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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Allure of "Deadliest Catch"

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Allure of "Deadliest Catch"


[Sorry, no politics today]

I'll be the first to admit: Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" has me hooked.

It involves the allure of the Individual Man's Freedom.

Man Against Rogue Nature.

And freedom that, we all know, is diminished by society, purposely, year by year by year.

Women are drawn to the show because they enjoy the rogue-ish, buccaneer-like, independent Bad Boy fantasy visages of not only the Captains of the various boats (employing the power fantasy) but the crew members as well for their sense of self, centrism of purpose, simplicity and vulnerability.

Men are drawn to the show because they too enjoy their fantasies of power, independence, freedom, centrism of task, challenge, domination, strength.

They, we all, vicariously live the life of crab fishermen and their Captains over and above our 9-to-5 office jobs.

You can't get any better, any more vicarious than that.


  • We all know that Sig Hansen (Northwestern) has his own boat which has been in the family, pushes his crew constantly (he is one of 2 official "consultants" for the show);
  • We all know that Keith Colburn (Wizard) has his own rituals and can be a militaristic jerk;
  • We all know that Jonathan Hillstrand (Time Bandit) is the gravel-voiced, goateed Biker Dude Bad Boy who'd rather drink over a burn barrel, and that his brother Andy is the otra-captain who takes charge during Opilio season;
  • We all know that Larry Hendrick (Sea Star) is the heftier blonde captain and famous for his Hawaiian shirts.
  • We all know that Phil Harris's (Cornelia Marie) diet consists of cigarettes, Red Bull, cigarettes and more cigarettes.

Yes, we look upon these guys as the last of the veritable American Cowboys, men who can make $48,000 or more in a month or less.

What we don't see is:

The brain-glazing, back-breaking work, under the most horrible of numbing, freezing conditions. Taking place on a rocking vessel in massive seas, against the threat of rollover and capsizing.

Yes, massive amounts of money made -- but also massive amounts of money spent. For the Captains or boat owners it's nothing to spend $50,000 for a tune-up. $100,000+ for new engines. $250,000+ for a refit. Money comes in but, trust me, money goes out. Crab boats are holes in the water into which you throw copious amounts of cash. Then their are the permits. The licenses. The registrations. The inspections. Seasonal licenses are thousands of dollars.

There is also the time factor. The scheduling. The press and stress of finding the crab, laying down everything you've got and pulling up the most in the least amount of time; a season could be a few days long, a couple weeks at most. And then the forced return so you don't miss your slot at the crab processor.

And finally, the killing fatigue. Yes, those men are amped as much as possible on cigarettes, Red Bull, coffee, caffeine. But you can bet -- and of this you never hear or read -- I'd wager prodigious amounts of methamphetamine as well.

Still and all, I must admit, Deadliest Catch has me hooked.


BZ

6 Comments:

Blogger Bushwack said...

Well I watch that show every chance I get, and I record it when I can't.

My favorite boat is the Time Bandit, the smaller boat in the ones they show regular and continuously in the top. Those guys enjoy what they do, they are truly gritty and take no shit kind of guys. Reminds of some folks I know.

I also like the story lines they have developed, the kids, the greenhorns and the washouts.

One of the things we don't see is the hard work prior to crab season, the pot rigging and maintenance. Most of those boats are not only crab boats they travel all over fishing for whatever is in season.

Ever since I have been watching this series I have always said had I known about this when I was younger I would have gave it a shot. I did gas line, I did oil rigs, I hung steel...so working with my hands and sweat of my brow is not foreign to me. But the gray hair now tells me no more. LOL

Mon Jun 16, 03:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

Fun show to watch but I think I'll pass on actually doing it, at least I'll pass on doing it more than once.

Mon Jun 16, 05:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

These real reality shows beat the hell out of the fake reality shows like survivor, where a bunch of spoiled ass brat kids go to some tropical island to "survive" the catfights and backstabbings.

Mon Jun 16, 06:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Bush, Shop & Mark: and unfortunately, in my opinion, this country is regulating and killing those would-be persons known as "risk takers." Without Risk Takers there would have been no United States.

BZ

Mon Jun 16, 07:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Sig Hanson - year in, year out he gets what he came after... some years its great and the catches good, others its 'grinding' through the mediocre ones. And remember Sig is an outgoing Norweigan... a couple of generations down from the taciturn 'old school'.

Amazing show... especially the year of a ship lost in the first days of the season, that was a tough show and season.

Its a great program, like Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel or Dirty Jobs on Discovery... We never appreciate the extremely hard, nasty, awful work that is done to keep us all going. Jobs Americans can and will do as I have yet to see an illegal on any of the programs. Time to sit some Senators down to watch some TV.

Tue Jun 17, 05:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Oh man, AJ, you have SO "hit" UPON it!

BZ

Tue Jun 17, 07:22:00 PM PDT  

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