Being back in the good ‘ole USA feels like such an indulgence in so many ways. For example, have you ever noticed how many frozen waffle choices we have in this country? I counted nearly 20 in my local market. Anyway, one indulgence that I’ve been partaking in is streaming Netflix to TV. It’s pretty amazing. Especially if you like documentaries. And I do.
Into the Deep, originally aired on PBS, traces “the history of the American whaling industry from its 17th-century origins in drift and shore whaling off the coast of New England and Cape Cod, through the golden age of deep ocean whaling, and on to its demise in the decades following the American Civil War.”
“For hundreds of years, the whaling industry was intricately bound up with American commerce and culture with the process and products of whaling, including shipbuilding, sailmaking, coopering, backsmithing, rope making, underwriting, and the manufacture of lamp oil, industrial lubricants, candles, corsets, and perfumes. At the industry’s peak from the mid-18th to the mid-19th centuries, American whale oil helped light the world, illuminating, powering and lubricating the first phases of the industrial revolution.”
It is more than a little dry at times, but, most interestingly, it makes the case for whaling as an imperative element in establishing the world dominating USA that we all know and love. Who knew what a massive role whales and whaling had in developing this country?
Who knew that this country was built on oppression, cruelty, and slaughter? Hmm. Familiar story, different species.