Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SHOT OF FICTION #5:Up and To the Right

I hope I don’t have it. Yo No La Tengo. Wait…. Is that right?
It’s been so long since I’ve taken Spanish (twice). Taking a language course in high school is as useless as the D.A.R.E. program to a college aged kid, but in college, I really enjoyed it. Finally, a class that was basic, simple, but still challenging… a curriculum with succinct answers as opposed to the myriad of questions that bloom as you go deeper in the subject. Well, the only question I have now is: do I have it? I hope I don’t.

I have been SOOO damn interrupted in my “whale-age”, my time to me, myself, and kinetic journey that is Save the Whales Please. I have been boy, interrupted, and it’s been annoying. Work, sleep, hunger, lethargy, Coachella, divine music making, meetings for Sutasi, it’s all been great, except that little corner in my head I reserve for myself and whale adventures. The perhaps that is my managing the relationship… afterall I hate it when I know the end is coming. The once fat book with all the pages in world is slowing coming to an end and maybe I have delayed, read in small bites, because I know it will be over soon. Shows like “24” are awesome/terrible because you have that damn ticking clock that’s winding down and the multiple screen of different scenarios playing out like a choose-your-own-adventure before they focus on one of those cells and its this horrible cliffhanger that leaves you screaming at the TV. I hate 24. (Sorry 24, it’s just that you drive me crazy with your ways… I love you 24.)

So in this world where things are out of your control, slow reading is at least something I can exercise. Gosh, I almost wish there was more of a line in this Urgent Care. I am now the only one in the waiting room (I really gotta submit my insurance papers to SAG…grrrr…) and it is quiet and sterile like … well, an empty hospital with only the cool sound of the air conditioner as my companion… my keystrokes sound like drunk elephants in a curio shop.

I been seeing the author of Save the Whales Please posting these whaling related links on Twitter and I wonder… the book does have an environmentalist/ecological viewpoint, sure, but I feel more over it is the backdrop to good old fashion actin packed story telling. Yet, those links being posted offer a view that the authors (at least one of them) really is keeping a watchful eye on all things whales… I guess I just thought he was more storyteller and the subject matter was just a device… so in a way, writer, this is a compliment to you that this reader believed you were “story first”, which if you think about the boring heavy handed, un-sexy pap that is out there for causes, it’s better serve to have the art/style at a high level to better deliver the message. (Speaking of ‘causes’, I found this great website that does exactly that: make causes [for lack of a better word] …cool:]).

Oh, the Doctor will see me now….

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Iceland, another country in a deep economic crisis, has launched a “pro-slaughter” ad campaign on radio, TV and in newspapers. Interweaving patriotic imagery of the national flag, historical pictures of whaling, the PR campaign touts that whaling will generate up to 300 jobs—which represents 1% of the country’s population. If Iceland returns to whaling, the hunters would likely face confrontations with militant green groups. Earlier this year, the Sea Shepherd group harassed Japan’s “scientific” hunt in the Antarctic. Just a few days ago, Agenda 21, another ecowarrior group , sabotaged the Norwegian whaling ship Skarbakk near the Norwegian Lofoten Islands by flooding the engine room. Considering Iceland’s currency is worthless and the banking system has collapsed, it is hard to imagine Iceland’s whalers will be able to sustain losses like the Japanese and Norwegians and keep killing.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Japan's government announced it plans to kill 60 minke whales off its northeastern coast. Four vessels from the northern Miyagi prefecture will leave Ayukawa Port, with one ship is being designated a "research" ship. Japan continues to hunt whales despite international pressure using a loophole in the International Whaling Commission called hunting for "scientific and reseach," though it is widely believed the meat from these slaughters are sold in restaurants. This new hunt is set to continue until the end of May.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Jan is the most famous eco-warrior in the world--not only is she beautful and smart and daring, she also happens to be the First Lady of the United States. Her husband, Casten Everett, is the first independent to ever be elected to the highest office and nearing the end of his term, his re-election numbers aren't looking so hot. The couple are soon put at odds with one another when Jan discovers that Carsten has made a quiet deal with the Japanese that allows the country to harvest a huge, stranded herd of blue whales. Determined to save the whales herself, Jan sets off on an impossible mission--to drive the whales across the globe and protest them from the Japanese hunters. From the East Coast to the West, Alaska to Norway to Japan and back again, we see the story play out in politics and conservatism. The war between the two is unimaginable.

