Saturday, August 06, 2011

Bullet with butterfly wings

Whale Wars is wrapping up its fourth season. I’ve blogged about it before:

Now for a few random observations:

i) For a Far Left organization, the command structure of the crew is amusingly chauvinistic. Men hold the upper ranks in the faux navy. And it’s the men who see most of the action.

For the most part, the viewer is shown reaction shots of women looking tearful, aghast, or perplexed.

So what exactly are the women there for? What’s their contribution of the onboard mission?

If I were cynical, I’d suspect they are there to supply a floating bordello for the male members of the crew–who are away from wives or girlfriends during their lengthy excursions to the Antarctic. But I’m far too idealistic to offer such a jaded explanation.

ii) Most of the time there’s not much going on. So the show has to pad out each episode. This often involves a behind-the-scenes explanation of their sneaky tactics and strategy in attempting to outfox the Japanese whaling fleet.

But isn’t that counterproductive? The Japanese aren’t stupid. They watch the show, too. That simply forearms the Japanese whalers to take countermeasures when the next whaling season comes around.

iii) Paul Watson has cast himself in the role of the noble, indefatigable environmentalist and animal-rights activist. However, another interpretation suggests itself. He’s 60 years old. That means he came of age during the Sixties counterculture.

For many radicals, that was the highpoint of their life. It was all down hill after that. The rest of their life was an anticlimax.

So what do you do for a second act? Well, what about becoming an ecoterrorist?

iv) One of the crewmen (Vincent Burke) is a very heavyset. One wonders how he got so corpulent on a vegan diet.

v) As an interesting sidelight, Whale Wars illustrates relativity of reference frames.

Occasionally one of the Japanese vessels collides with one of the Sea Shepherd vessels, or vice versa. Shipboard cameras on the Sea Shepherd vessel show the Japanese vessel apparently swerving to ram the Sea Shepherd vessel while shipboard cameras on the Japanese vessel show the Sea Shepherd vessel apparently swerving to cut off the Japanese vessel. A game of chicken on both sides.

Fact is, with two boats in motion on the open sea, there's no way of telling which one changed course in relation to the other, since there's no fixed point of reference. From one angle, it looks like one did it–from another angle, it looks like the other did it. 

1 comment:

  1. "So what do you do for a second act? Well, what about becoming an ecoterrorist?"
    i am glad my drink wasnt in my hand when i read that or it would have been all over the computer screen. I love your observations.