Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whale Wars

If you've not heard of this show I urge you to seek it out. It's pretty cool. The 7 part show follows the Sea Sheppard's as they attempt to locate and disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica. In short, the Japanese can hunt down and perform "research" on a limited number of whales every year and then sell off the 'specimens' for a whacking profit. There are laws protecting the whales, but there is a grey area that no country seems willing to deal with. Unlike Greenpeace, the Sea Shepperd's believe in direct action/confrontation. Take a look at this trailer. You have to admit, it looks pretty badass.

But watching this group of seasoned veterans and mostly young volunteers is a little painful. They SO remind me of the kids I met down in New Orleans in the 9th ward. These were people who were driven. They were 100% dedicated. They were willing to risk life and limb for what they believe in. But they are also terribly unprepared for the task. Most of the volunteers have almost no training and as a result their very lives are at serious risk as they ply the Antarctic. Several people are injured as a result of stupid mistakes. Simple safety procedures are not followed resulting in near disaster.

They are also media whores. Which is important because they want to bring attention to their cause. They actually have two people board a Japanese ship, and then tell the press that they have been 'kidnapped'. They throw stink bombs and deploy prop fouler lines. All in the name of their cause. Which they are very dedicated to. They aren't taking pictures or writing letters. They are taking the fight to the enemy. They are brave and they are foolish and I hope they make a difference.

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