Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Moby Dick

“for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men ”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I recently finished this amazing book.  I began it at Cornucopia Festival,  since there is the skeleton of a whale at Burton Constable Hall which was washed up on the shore near there in the nineteenth century.   Melville refers to this whale specifically in his book.
Melville's epic shows us the insignificance of humans on the face of the oceans - but also the havoc men wreak in their manic pursuit of 'wealth' and status.  We lusted after the oils of whales, stripping these noble beasts of their lives in order to 'keep the lights on' -  and to get rich - and because we have a strong impulse for excitement,  'adventure' - and revenge.
And we are now continuing this madness - but with vastly improved technology which makes us far more effective in our folly: endlessly drilling,  poisoning, destroying and fighting over our small planet to extract  and exploit the riches on and beneath its surface. 
 Now, however, we do not have the excuse of  ignorance.  We know now that there are choices to be made.  Will we make those choices in time - or will we continue with our insane hunt  - to the bitter end - to our own destruction?