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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Musings on the Relevance of Moby-Dick Today

From: The Grand Armada

"Witness, too, all human beings, how when herded together in the sheepfold of a theatre’s pit, they will, at the slightest alarm of fire, rush helter-skelter for the outlets, crowding, trampling, jamming, and remorselessly dashing each other to death. Best, therefore, withhold any amazement at the strangely gallied whales before us, for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men."


Musing: Think with me, for a moment, about _rump rallies. Melville never knew _rump, but he describes "gallied" whales as those who, pretty much, freak out in as a group when confronted by hunters. Melville then compares human behavior to that of the freaked out whales. I've seen those humans on TV. They say that they don't wear masks because they would die for _rump. They say all lives matter. They say the economy matters above all.

I read Moby-Dick because Melville gets so much right - nothing mammals or fish or insects do can be as crazy as humans when brainwashed by a monomaniacal leader. _rump is the king of the sheep and madmen. And yet we visit zoos, and laugh at those beasts.

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