DAILY SHOW: Lewis Black on Glenn Beck’s ‘Nazi Tourettes’. This is the job of the professional agitator and propagandist. The political agitator first appeals to the base feelings of the masses. At this stage the job is simple. The masses feel aggrieved and mildly angry. The agitator names an enemy – the other – and gets the masses angrier. The propagandists complete the circle. They fill in the blanks – some prefer the kind of imagery Lewis Black points out in the video of Beck. History is rewritten – charts, chalkboard, unsupported claims connected by mere repetition. . The aggrieved masses – the victim is innocent, everyone else is the enemy – condense all the varieties of evil down into one simple message, one simple perpetrator. Nazis, Maoist, Stalinist, Victorian furniture and that crusty stuff at the bottom of your fridge all merge seamlessly into progressives, the Untermenschen updated. If only the good and pure could get rid of the “other”. From a Nazi propaganda poster pictured at link,
Caption: “America for the ‘Americans’! The extraordinary increase in the population of Negroes and Jews is causing headaches for the more established Americans.”
For all the antiquarian nostalgia that risks tinting our view of the fishery’s past, Into the Deep never loses sight of the simple fact that whaling was an industry—one of the largest, most profitable, and important businesses of its day, involving tens of thousands of workers at sea and on shore, and millions of dollars in annual investments and returns. It is a refreshingly clear perspective for those of us who may have thumbed quickly past the more technical chapters of Moby-Dick, or who imagine whaling through the narrow lens of those impressive painted and scrimshawed scenes of vicious whales smashing boats and tossing sailors in the air. Men went to sea for any number of reasons—to make a living, to escape the law, to find themselves—but once aboard a whaleship, their job was to supply the rapidly industrializing Western world with oil for its lamps, candles, and machinery, and baleen for its parasol ribs, horsewhips, and corsets.
I appreciate that whaling was not easy and life in the early to mid 1800s was tough for all but a very small percentage of the population. Whaling might not have been the malicious intent to make some whale species – such as the Blue whale, the largest vertebrate to ever exist – almost extinct, but the was the result. Whalers drove themselves out of business. They first started by spotting whales from the shore and rowing out to harpoon them. As whales became more rare they had to have fleet of ships to hunt them. Eventually whale oil became so expensive many people could not afford it – peak whale oil. The whole phenomenon of whaling to be more than subsistence hunting was something of a historical wrong turn. Even in the 13th century the Chinese knew and quickly following – most of Europe, that surface oil coming up from oil aquifers – could be burned for oil. The Spanish discovered surface petroleum in the 16th century in California and made a tar to effect boat repairs.
Are Whales Smarter Than We Are?. They can’t do integral calculus, but then who can. The Minke whale has 13 times the neocortical neurons of the rhesus monkey – a close human relative. They also have more glia cells than any mammal. A high proportion of glial cells is what some researchers believe was part of the explanation for the genius of Einstein.
To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.