TAIJI, WAKAYAMA, JAPAN, IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE — “So red were the blood-rich waters of Taiji’s infamous cove,” one strangely delighted American tourist said, “that it must have looked from the moon like an open cold sore on Japan’s lip.”
For Taiji’s mayor, Kazutaka Sangen, the opening today of what a May 2012 Agence France-Presse report in the Herald Sun (Australia) described as “a marine mammal park where visitors can swim … alongside small whales and dolphins” was supposed to be a joyous occasion.
Members of the Taiji Fishermen’s Union were invited to be among the first people to swim with their future murder victims in Taiji’s infamous cove — “the scene,” as pointed out in the Agence France-Presse report, “of an annual slaughter when the fishermen of Taiji corral dolphins, select a few dozen for sale to aquariums and marine parks, and stab the rest to death for meat, turning the sea red with blood.”
No sooner did the fishermen plunge into the cove’s placid waters than a pod of dolphins — in a brave act of self-defense — slaughtered the unsuspecting fishermen with brutal efficiency.
“It was the most powerful and satisfying dose of schadenfreude I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy,” the American tourist, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “Still, to watch the waters turn from blue to red as the defenseless fishermen’s lifeblood spilled into the cove was to be reminded that the reach of man’s murderous arrogance extends far beyond the horizon and beyond the light of the rising sun.”
With area residents and animal-rights activists gathered at the cove for the opening of the “marine mammal park,” the streets of Taiji had been relatively quiet until a chorus of sirens erupted from all around the town in what the unidentified American tourist said “seemed like the score to which today’s beautiful blood-ballet was set.”
Simultaneously, as if part of the choreography, reporters on the scene — some of whom were vomiting uncontrollably into the cove’s blood-rich waters — began looking at their smartphones. The Internet itself seemed to have been cast in what was clearly the most important public service performed in Taiji since the filming of The Cove.
Around the world, people staring at news-aggregating websites were presented with headlines that collectively told a brilliantly conceived story: “Fishermen Slaughtered by Dolphins in Taiji Cove,” “Taiji Banks Robbed,” “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Earth Island Institute Receive Massive Donations.”
Local law-enforcement officials descended on the cove looking for a man they described as “an American tourist who was last seen standing knee-deep in the cove, smoking a Cuban cigar and wearing aviator-style Ray-Ban sunglasses and a white T-shirt with black lettering that read The Daily Maul.”
Taiji police believe an unbalanced American animal-rights activist named Monty Gelstein conspired with the dolphins “to rob us of our fishermen and our yen, our dignity and our way of life.”
“They have spilled our blood, and they have taken our treasure,” Taiji’s mayor, Kazutaka Sangen, said.
The Monday Maul cartoon was created for The Daily Maul by New York-based artist Vin Paneccasio.