The opening shot sweeps across the top of Iguazú Falls. Rather than shooting from scratch, the network opts to spare the helicopter and use b-roll from previous endeavors. They color-correct it an unnatural marine that looks like freshman mixed-media born from Crayola and overpriced acid.
As it dubs in, longtime viewers notice gravel in your voice which is not gravel at all, but the beginnings of bronchitis. Years of American cigarettes smoked across the atlas you dot on TV take their toll over time. Like whiskey and gin, they join the tally of pleasures accrued in your body of work and that fleshier pink one hurt day after day. But what more perceptive viewers note in your voice is not age or infirmity; it’s sadness. The cataracts divide what could be the confluence of two great cultures, Brazilian and Argentine, two that respect the cattle you’ll stuff your face with in later scenes as ambient noise heightens and colors warm up. Yes, both countries carry the marks of a colony: Argentina’s colonizers drove indigenes out or killed them in battle, while in Brazil, many bloods mixed to battle their own. Instead of conjoining, the river between the two dissects.
Mythologists know the falls came to be when a boy named Tarobá tried to save a girl named Naipí who was slated for sacrifice to the serpent-god Mboi. Your voice presides over the same place that Mboi twisted through earth to destroy them. He turned what was only river into waterfall, subdividing person from person, culture from culture, and language from language like The Tower of Babel. You imagine the rupture as you announce the majesty on screen. But don’t forget: Naipí was turned into one of the rocks at the bottom, Tarobá is a tree on the cliff, and Mboi tucked himself into a cave just between them, awaiting a time when waters might rise and give love second chance. Epochs after their last journey at Iguazú and days after yours, it hits you back in a booth while you record in New York and deep down you know: No modern destruction will match Iguazú’s, destroying few while dividing much.