Monday, June 1, 2009

Whale Wars

If your life has been boring and glum since Jack Bauer went into a coma, fear no more. You can get the same tension and stiff neck you treasure from watching 24, from watching "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet. The difference is that you can watch "Whale Wars" with your ten-year-old. It will make for spirited discussions, and might turn him into an Eco-Terrorist, so be forewarned.

As we were watching the first and second episode, and I was trying to explain the wisdom of doing things the legal way, the democratic way, and the way of least resistance - more like Greenpeace, - or Jesus and Buddha for that matter - the response I got was: "Legal or not, Mom, the other guys are KILLING innocent whales!"

It didn't help that Paul Watson had just explained that if you see someone kicking a puppy in the face, you don't just take pictures, report and wait for lawyers to deal with things, you save the puppy and deal with the attacker." Jack Bauer would be proud. But what would Jesus, and what would Obama do? As the Imam on 24 said to calm Jack: "We live in complicated times."

What Paul Watson and his team do is not - at least in episode one and two - life threatening to the whalers, and far from Jack Bauer's methods. They throw stink bombs the way we did in Middle School, jam the whaling ships' props, and do anything else annoying - and expensive to the whaling boats they can think of - to interfere with the bloody killing of the whales. It is often life threatening to his own crew, as they fight their lonely - and arguably - legal battles in the Southern Ocean - the toughest place for sailing on earth. It is almost always life saving (or at least buying a few more hours on earth) for the whales, though.

This makes for easy math for a ten-year-old.

Is Paul Watson a brave and compassionate hero, is he stupid, counter-productive, self-righteous, helping, or hurting the cause, or all of the above? That's for people who are over ten to decide.

The rest of us...are cheering for the whales.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds are heroes - bless them and their efforts.