Activist in Repose: The Whale Wars, Viking Shores Story

This season Animal Planet’s Whale Wars  takes aim at the natives of the Faroe Islands, a dependency of Denmark located due north of Scotland. In the traditional whale hunts of the islands, known as grinds (pronounced like the first syllable of Beowulf’s monster), dozens of boats are used to herd pilot whales into narrow inlets where they are hooked and dragged to the beach for slaughter by waiting Faroese. This process has been described as “legal” and “for food.” The pilot whales are classified as “not endangered.” Something must be done.

/Cue dramatic drums

DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DUM!

Scene: Aboard the sleek yacht, the Brigitte Bardot, Captain Peter Hammarstedt sits on the bridge surveying the cold Northern waters.

HAMMARSTEDT: We are waiting on the Steve Irwin [their sister ship] to be bonded out of impound in a Scottish harbor. The fund raising is going well and our lawyers say that the paperwork is not too hard to navigate.
In the meantime, we are testing a new ultralight aircraft to compliment our helicopters, fast boats, and jet skis. It seems to be operating well and as soon as we get the necessary permits, they will have no place to hide.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Scene: Hammarstedt is on the bridge of the Brigitte Bardot with a hand full of crew. They are frustrated.

HAMMARSTEDT: We are on our way to port. We have filled out all the necessary forms and had them checked by the chief notary. The harbor master will not respond to our calls. They have no right to keep us out.

WOMAN IDENTIFIED ONLY AS “COOK”: They will stop at nothing to keep us from disrupting their bloodthirsty attacks on whales. It’s barbaric.

Cut to another boat in the harbor. Magnus Magnusson [real name!] is watching the Brigitte Bardot heading to the harbor. 

MAGNUSSON: [into his radio] Brigitte Bardot, this is Magnusson. Do you read? Brigitte Bardot, this is Magnusson. Do you read?
Those idiots are heading strait into the boat race course. I might have to go intercept them.
/revs engine and turns boat toward the Brigitte Bardot.

Hammarstedt with coif au natural

Cut to Hammarstedt. Some time has passed.

HAMMARSTEDT: We are going to wait until after the race to go to harbor.

WOMAN IDENTIFIED ONLY AS “COOK”: It’s barbaric.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Scene: The super secret land van has been covered in photos of whales being slaughtered in the grind. The crew plan on driving the van into the St’ Olaf’s Day festival to show the people who take part in a grind what a grind looks like up close.

T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: We want to raise awareness of what is going on here. Let them know. Confront them with knowledge.

GIRL IN VAN WHO IS NOT T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: It looks like the road is closed. I think we have to park outside of the festival.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Scene: The Steve Irwin, 17 miles out from the Faroe Islands, has just received an anonymous tip that a grind is in progress.

CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON: We just received notice that a grind is in progress. We are too far out to help but hope the Bardot can make it in time. We also have the helicopter and our secret on land spy crew. We can’t let them harm any whales on our watch.

WOMAN IDENTIFIED ONLY AS “ASSISTANT COOK”: It’s barbaric.

Cut to the Bardot.

HAMMARSTEDT: This is what we are here to do. We will show them how once and for all, the Earth will not sit idly by while they destroy these noble creatures.

Cut to the helicopter pilot Chris Aultman.

AULTMAN: Moments like these. You can feel the adrenaline. The rush. You know that they can’t hide.

Cut to a white van speeding down an abandoned seaside road.

T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: We are nearing the site of the grind now.

VAN DRIVER: It should be right up ahead here.

GIRL IN VAN WHO IS NOT T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: I’m going to be sick.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

PAUL WATSON [over the radio]: What do you see?

DA DA DA DA DUM!

T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: Hold on.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

PAUL WATSON [over the radio]: What is happening?

T.V.’S DEB BASSETT: Nothing. False alarm.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Cut to the home of Magnus Magnusson. Inside, his son Hieni Magnusson [real name!] is serving beers while others play music. Magnus serves preserved whale meat with other charcuterie. 

ALL: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!

M. MAGNUSSON: That’s some tasty whale.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Scene: Paul Watson is on the bridge of the Steve Irwin with his crew. A policeman can be seen leaving the boat.

UNKNOWN CREWMAN: We have been informed by our legal team that there may be a warrant out for Paul’s arrest from his activities on these islands in the eighties. They’ve taken all of our passports with them. They will stop at nothing. This could be bad.

UNKNOWN CREWMAN #2: It’s barbaric.

WATSON: I don’t care what they do. It’s not going to stop us from protecting whales. They can bully us with procedure and legal wranglings all they want. They don’t scare me.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

Some time passes. The policeman returns to the Steve Irwin.

POLICEMAN: Okay. Everything checks out. You be safe now.

DA DA DA DA DUM!

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