Dick Watching: The Dart

Image: Jackson Pollock, “Blue (Moby Dick)”, c. 1943.

Ahoy Dick Lovers and Dick Watchers. It’s everyone’s favorite time of the week. It’s Friday. It’s also Dick Watching Day, so shall we go Dick Watching? Huzzah! All a-board, please!

Here’s a spicy meatball for you: Japanese schools are feeding children whale meat. Blech. But here’s the interesting part of the article, for your pleasure: “The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society reports that whaling is not as much of a tradition in Japan as many people believe, with less than one per cent of the population participating in whaling as consumers until 1908.

“The modern day pelagic whaling fleet of Japan is actually the creation of the United States,” says society president Paul Watson. “In 1946, General Douglas MacArthur proposed the creation of a Japanese whaling fleet to secure protein for the conquered Japanese people. He did so in order to cut down on the United States’ costs of transporting food to post war Japan.

“It was on August 6th, 1946 that MacArthur signed the directive authorizing two factory ships and twelve catcher boats to begin whaling in the Antarctic for the 1946-47 season.“The deal was that Japan would get the meat and the oil would be turned over to the United States.”

A question for you: How do you free a whale that’s tangled in fishing line? Just get it to chill out, dude. Seriously, have it chill out. Give it some sedatives, via dart. That’s what some researchers are doing, and it appears to be working. Entanglement is super dangerous for our whale friends—it causes slow and painful deaths. But! Now scientists are shooting these poor guys with darts full of calm-down drugs to get them to stop struggling, and things are really looking up! Just check out this incredibly lengthy article on the topic and see for yourself!

You guys, I know, that’s a lot of reading. Why don’t you take a break and rest that enormous brain of yours and watch a few of The Guardian’s Dan Worth’s favorite whale-related cinema clips? C’mon. He’s prepared them just for us. It’ll be fun!

Oh man, this doesn’t appear to be a joke: Ethan Hawke plays Ishmael in Moby Dick: the Mini-series. Watch this trailer, I can’t explain in words how stupid this looks. But a bunch of these actors have won Oscars. But also: Gillian Anderson. (Yes, I know you love the X-Files. But Moby Dick doesn’t have any leading ladies, remember? Also: her acting skills are atrocious). Sorry.