Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Whale Of An Oversight?

At Christmas-time, while perusing books in an end-of-line discount bin, I saw anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune's 2010 book Whale Warrior.
Sad to see it slashed in price just to rid it from shop shelves, but such is the way of all mortal flesh and paperbacks...
It told of Bethune's actions and antics in the Southern Ocean with Sea Shepherd, the ramming of Ady Gil and subsequent boarding of the whaler by Bethune, his arrest, trial, 5mths' solitary in maximum security prison...
There's also the "interesting" variation of the truth, when describing what REALLY happened with the sinking of Ady Gil. This has since all come out in the press, on his Facebook page and in various slagging-off sessions between himself and SS's Paul Watson...in his book, Bethune writes Watson is "one of the century's great leaders" and a "visionary". But on Facebook you'll find the author's true feelings: that he feels Watson is "dishonest" and "morally bankrupt". Meanwhile...
Jump to the website of Bethune's organisation Earthrace Conservation, and what do we find? A novel-like narrative of a discussion between himself and a mysterious man named only as 'Andrew', who is intent on buying the movie rights to Bethune's book! Bethune tells the guy that his tale was already covered in Whale Wars Season 3, so there's probably no point in retelling the same story. But...
'Andrew leans forward. "Look Pete, I’m not here to fuck around. I think there is a movie in it. I think it will help the anti-whaling cause. And I want to know if you will sell me the rights." There is a harsh Aussie twang in his accent - like he went to a rough school in the outback somewhere. I consider the large man in front of me that I know so little about. There is a certain brashness and confidence about him. He seems to dominate the room. Maybe there is more to this guy - although he hardly seems like a Hollywood mogul - a rough and ready Australian trying to make it in the movie business perhaps?' etc etc etc
To cut a long story short, Bethune needs $70,000 to fund a campaign in Africa, so he sells his book's movie rights to this mystery man. For $70,000. That's it: $70K!
'Two days later, $70,000 turned up in our account. To be continued...'
Hmmm, makes a good read, 'cept for two wee flies in the ointment that I can see.
(1) Bethune's kissed away any future earnings from a Whale Warrior movie, merchandising, residuals... for just $70,000. Like so many of his past actions, Pete has shown how impetuous and reckless he can be, without considering all the possibilities.
(2) The title Whale Warrior has already been used for a 2010 movie about Pete's one-time buddy, Sea Shepherd's "dishonest" and "morally bankrupt" Paul Watson! Duuuhhh!!!
Like Pete says: 'To be continued...'

1 comment:

Sandy, Coromandel said...

How shortsighted to have have thrown away the possibility of future fundraising for such a pittance! Silly Peter strikes again.