I thought this book was absolutely great. I've always liked whales and been against the hunting of the endangered species (yeah, I've never bought that "scientific research" bit, either). But it wasn't until I read the grisly descriptions of the whales being peeled apart (a few of the passages made my stomach turn a bit) that I really found my opposition. Some of the story is a bit over-the-top and you definitely have to suspend all notion of reality in regards to most of Jan's activities (the First Lady would NEVER have the kind of freedom that she enjoyed--and no matter what her marital problems, the Secret Service wouldn't stop surveillance of her). But the book reads like a movie (understandably, since the authors have a history in screenwriting)--the short chapters immerse one in the book, and the fast pace keeps you hooked. A good read with a great message at the core of it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Keeping up the pressure on six Japanese whaling vessels, which returned to Shimonosek after a five-month Antarctic hunting expedition marred by standoffs and confrontations with activists like Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace activists held up signs that read: “SOMEBODY HAS TO BE ON SHORE TOO!” and “SOUTHERN OCEAN WHALING: COVERUPS, LIES, 1.2 BILLION YEN IN TAXES!”

Japan is already embroiled in “Whalergate,” which are back room negotiations being conducted under the auspices of the US and Australia that could resume commercial whaling as early this summer if a crucial vote goes the pro-whaling nations’ way at the May meeting of the International Whaling Commission. But anti-whaling forces received a boost when Mr. Pete Bethune, skipper of Earthrace, promised to join Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd group of militants. Bethune would use his faster bio-diesel powered vessel like a strike weapon around the Sea Shepherd’s slower Steve Irwin.

The next whaling season could see a real “whale war.”


"Hundreds of carcasses of minke whales floated in the choppy waves.", April 15, 2009
By K. M. "literary devotee" (California) (TOP 500 REVIEWER/AMAZON)

Jan Everett is First Lady of the United States. She is also a fiercely dedicated Save the Whales activist. She brings the same total commitment to testifying before the International Whaling Commission on behalf of a complete ban on whale hunts as she does to personally sailing with and even leading crews that confront, harry, and seek to sink the pelagic whaling fleets.

In Washington, her husband, President Carsten Everett, contends with an uphill reelection bid, the controlling schemes of his ruthless chief of staff, a fifteen trillion dollar U.S. debt to other countries that could tank the economy, and the consequences of Jan's radical daring-do sea exploits (which have far-reaching consequences).

Meanwhile, reenergized powerhouse Japan, which holds a large percentage of the U.S. Treasury bonds and is also an unrepentant whaling nation, has plans for both the Everetts. And a Norwegian whaling tycoon concocts his own means of neutralizing Jan....

Oh, and in the swirl of battling the bad guys, Jan encounters pirate captain Arlov Vesprhein, and these two tough, extreme people posture and clash, bound by somewhat stereotyped sexual tension as SAVE THE WHALES PLEASE launches an amazing, techno-herded leviathan drive.

Save the Whales Please mixes whaling drama with quite sophisticated international maneuvering by players in Tokyo, Washington, the North Pacific, and Europe. The novel whisks cinematically from one short scene to another like the action blockbuster prose "movie" it is. Its nail biting opening scenes make one wonder if the authors haven't shot their biggest wad very prematurely. But not to worry. Konrad Karl Gatien and Sreescanda (who do also write for the big and little screens) skillfully pepper the story with limited victories on the various sides, only to then pose new obstacles and dangers. The culmination crescendos, pulling numerous plot threads together and piling peril upon peril to surprise even the jaded reader with its audacity.

