YouTube – Swiss Made
Filed under: maritime, Moby-Monday, storytelling | Tags: D. Graham Burnett, Dickmas, Herman Melville, Meg Guroff, Moby-Dick, Patrick Shea
Break out the dromedary meat and flip—Dickmas-time is here again! This Saturday, August 1, would have been Herman Melville’s 190th birthday, and ’tis the season to exchange Moby-Dick-themed gifts and re-create the gam feast (basically, a floating party) described in the book’s Chapter 101. The feast features not only “beef” of questionable origin and the alcoholic brew called flip, but “indestructible” dumplings and bread containing “fresh fare”—that is to say, bugs. Yum!
But if you fancy yourself a more modern fan, or simply can’t get your hands on (or your mind around) the gam feast food, there are plenty of other ways to mark the occasion.
D. Graham Burnett, author of Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature, delivers the Melville Society Cultural Project’s Melville Birthday Lecture at the New Bedford Whaling Museum at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30.
At Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, a Moby-Dick reading marathon aboard the Charles W. Morgan—the world’s last surviving wooden whaleship—kicks off Sea Story Weekend at noon on Friday, July 31. A highlight comes at noon on Saturday, August 1, when singer-songwriter Patrick Shea performs tunes from his song-a-chapter project, Call Me Ishmael.
In Staten Island, the community performance group Staten Island OutLOUD will hold an outdoor reading from Moby-Dick at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. The event includes music from the Staten Island Philharmonic Orchestra.
And Arrowhead, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, house where Melville wrote Moby-Dick, is hosting a Melville’s birthday ice cream social featuring live music and antique croquet from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 1. (If you go to this one, ask Arrowhead why their website’s cobwebby “Other Melville Resources” page doesn’t link to Power Moby-Dick.)
If you’re hosting a Dickmas event you’d like to publicize—or you’d just like to share your own Melville’s-birthday traditions—tell us about it in the comments. Here’s to a splendiferous Dickmas!
Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.
Filed under: Experience, life, maritime, Oceans | Tags: Kuroshio Sea Aquarium
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Bill Harbach, a close friend of Walter Cronkite, reads from John Masefield’s "Sea Fever" at Cronkite’s funeral.
YouTube – Harbach Reads ‘Sea Fever’
Filed under: maritime, Moby-Monday, new media | Tags: Call Me Ishmael, Dickmas, Meg Guroff, Patrick Shea
While you were doing whatever the heck you’ve been doing the past 10 months—working? watching pug videos on YouTube? who can remember?—Brooklyn sixth-grade teacher Patrick Shea has been cranking out whaling tunes. Specifically, he has been writing one song per week, each based on a chapter of Moby-Dick.
Shea—who is also the frontman for the pop band The New Fantastics—posts these songs to his blog, Call Me Ishmael. Last week he announced that the first 19 of them were available as a digital download. For just $5, you get the close vocal harmonies of “The Specksynder”; the counterintuitively danceable “The Lee Shore”; “The Counterpane” waltz; and many more. The perfect(ly affordable) gift for the music fan on your Dickmas* list!
Shea says he came up with the idea for the blog last summer, when his two vacation goals of reading Moby-Dick and writing one song per day eventually combined. He has posted 39 songs so far, which means that he ought to be done with the book’s 135 chapters (plus epilogue) in another couple of years. About the same amount of time, total, as your average 19th-century whaling expedition.
*August 1, Herman Melville’s birthday
Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.
One of the highlights of my career as executive director of the American Sail Training Association was sailing on the Schooner Adirondack in NY Harbor for several hours with Walter Cronkite, his girlfriend, Rick Scarano and the crew. It was a real thrill to spend time with an American icon and passionate sailor. I love this photo that I took of him at the helm in his USCGC EAGLE hat. He truly loved sailing and the sea. It was an honor and privilege to sail with him.
Here’s a link to my original post on the ASTA blog. (Sailing with an American Icon)
Filed under: FotoFriday, photography | Tags: Flickr.com, FotoFriday, photography
Sorry for the lack of posts but we’ve been away for our summer holiday in England.
Here’s a FotoFriday that should whet your appetite for some summer fun in the surf. The Flickr blog had a post today about the Waterhousing Photography Group. The above photo by Anthony Bevilaqua is just one of many, many amazing shots taken by photographer in or under the water. Check it out!
You may think you don’t know anyone who needs a Moby Dick hat. But have you seen this Moby Dick hat? Hand crocheted by a teen crafter who sells her wares under the name WhatsEatinYou, the cap comes pre-harpooned for the wearer’s safety and convenience. I found it on Etsy.com, the online handcrafts superstore, a location packed with potential for Dickmas—the traditional Herman Melville’s birthday celebration on August 1—in case you aren’t yet finished with your shopping for this year.
Sadly, someone snapped up this cruelty-free “feltidermy” Moby Dick trophy head almost as soon as it was posted on Etsy by crafter girlsavage last week. But there are lots of other options. Who could resist a Moby-Dick GYOTAKU, a fish printed onto a page of everyone’s favorite metaphysical novel by artist Barry Singer? Or a stunning map of the voyage of the Pequod by printmaker Kathleen Piercefield—whose own website, by the way, offers a slew of other Moby Dick prints, including the haunting Pip: Alone. Have a look around; you might find the perfect item for your own Dickmas list.
Some commentators rue how commercialized Herman Melville’s birthday has become, but I personally prefer the gift exchange to earlier forms of observance, including the ritual donning of the cassock.
There are only four more days of voting left in the Guardian (UK) poll that pits Moby Dick (an asskicking sea monster) against Black Beauty (a talking horse). While the whale did pull ahead last month after we first mentioned the poll on Sea-Fever, he is currently once again losing to the horse by a hair—and whales don’t even have hair.
If you didn’t vote before, won’t you take a minute to put our boy over the top in this thing? Hint: your friends can vote, too.
Margaret Guroff is the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.