Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trawlermen

One of the best TV shows I've watched lately is Trawlermen. It doesn't sound promising: it's a documentary about some fishing crews based in Peterhead, Scotland, who trawl for fish in the North Sea.

But the series gives you a very good idea of the challenges faced by these men. The trawlermen have to leave their families for long periods of time while they journey out into the North Sea. There they are subject to the full blast of the elements: to the cold winds and to stormy seas. The job is a highly dangerous one: one of the men featured in the series was swept overboard and lost at sea.

And there is a lot of financial risk involved as well. Expensive equipment is frequently damaged. Many of the skippers are in debt. If the nets come in empty or near empty, as they often seem to do, there is a financial loss. There is a lot riding on the decisions made by the skippers, the difference between success and failure.

These trawlermen are men who pit themselves against the elements, who take risks, for little reward of prestige or power. It's difficult not to admire their determination to succeed in such conditions.

13 comments:

  1. Yes, its excellent. As stressful as it is though that kind of life is exciting and certainly purposeful.

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  2. Reminds me of blokes who work in Western QLD on cattle stations.

    It is VERY lonely out there, but they do the job that needs doing. And it is bloody hard.

    These are the role models young men need.

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  3. This is what I've never understood about society:

    - Farmers (who provide us with food, fundamentally one of the only things we need to live) are so woefully underpaid, and yet lawyers (who essentially make a living out of lying) earn absurd amounts of money, and actors (who do pretty much nothing) earn even more than lawyers do.


    Here's what else I don't understand:

    - The government is more than willing to shell out millions of dollars for dole bludgers, homeless people and those struck by tragedy overseas (earthquake in Haiti etc,) and yet when Australian farmers are starving they turn a blind eye. Why?

    I'm all for charity, but I just don't think Western countries should pour all this money into third-world disaster zones when we have our own issues to deal with.

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  4. Some grist for your mill...

    http://tinyurl.com/y8p95mh

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  5. Anonymous writes:

    "The government is more than willing to shell out millions of dollars for dole bludgers, homeless people and those struck by tragedy overseas (earthquake in Haiti etc,) and yet when Australian farmers are starving they turn a blind eye. Why?"

    Well, how many black Australian farmers are there? How many homosexual Australian farmers? How many Australian farmers who are professionally avaricious victims of "clerical sex abuse"?

    Conversely, how many whites are there in Haiti?

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  6. The Man,

    Thanks. What I find most interesting about the link you provided is this. Liberals will often say that we should do whatever we like as long as our choices don't harm the life, liberty or property of others.

    The "don't harm" caveat appears to be a significant one. It would seem to limit what we might legitimately choose, since many moral choices do harm others.

    But the caveat is often ignored in practice when it comes to libertine behaviour.

    The example you provide is a classic one. Planned Parenthood wants those infected with AIDS to have the "right" to an unimpeded sex life, by not having to disclose their status to sexual partners. The fact that this does pose a risk to the life of others is overlooked.

    The "do what you want" comes to overshadow the "don't harm others" part of the equation.

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  7. Well, how many black Australian farmers are there? How many homosexual Australian farmers? How many Australian farmers who are professionally avaricious victims of "clerical sex abuse"?

    Conversely, how many whites are there in Haiti?


    Too bloody right!

    The thing that irks me the most is these idiots don't even realise that the minorities they're kowtowing to are never going to be grateful for it. In fact, they're going to keep whining about prejudice and oppression right up until the point they finally topple the "evil white male," and when that happens don't think they're going to spare the ones who were "nice" to them-- after all, no amount of charity can make up for the Sins of the White Man.

    People need to stop complaining about all the bad things white males have done and start appreciating the positive impact they've had on society. We wouldn't have the luxury of the Western world today if not for our "evil" forefathers; it really irritates me that so many young people don't seem to understand that.

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  8. From the linked article:

    "Under the heading “Sexual Pleasure and Well-Being,” the guide declares that it is a human right and not a criminal issue as to whether a person decides if or when to disclose their HIV status, even if they engage in sexual activities."

    And yet if you knowingly or "recklessly" infect someone with HIV it is a crime. If you do so "negligently" its a lawsuit or possibly a crime. The proposed outcome is not satisfactory.

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  9. Here's one comment from that site,

    "But, but, but, don’t we need to have calorie counts and nutrition information printed on the fronts of snack packages for public safety? And schools should not serve chocolate milk? And in NYC restaurants chefs should not add salt to their creations?

    But, hey, if it’s diseased sex we’re talking about–no prob.

    The mind boggles."

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  10. anyone know if their are torrents of the trawlermen show yet ?

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  11. I don't know I guess there must be. Try Isohunt I hear that's a popular site.

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  12. m all for charity, but I just don't think Western countries should pour all this money into third-world disaster zones when we have our own issues to deal with.

    Australian farmers get billions in the form of various government subsidies. Often this is to produce stuff that we could get more cheaply elsewhere. The problem is the global economy, and farmers don't whinge about said economy when it suits them, and don't turn back the various subsidies and protections provided by the government. This is called economic neoliberalism. Suck it up, princess.

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