldo Ardiles, Bobby Moore, and Kazimierz Deyna. They’re playing the German team and the referee clearly favors the Germans.

At the half, they’re down 4-1. They were originally going to escape at halftime, but decide that they want to win the game. They fight back, and well, I’ll let the video below spoil the ending. A side note now, I do not actually think this movie is a classic. It’s one of those movies that are so bad and corny that it’s hilarious. This movie is also based on a true story. The Hollywood version has a much happier ending than the real life story. You can read a good article about the true story here.

Let’s Wrap It Up
Well, that’s the end of this blog entry. Don’t you fret everyone; I’ll be writing one more before the quarter ends. I’m sure everyone will be waiting on the edge of their seats to read it. I hope you enjoyed reading this one.

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