Saturday, April 28, 2012

Whale Song

Anti-whaling action vs Viking Metal.
It's the latest (and somewhat quirky) battle for Sea Shepherd. Following the success of its Animal Planet TV show Whale Wars, it's on-screen attention is now on the Faroe Islands.
Whale Wars: Viking Shores now showing on US tv was filmed during SS's visit to the "ferocious isles" last year. The Faroese are defending their traditional whale hunts in unique fashion: after the 2nd episode Fri.May 4th., Paul Watson has an online debate with Heri Joensen, lead singer of the FI folk-metal band Týr. The live-streamed face-off on video conference platform Watchitoo will air on Animal Planet's website and Facebook 10pm ET.
Joensen: "Týr's musical mission is to break down the walls that are erected between all the kinds of metal that have arisen over the years. Walls do nothing but fill people with prejudice." Quite!
This defender of Faroese customs has written an anti-SS song called Rainbow Warrior (which includes the lyric: "May your ship sink"). But Rainbow Warrior is a Greenpeace vessel - opps!
As you're aware (from previous posts) the traditional pilot whale hunts (grindadraps) are not pretty, and the show pulls no punches. But instead of its aggressive Sthrn.Ocean tactics, SS went ashore, stayed at local hotels, mixed with local people and announced a willingness to debate anyone, talk to any media, and stop any hunt. Result? A small amount of dialogue, but also no whales killed in the two months they were there.
Watson: "The FI reasoning was rather funny. They said, if we don't kill any whales, then you won't have a TV show. They forgot our show's about not killing whales. So we were quite happy with that." He believes a lot of young Faroese don't want the grinds: "We actually have a segment of the Faroese population now opposed to it. Also, older people, especially mothers, are concerned because of the high mercury content of the whales. It's recommended people eat it only once a month, and pregnant women and children not at all. But with the more traditional conservatives, it's like denying global warming. That's why the Faroese have the highest rate of mercury poisoning of any people on the planet." So Animal Planet has organised a debate (here's the promo): not with someone from the govt., a scientist, or even one of their grindmasters, "but it ends up I'm debating the lead singer of a Nordic heavy metal band. So if that's the best they can find to defend what they're doing, it should be interesting."
Last year's visit also created greater awareness in Denmark and the Faroes of the global position on the hunts. This coming northern summer, SS will have a land-based presence there led by SS Denmark, so it'll be Danes and Faroese themselves opposing the grind. Rock on.


bd said...

Just a quick noe..Yes. Paul Watson tried to set up a public meeting, and as seen on the series, people there have no trouble talking openly about what they are doing up there. What the episode does not show is that Paul Watson a few days earlier in he media compared the Faroese whaling with the mass murder in Utoya and the Faroese people with Anders Breivik a few days before the meeting. And after that no one "obviosly" wanted to part of his public meeting. just for your information

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Yes, that wasn't exactly the most TACTFUL thing Paul Watson's ever said, was it!!!
It's easy to get carried away with rhetoric when one is extremely empassioned about a subject. But one always has to put brain in gear before opening mouth.

Löst Jimmy said...

Any idea when the debate will be aired?
I understand that the series on Animal Planet has already kicked off Stateside?

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

Hi, Löst Jimmy:
The debate follows the 2nd.episode in USA, Fri.May 4th (10pm ET). Here is the promo for it...[ ]

Meantime, you can see Sea Shepherd crewmembers Peter Hammarstedt and Fraser Hall on 'CNN Starting Point' discussing Operation Ferocious Isles, Sea Shepherd’s Faeroe Islands campaign...
[ ]

Löst Jimmy said...

Thanks for that info, much appreciated.