Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Patriotic Reflections Upon Marine Mammal Protection Act Anniversary Day

Today is the 36th anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, a piece of landmark environmental legislation of the kind we don't see 'round these parts very often. Without it, it might well have been impossible to take this snapshot of humpback whales off the waters of Boston earlier this year, and clubbing seal pups would be as quick and easy as getting a gaming license, some baseball bats, and a few 40-ouncers. Sweet freeeeedom!

Who knows? Without this Nixon-era legislation, the movie Orca would still have been boundlessly terrifying, and it still might have played on continuous loop on HBO circa 1982 -- when some of us in at least one corner of small-town America, the real America, the pro-America America, thank you very damn much, didn't yet know that cable wouldn't always be quite this terrible in quite this way -- but it can't have established precisely the same tone or thematic resonance. Orca insinuates itself into lifelong nightmares by literary inversions on Moby Dick worthy of Yakov Smirnoff: In Orca, insane black whale hunt you!

Yes, Bo Derek clings, but don't dare say she's bitter.

Boston? Get a rope.

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