Of course, no real First Lady would have the latitude Jan Everett does. Her handlers and protection detail would preempt the suicidal chances Jan takes, no matter how urgent the crusade. But one adapts agreeably to this creative license.

The novel's myriad facts about whales enrich the reader's knowledge. Did you know, for instance, that underwater sonar blasts are suspected for causing deafness, brain bleeding, and beaching in whales and dolphins? Did you know whales shed their skins much as lizards do? Did you know a whale is hunted and killed every ninety minutes? SAVE THE WHALES PLEASE acutely reminds us that these creatures could still be hunted to extinction.

SAVE THE WHALES PLEASE is formulaic, but in a brash, exhilarating, Clive Cusslerian manner. Especially for those who are intrigued by whales and the human struggle over them, this is an opportunity to be both educated and breathlessly entertained.


We did not expect to receive feedback quite this quickly. But finally we hearing from anonymous readers--not friends and family who are obligated to be polite and complimentary. Here's an unabridged review from a Mr. Gary Ono. We'll post 'em as we get 'em. Good or bad.

Wow! I must admit it was a gripping, pulsating, action-packed, couldn't -put-down novel. At first, I thought Jan the world's leading Save the Whale activist is the First Lady? Isn't this going to be an unbelievable story? But, there was a lot of substance to make her out to be a real character.

Anyway, Gatien & Sreesscanda have very graphically described everything:in colorful and easy to imagine detail: the weather, the ships, the technology, the whales, and the characters.The plot was wonderfully woven. There are a lot of stretching of the imagination to some of the near-death struggles, but it works. I can imagine a movie. I even saw some clever product placements, you clever devils you.

Thanks also for the recipe. I'll have to place my order to Kaiyou soon before they sell-out their stock. When you do the movie can I audition for the role of Yamamura? That way you can get someone who's a real whale eater and can passionately get into character. Just kidding, guys.

Well, what I was fearing the most, a real anti-Japanese bashing diatribe turned out fairly well-balanced. At least you had Isamu Tomita be a "good-guy" to show the compassionate caring side of our Nikkei friends.

All in all, I would recommend "Save the Whales Pease" to family and friends.

Gary Ono. Los Angeles.


By Alicia Doyle

A Western on the high seas that combines the intrigue, technology and politics of whaling is the crux of a debut novel co-written by a local freelance writer and an entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills who attended USC film school together.

Listed on Amazon’s Top 20 Hot New Releases in its genre, “Save the Whales Please” is about a firebrand first lady, a notorious whaling pirate and their unthinkable partnership that launches an epic high-tech, high-seas rescue: a whale drive from the Arctic to the Antarctic of the last 1,872 blues, according to author Konrad Karl Gatien and an Agoura writer who goes solely by the name Sreescanda.

“From the outset of our writing partnership, we committed ourselves to seek out settings and issues that are unique, unusual and rarely visited,” said Sreescanda, who has been writing with Gatien, a resident of the San Fernando Valley, since they graduated in 1992 from USC.

“Concerned with what appears to be the looming extinction of one of the last great peaceful creatures on the planet, we set out to expose the plight of whales and bring it to the public eye. In doing so, we also wanted to open the door to the world’s biggest, most exploited, yet least known resource — the oceans.”

Published by Kunati, the book garnered positive feedback in the April issue of Foreword, which called it “a movie between book covers” with “amazingly realistic politics and technology that will inspire both green fanatics and conspiracy theorists to take action.”

The story unfolds with a world-famous U.S. first lady — an “ecoterrorist” determined to stop the overhunting of whales.

She leads a daring plan to drive a stranded herd of blue whales from the Arctic all the way to the Antarctic, pursued the whole way by Japanese whalers.

Meanwhile, her husband, the president, has promised the whalers the blues in a backroom deal meant to win him a second term in office.

