Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whale Wars

In the absence of LOST, 24, Fringe, The Office, and so many others, Eric and I have found a new favorite show, Whale Wars on Animal Planet. It started in November, but they have been replaying episodes. We're hooked.

It's a documentary series about members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society . The Sea Shepherds were founded by Paul Watson, an activist who was kicked out of Greenpeace for being too hardcore. Yep. Too hardcore for Greenpeace. The series follows the group as they sail around the Antarctic trying to intercept Japanese whaling ships - according to the Sea Shepherds, the whaling ships claim to be conducting research, but they are actually hunting for whales in order to sell the meat, which is extremely valuable in the Japanese market. So they use nonviolent but confrontational tactics to stop them - they throw butyric acid stink bombs (which taint the whale meat and make the deck of the ship slippery and just generally stinky), interfere with nets, and on one occasion, they even ram the ship.

All of these people are quite possibly clinically insane. They're sailing through a minefield of icebergs on a ship that's not designed to handle ice, they head into open waters in tiny little zodiacs in the middle of storms, they stand in plain sight when the whalers ships threaten to retaliate with gunfire...all in the name of saving whales. Whether or not you agree with their mission, their bravery and determination are astonishing. That's great TV.


  1. Anonymous12:34 AM

    It is a great show, though they are hardly insane. Their risk their lives to save lives. Nobody would say a fire fighter is insane for rushing into a burning building. Nobody would say a freedom fighter is insane for retaliating against foreign occupiers.

  2. Anonymous, Actually I would say those other heroes are kind of insane too. (You realize I'm using the term in a tongue-in-cheek way though, right?) It takes a certain kind of madness to be willing to die for a cause. It's not something you see every day in our individualistic culture. That's what I mean by insanity - no disrespect intended, just admiration and wonder.

  3. Wow. I've heard of that show, but I've never seen it. Sounds good! I used to be that crazy for animals when I was younger. Now I'm just crazy for a good mattress and pillow. Pathetic.


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