Friday, March 20, 2009


  • Yes, it is true that I went to Fairhaven to celebrate the Leaving of the Mayflower, a local annual sign of Spring as the replica leaves its makeup chair to get nudged by tug back to its place on the Plymouth MA waterfront (and open for tours tomorrow). Yes, today is the First Day of Spring. No, I did not shmooze my way aboard Mayflower II this year because, well, I didn't show up on time. The working waterfront remained, however, unimpressed.Plus, it's a tub. And my expertise is Eighteenth Century veseels. Antiques...
  • Although: Not bad for 50.
  • Nary a week goes by in the ol' e-mail inbox that doesn't include some ludicrous take on Moby-Dick. This week is no exception.
  • For me, learning of a "brave new interpretation" just makes me feel as if someone has decided to put all the wet heavy snowdrifts of the past three months into a bag of frigid northerlies and scraped a big fat lead pencil over the Sun and wrote another sure-to-be-heavily-funded-but-not-meant-to-be-consumed children's theater project with it. And then they confused matters even worse by addending it to the usually-held-on-the-last-Friday-of-the-month soiree under the bones in the New Bedford Whaling Museum Cetacean Holocaust Memorial Gallery, to be held inexplicably tonight.
  • From the recent hawker from NBWM:
    Mixed Magic Theatre's Production of Moby-Dick: Then and Now Friday 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 p.m. Museum Theater Tickets: General Admission $15. Students andSeniors with ID $10. Moby-Dick: Then and Now tells two interlocking tales: the quest of Herman Melville's Captain Ahab and his diverse crew to find and kill the white whale that wounded Ahab; and the voyage through the city of a crew of inner-city youth, led by a young girl, to track down and kill WhiteThing - theembodiment of the power of cocaine and the drug culture surrounding it. Ahab and his crew speak the language of Melville's novel, while the urban crew speaks a blend of hip-hop and street slang, carrying the actions and motivations of Melville's dramatic and colorful characters into our modern world. Call (508)997-0046 ext. 100 to reserve tickets.[sic]
  • Will they also spend ten chapters with a raging moralizing interior monologue while the young girl comes to terms with her own toxic megalomania and loss of her soul in a self-serving and devestatingly destructive quest for revenge? Which isn't even a significant part of the story?
  • There. I just did exactly what bothers me about "modern" interpretations. Of anything.
  • Moby-Dick is like that proverbial onion. You can carfefully peel back a layer and reassemble it nearby, but it's just a hollow reminder of the true work. You can spin it to fit any semiotic you choose. Is it a bildungsroman? Is it an allegory? Is it a buddy story? Is it a vengeance tale? Is it a studious piece of historical fiction? Is it humorous? Is it merely tragic? Is it an indictment or a celebration?
  • Yes.
  • But I prefer to think that it is not a hip-hop urban ghetto drug tale where the hero is a disaffected gang leader on a delusional journey after some "White Thing" called cocaine. I'm not sure if I can make it tonight, but if anyone else does, please let me know if they pull it off. Or if it's just high school kids trying to be profound.
  • The Whaling Museum is also sponsoring trips to the Wadsworth Atheneum and the New York Yacht Club, so there's that.
  • We all know that dolphins are way smarter than we. In fact, it might be time to start coming up with something truly unique to amuse our coming alien overlords...


LouCap said...

Seriously, the Dolphin bubbles are quite possible the coolest thing I have ever seen done by a mammal...any mammal.

Karie said...

I agree with Cap'n Lou.

Maybe dolphins should be our overlords.

Not sure what to say about the Moby-Hip-Dick thing. It does seem to be a piece of literary work doomed to be dragged through a bajillion warbrobe changes and upheaved-upchucked ragged retells, which gets tiresome. Couldn't the annual actual "reading" be considered "enough"?

But wait! What if Moby were reinterpreted as a bubble-blowing mammal who wins the heart of the little girl chasing Whitey and then...

Oh, bother.

Anonymous said...

I think they are trying to tell us something with the bubbles... Perhaps "So long, and thanks for all the fish..."

It may be the end of the world as we know it.