On board a hijacked whaling factory ship, the first lady defies her husband and, with the help of the ship’s captain — until recently a whaling pirate — she confronts the Japanese fleet and threatens to sink it.

“The plot is a case of fact following fiction because it envisages the exact scenario that recent headlines have been playing out: a looming threat of a return to commercial whaling by Japan,” said Sreescanda, further emphasizing that the book is not for the faint of heart. “Whaling is big business and a pressure point in global politics and finance. Fact intersects fiction for an eye-opening journey into a pitiless world of unnecessary savagery.”

The book is suddenly current and topical, Gatien said. “The novel is now a case of fiction following fact: Our plot line of a secret deal between the U.S. and Japan turned real with the Whalergate expose earlier this year,” he said. “This real-life backroom deal would allow Japan to kill more whales for reduced hunts in the Antarctic. The return to commercial whaling, envisaged in the novel, is now frighteningly close to becoming reality as early as this summer.”

From global warming to deforestation to saving endangered species, green issues are constantly marginalized, Sreescanda said. “We wanted to mainstream the message and educate readers of the politics, economics and other factors that continue to allow more whales to be killed today than ever before.”

Sunday, April 12, 2009


For Love and Whales, Jason Statham, Pirates, and Stavangers
Today at 12:40am
So I have taken some time off to decompress from making of the trailer. Went back to normalcy, working, drinking, walking, epic-ly jamming with friends, eating fancy pizza. I always think it’s important to have an instituted “No-Fly Zone” following a large creative undertaking, y’know a way to refill the taken that has been so efficiently spent. Taking the time to listen to all those albums that “Dude, [I] have to fuckin’ check this out…. It will change your life”… you know the kind.

For those of you whop don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, well, I have spent this last month blogging about “the Whale Book” (Save the Whales Please) an eco-thriller I have acquired (thank you authors of) and decided to make a trailer for the release. I love trailers, books are cool, and my creative partner Lilan and I decided it’s time to stop talking about shooting something and finally just do it. It’s been well received and we are still amazed by the compliments.
Here’s the link if you haven’t seen it yet:

And I know I already thanked them in the credits, but can I just say Sigur Ros - ( ) and in particular track #8 is an absolute must have for your record collection. That is if you like music that… dares.

And now that the triale ris on Youtube, “Hello!” to my screen neighbors “Hayden Panettiere PSA for Save the Whales Again” and “Choose Your Own Crank”. Neighbors, we share this cul de sac of Internet space, I look forward to a fruitful and communal living situation. Hayden, your video is heartbreaking and when I see you on your surfboard with the other ecologist trying to save the dolphins, I am genuinely moved. I never really watched Heroes, but I think it’s great to have a cause. And Lionsgate with “Choose Your Own Crank”: you know, Jason Statham joints and I have crossed paths in so many unlikely times. It seems whenever I am abroad, be it on an airplane, in a bar, or at someone’s house, you (JS) are always on. I think the last film you were in that I saw in the States was… “Snatch?” And that was mostly because it was a Guy Ritchie, post “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” (must see!), joint. But JS, before you get your neatly pressed black and white suit with skinny tie in a rumple, I gotta say, I have never left a Statham flick disappointed, you’re batting a thous. And it was my English Professor friend who passed me a copy of “Crank” to watch on the flight to China. Aside from hiding my laptop screen from the old lady sitting next to me, the film was fan-fucking-tastic. 7 thumbs way up! Bowed guitars my friend, bowed guitars. “So yeah, Jason, we should hang out, go see “I Love You Man” or something. Oh you’re busy? That’s cool…… ok…. Um… well definitely, let’s do something next weekend….. cool…. ok….. or whatever… just text me…. I’m usually free these…. ok… yeah, no I get it, totally… just whenever your free, heh heh heh, you know what to do… “What the hell is with all these pirate attacks of late? The US helmed Dutch ship Maersk and all the hostage stuff has been headlines of late, but this morning I also read about British and German ships being seized and…. an Italian tugboat!? Really? No offense, but aren’t tugboats the booby prize of boats? Besides, I’ll be first to cry “Too Soon! Too Soon!” since those devastating Italian quakes just happened. But hey, I doubt A.) Any Somali Pirates read this blog B.) Even if they did they’d give two shits; they’re out on the high seas because it beats starving in a failed Somali state, the ransom money they’re getting is absurd by Somali standards, and the second installment of Pirates of the Caribbean just hit the movie theaters there… can we say “pirate fever”!? That and I hear women are teeming about at the Somali ports, looking to get land a rich husband. Joking aside, I’m not joking, things are that bad over there, and alternatives are few. Aside from sending fleets of warships to the Gulf of Aden and blowing every pirate out of the water, it’s fair to say the whole area needs some alternative/hope to these options… poor socioeconomics is a bitch.

