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#mdm22: The Moby-Dick Marathon

Beginning FRIDAY, JAN. 5 – When you live with something, you can begin to take it for granted. That’s how some of us may feel from time to time about New Bedford’s connection to the American literary classic, Moby-Dick. But that connection and the celebration surrounding it is a meaningful one – and a distinguishing characteristic of the city.

This weekend’s annual Moby-Dick Marathon, Friday through Sunday at the New Bedford Whaling Museum has, in recent years, been often copied but never quite duplicated. This place and this city is the only appropriate spot on the map for a cover-to-cover, live Moby-Dick reading. That’s why hundreds attend the event every year.

This year, Melville maniacs get their proper due on opening night with a screening of “Call us Ishmael” – a documentary dedicated to followers of the book and writer. (Preview below.)

And then the rest of the weekend concerns itself with the business at hand as it gets down to business with the reading of this amazing novel as only New Bedford can do it – with authenticity, diversity and passion.

Find the full schedule of events for the 22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon here – and grab some carpet for an overnight stay with fellow travelers this weekend at the truly world-famous New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Holiday Hangover

SATURDAY, JAN. 6 – Multi-dimensional Shelley Cardoos is at it again. The entrepreneur extraordinaire, downtown business owner, artist, wrestling aficionado…and musician dons that hat tonight to perform some songs right here at Groundwork! It’s the Holiday Hangover Show – and features Shelley along with NXNES and Sarah Donner for an intimate evening of live music. Doors at 7:30 p.m.; $5 cover.


SUNDAY, JAN. 7 – Sure – it’s easy to romanticize the slaughter of mammals a hundred + years after the fact, but let’s face it: Whaling was a savage business. So – what’s savage in our own day and age? Boston Animal Save thinks a slaughterhouse is savage – and they invite like-minded people to join them every Sunday from noon-2:00 p.m. as they hold a vigil at the construction site of the new Westport slaughterhouse, the Livestock Institute of Southern New England. Address is 275 State Road, Westport MA. The site is next to Mid City Steel (make sure it is the main Mid City Steel building and not the annex!). Parking is available at a defunct business across the road.

They write on the Facebook event page: This is a 100% peaceful vigil. We stand on public property in front of the sign announcing the USDA approved slaughterhouse. We have some signs available but you are encouraged to bring your own.

“We will be here every Sunday until construction stops or the slaughterhouse is shut down. All animals feel pain and fear – and since humans can live long, healthy lives without animal products, killing animals for meat is unnecessary cruelty. Meat is the #1 cause of global warming and is a main cause of water pollution. Animal proteins are directly related to the biggest killers of Americans: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. To create another slaughterhouse and expand upon the animal agriculture industry is not only cruel; it is simply irresponsible.

“Westport has already received public attention for recent animal cruelty cases. Let us stop animal cruelty from occurring in this town. Let’s raise objection and awareness in this community to the slaughterhouse construction project. Let’s shut this slaughterhouse down.”

Miracle or Monster?

TUESDAY, JAN. 9 – BONUS PICK: The New Bedford Science Cafe moves to Greasy Luck Brewpub this month with “Synthetic Biology; Miracle or Monster?” tonight from 6:00-8:00 p.m. The once-a-month cafes are “monthly gatherings at a downtown pub with one or two scientists who share insights on a topic; informal discussion follows. Open to everyone. Café-goers range from scientists and students to those who are simply curious about the evening’s topic.” Dr. James Griffith, former chair of UMass-D’s medical laboratory science, will lend insights into: “Redesigning micro-organisms into life forms that produce rice, rubber, vanillin (used in vanilla extract) and more” this evening. It’s free – except for the ale!

Steven Froias