Call me Mighty Joe. I’ve been a whaler for sixty-five years, and I’ve worked on more ships than I can count…The Pequod…The Seaweed… The Santa Maria… I forget their names, but the point is, I’ve been doin’ this a long time, and I got the experience and the know-how to take on this Moby Dick thingamajig that everyone’s talkin’ about. My dad was one of the best whalers there was. He said to me: “Son, it’s not about how many times you get knocked overboard. It’s about whether you got what it takes to pull yourself up from the water an’ climb back on deck.” That’s what I’ve been doing for sixty-five years. I have what it takes to get the job done. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. Any half-brained shipmate with one good eye can see that. There are folks around here sayin’ my time has passed or that this whale is somehow special because it’s white. They don’t know squiddly squat. First of all, I’m ahead of my time, not behind it, and, thirdly, a white whale is no different than a black whale or any other color whale. Period. End of story.
Call me a wishful thinker, but I believe that if we dream big and fight hard, we can accomplish anything, whether it’s lowering sea levels or creating a size limit for underwater life forms. But first, we need to face some hard facts: we’ve got a whale of a problem on our hands, and it’s not going to get better unless we dive in and fix it. Look, I know what we’re dealing with—I’ve studied it from head to tail. If we’re going to catch this slippery sea monster, our ship needs big, structural change. That’s why I’ve put forth a master plan to Captain Ahab that covers everything from rebuilding our decks and our masts to reconstructing our hull with Grade A steel so we’re ready to take on any Dick or Harry that tries to rig the seas in its own favor.
Update Jan. 1, 1850: Ahab has asked that I modify the plan to make it less costly and disruptive to his business.
Update Feb. 1, 1850: We’ve decided to maintain the current state of the ship and continue with “whaling as usual.”
Call me a concerned sailor. Right now, our ship is falling behind. In order to catch up with the next generation of super-whales, we need to move forward fast. That means investing in the latest whale-tracking technologies and paying all of our crew members a thousand doubloons per month—free and clear, no strings attached. Together, we can rewrite the rules of the nineteenth century and delete Moby Dick from the ocean.
I ask that you call me by my real name, Tulsi. I am not the “Queen of Whales,” as some of our crew members claim. I am a veteran who has served her ship proudly on numerous overseas expeditions and tours of duty. Having experienced it all firsthand, I know better than anyone the cost of these endless whale hunts, which have yielded nothing but sea salt. It is high time that Captain Ahab brought our brave sailors back to land… Again, I am a real American sailor, not a whale or a mermaid or an asset of a foreign ship.
Call me First Mate Pete. Since I arrived on deck, my goal has been to inspire common sense in wayward seafarers. It’s important that we’re all united in our purpose of defeating the unwholesome whale, Moby Dick. That has to be our number one priority. Survival is second. I hear a few of our shipmates badgering Captain Ahab, asking him if he can provide life rafts to everyone in the event that our ship sustains a fatal blow from the whale. While their hearts are in the right place, I believe their thinking is misguided. Forcing everyone to abandon ship is not what democratic seafaring is about. Our crew members don’t want to be told how to survive. They want choice. That’s why, under my plan—Life Rafts for Those Who Want Them—sailors will have two options: they can either stay aboard the Pequod, which is what they’re familiar with, or they can test their luck on the high seas with an inferior vessel.
Call me whatever name you want. At the end of the day, I am the only sailor who has the guts to fight for real change on this ship. Of course, there is no doubt in my mind that we are dealing with one of the worst whales in the history of the ocean––a pathological leviathan whose goal is to eat us all up––but to be completely honest, I am getting a little tired of hearing only about Moby Dick and nothing else for months and months! Every other minute it’s “the whale did this, the whale did that!” The fact is, while Ahab spends his entire days obsessing over one damn whale, he is turning a blind eye to the important issues facing the working people of this ship. Virtually all of our crew members are underfed, overworked and do not have access to the quality healthcare they deserve. That is an outrage! What we need is a captain who works for all of us, not just himself!