REVIEWS: Blue Rage

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1997:

Blue Rage
Video by Peter Brown, starring Laird Hamilton, Gerry
Lopez, Craig Kelly, and Captain Paul Watson.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society,
(POB 628, Venice, CA 90294), 1996. 56 minutes.
$28.25 including shipping. Californians add $1.81 sales tax.

“This video answers the
burning question, what do snowboarders,
surfers, and high seas ecological
crusaders have in common?”
says Captain Paul Watson. “We produced
it as educational outreach––a
call to arms to all young people
––especially dudes.”

Right, but if anyone called
Watson to arms, it was The Kindness
Club, to which he belonged as a little
dude. Avid trap-busting followed.
At age 22 he helped form
Greenpeace; at 23 was a volunteer
medic assisting the Native Americans
at the FBI siege of Wounded Knee;
at 25 led confrontations with Russian
whalers off Siberia; and at 28, after
founding the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society, sank his first
whaling ship. Powerful stuff, that
Kindness Club, but in all likelihood
none of the ladies involved in it ever
snow-boarded, surfed, or did anything
else glitzy in their lives. What
they did do, and still do, is gently
affirm children’s innate feeling that
animals are like themselves, extend
that to recognition of animal suffering,
and provide a modest support
network so that children like Watson,
who take a stand, don’t feel completely
weird and alone.
Watson, Blue Rage p r oducer
Peter Brown, a longtime Sea
Shepherd crew member, and star athletes
Laird Hamilton, Gerry Lopez,
and Craig Kelly try to interest young
males with eye-and-ear-candy,
including breathtaking board stunts,
rock-and-roll a cut beyond the moldy
oldies usually associated with surfing,
and footage of the Sea Shepherd
II in action against Japanese driftnetters
in the North Pacific. It’s fun,
it’s trendy, and it should appeal to
the next generation of donors in support
of activism. One may see some
risk, however, in the seeming equation
of expensive fun with direct
action: of the four male role models
here, one saves dolphins while three
get their kicks. If it’s all the same,
instead of getting involved, why not
just go to Santa Cruz or Aspen?
Providing young men with
positive male role models is important,
but no more so than female
influence, especially early.

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