In the news article I read on the pirate/hostage situation I saw a bit about a German ship Hansa Stavanger being used as the pirates mothership, by which to launch off shore attacks. “Stavanger” is also the name of the pirate whaling boat being used by Jan (the first lady) in Save the Whales Please , which I am 2/3 of the way through. It got me curious as to what the significance of the name is in relation to pirates. So I Wiki-ed it and here’s what I found:
• It’s the 4th largest city in Norway
• It’s a combination of the new and old.
• There’s a NATO Warfare Center there
• The Norse pronunciation of the name is Stafangr which stafr means stick of staff, and may refer to an inlet or mountain range in Norway.
• It holds an International Jazz Festival.

Ok, so no cool meaning like “ Hammer of God” or “Oceanic Sword” or “Tritan of Poseidan in a bad mood.”But no, Stavanger means stick.And I am not s[t]ick of this book, not one bit, in large part because it reminds me of great episodic TV. Now, it’s no secret that I am a huge devotee to “24” and “Lost”, and the way the book reads, I have yet to hit that “back story/plot explanation/development” episode which is important to the whole season, but kind of the disappointing one where nothing happens. I am 2/3 and there are plenty of opportunities for great moments and boring plot devices. This reader will stay vigilant.
Love and Whale Sounds (via ondes martinet),

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Almost 90 pilot whales and dolphins beached and died along the Australian west coast last week. Experts warned there could be more such mass deaths because the event follows a 12-year cycle of cooler south-bound nutrient rich currents that swell fish stock. This was the second mass stranding, bringing the total number of mortalities to 500. Recently, 200 cetaceans stranded and died on King Island in a single incident.

Meanwhile, another tragedy saw US scientists begin aerial surveillance off South Carolina. They are searching for a 40-foot right whale struck by a boat off Hilton Head Island during calving season which runs from November through April. Only 325 adult right whales are currently alive. So NOAA keeps a close eye as they migrate to the southeast United States to calve.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Before he left office, President Bush signed a series of regulations threatening environmental harm on a staggering scale. One of them was military sonar training up and down the US coastline from North Carolina to the Bahamas, Hawaii to Washington State and Alaska. The Navy claims that these sonar experiments (recently upheld by the predominantly right wing US Supreme Court) just annoy whales and dolphins. In actuality, the injuries extend beyond just hearing damage and mass stranding and death into adversely affecting their feeding, breeding, migrating, communicating and finding mates.

One bright development in an otherwise tragic and uncertain future for whales was the recent report that a record 39 new North Atlantic right whales were born this year off the coast of Florida and Georgia. But unless President Obama reverses the Bush atrocities, the number of mass whale and dolphin deaths will continue to grow, and that includes the North Atlantic right whales. Only 400 remain, making them one of the most severely endangered.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


SAVE THE WHALES PLEASE broke into Amazon's top 100 today. It's #80! To everybody who bought the book, thank you! However long or briefly we are in the top 100, it's a moment to relish and rejoice! Yippeeee!