Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shark Tournament... (Oak Bluffs)

Warning: This post will contain pictures of dead, bloody fish. And yes, that is a picture of a chum bucket. Yum, yum, chum, chum...

As the "on location" film site for Jaws, people sometimes associate Martha's Vineyard with sharks almost as much as they do with the Kennedys. On one weekend in July, this association is made even more apparent. Each year for the last 21, Oak Bluffs, MA on Martha's Vineyard hosts a Monster Shark Tournament that ESPN has covered since 2004. It is a very controversial event, as the airplane advertisement over Tashmoo we saw on Friday afternoon demonstrates:


(The sign reads: END THE CRUEL SHARK TOURNAMENT NOW www.HumaneSociety.org)

The tournament now attracts both sports fishermen and PETA/Humane Society protesters from around the globe. I'm not a fan of senseless killing, but I have always been intrigued by scenes of blood and gore. We went over to Oak Bluffs on Saturday for a concert of Ben Taylor's (son of James Taylor and Carly Simon) at the Tabernacle, but got there an hour or so early, so I got to take some awesome pictures of this event. They capture just a bit of the insanity happening at the harbor:







Now, I do eat fish (even though I still will call myself a vegetarian), and while I oppose factory farming because it is cruel treatment of the animals, I don't usually oppose the hunting of wild game because that seems a little more fair. However, I will say that hanging around OB that day made me a little sick to my stomach as some of the slaughter seemed a bit senseless. Sharks are nifty creatures and they deserve better than to have their heads mounted on the back of hundred thousand dollar boats to attract chicks (yes, that was part of the whole "fun and games" machismo). I will admit that as much as I found the events unfolding repulsive, it was fascinating to watch from a cultural studies perspective...

The concert was a far more pleasant way to spend the evening, especially when Carly Simon hopped up on stage, although the lighting made for less quality pictures:


Walter Cronkite was in the audience, but my pictures of him came out even worse! After the show, Ben signed my CD and posed for a picture where he looks stoned:

He's actually quite cute in person--and ridiculously tall! His music is very folk-rock, influenced by his parents' talents, but definitely unique in some cool ways. It was fun to see him play on the island where he grew up.

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