Friday, January 08, 2010

The wages of sun


Sun descending by Pants

I have the pleasure to have been resident in Larrikin's End now for over a year. (I know I've done nothing but moan about it. Effoff man - it's what I do). I've experienced my delightful fish-dredging hamlet of a home in all seasons now and I must admit nature has plenty to offer a person who is prepared to stare at it endlessly and unconditionally - a talent with which I am uniquely blessed.

When you live in a big grumpy city, you learn not to stare at people's faces for fear of confrontation escalating beyond the capacity of your conflict management training which involved a woman in a turban who probably didn't have cancer but was an empath or, for want of a kinder word, charleton. She made you write and telepathically deliver inappropriately complimentary comments about your reprobate line-manager when you really should have been using that time to compose your supporting statement for his upcoming dismissal hearing. You compensate for your lack of preparedness for facing a psychotic killer on day release from Strangeways where he is serving fourteen consecutive life sentences by finding the backs of your fellow-travellers' heads forensically fascinating and you fantasise about using that uniquely odd double crown or magnificently eccentric flat cap battening device in a short story that you will never write.

I don't know where I was going with that. Call it auto-recall or just maybe taking a thought for a walk. I'm doing a lot of that these days, which I suppose neatly makes the point that I was struggling with. Larrikin's End is an ideal vantage from which to watch the wild world go by. A few months ago I was privileged to witness the Antarctic minke whales playing in our waters before heading off for their summer feeding grounds in the Southern Ocean where every year they risk ending up as sushi. The Japanese continue to claim that they kill whales for
'research'. How's that work exactly? Hai! Ahab-San, harpoon still very effective for killing whale. Now, we get back to fish market double quick Ahab-San.

On Wednesday, a Japanese whaler rammed the protest ship Ady Gil. It hewed her in half and then split, ignoring SOS signals from the endangered crew. It's likely now that Australia will mount a legal challenge to prevent Japan from harvesting whales in these international waters. How successful this effort will be is anyone's guess. I'm constantly astonished that we are still fighting what amounts to an ideological battle over whaling. The Japanese get about a thousand whales a year from the Southern Ocean. Granted, they're big animals, but the net yield can't possibly repay the present capital investment. All the non-edible products we used to get from whales - bones for corsets, fine oils for perfume etc. have cheaper and more ethical substitutes. So what is their agenda?