Sunday, January 22, 2006


Could We Tone Down The Whaling?

It would be hard, I should think, to find a better example of what is wrong with the urbanites of today than the 'whale in the Thames' story. To read the fucking thing's obituary in the Observer, one might be tempted to conclude that far from being a just a whale, it was actually some kind of great spiritual and political leader, and that without its presence, London just sank into darkness.

The truth is, it is just an animal that made a mistake in its directions. We should feel just about as sorry for it as we feel sorry for a hedgehog run over by a lorry - brief feeling of pity, then move on.

Instead, it seems to have become a chance for people to find a purpose in their own life. The whale arrived on Friday morning - it spent two days banging helplessly into boats and bridges, and then it beached itself. At this point, every know-it-all fuckwit in the whole south-east, and probably from further besides, sprinted to the whale, "its would-be rescuers, up to their necks at times in the Thames, attempting to pat, push, calm, to somehow convey the feeling that there was goodwill from man, while that great tail began to flap so frantically." Now, I'm no expert, but I do know that whales breathe through their skin, so I should think this went a good distance towards suffocating the bloody thing.

If the people on the bankside really wanted to show goodwill, then they could have done the decent thing and shown a much less prurient interest in its death throes.

The writer of the Observer article, Euan Ferguson, ends it with possibly the most bathetic few lines it has ever been my displeasure to read in a national newspaper:

"In the last day or so lovers will have been taken, jobs will have been won and lost, novels begun, tears shed at funerals, new life conceived and, when asked can you remember when that happened, we can answer: I remember it well, because it was that day. The day a whale sailed through the middle of London; and the people of the city, rather than trying to hack it to death, came in their thousands and lifted it and tried their hardest to sail it back."

Oh dear lord. Give it a break! I'm sorry, but do any of those things need an identifying date? 'Yes, I know I buried Mom in January, but I can't for the life of me remember when - oh yes, it was the Day Of The Whale.' I'm sorry, but at the end of the day, it is just a whale. There are approximately 99,999 others who are living perfectly normal lives in the habitat they are designed to reside in.

Oh, and now it's dead, can we hack it up and sell the oil to the Japanese please?

Stiff Willy.

Isn't the lesson we should all learn from this: my God, we're all so fucking useless we couldn't even transport a whale back to the ocean before it died?

Or maybe: results are less important than the misplaced sense achievement?

Or: what can we do to forget the thousands of people that die avoidable deaths all around the globe? Oh look, a fucking beached whale!

Once again, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
I'm particularly drawn to the second of those. It means the people involved can mourn and then say to themselves 'better luck next time', without having to ask themselves exactly what they were doing there.
Did they try poking it with a big stick?
Ha! It's true, the best things in life really are free!
The obituary is a bit much, I have to say. Shame it died and all that, but in most cases of Whales running aground or finding themselves trapped, the outcome is generally death. Theres not much you can do but attempt to help the animal and ACCEPT the probable outcome. Also, it isn't some quasi-religious experience, just something whales have been doing for millions of years.
i'm not surprised it died given it was in the river thames.
If the people on the bankside really wanted to show goodwill, then they could have done the decent thing and shown a much less prurient interest in its death throes.

Yes, it's like the thing that makes some people slow down when they're driving past car crashes. My first experience wiht this sort of thing was at school, when I saw with what a little disgust how my school mates would all bunch around two people who were fighting, but wouldn't actually do anything to stop it.
TimT: fights kick ass , you hippy.
It's no coincidence that the first three letters of Tim are also the first three letters of timid, tie-dyed t-shirt, hippy sandal wearing, muesli eating, rent-a-boy bumming Liberal Democrat.
I only say these things because I care, Felix. Haven't you ever been touched by a little compassion? Think of the children, Felix! Think of the children! *weeps*
lol. there was a loud bawling one in t'supermarket today and my heart melted. you've won me over. even though it was loud it was so cute to see it being doted on.
A quick and painless end would've been a better way to celebrate its obvious stupidity.
Not having a TV *weeps* and being to lazy to read anything but Heat and G2 I had no idea that anything was going on.

Which day was the day of the whale then? I had better write it down on the calendar.

It arrived Friday, thrashed about Saturday, died Sunday.

Tim - fair point actually. I'm hardly in a position to lecture on prurience when I love porn and horror films . . .
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