HomeArticleWhale Songs

Whale Songs

Whale songs sound so sad.

I wonder, did they used to sound happy?

Before we butchered their ancestors, and filled their oceans with plastic?

And I wonder what they’re doing with all that brain matter? The sperm whale has the largest brain of the animal kingdom; it doesn’t take that much brain mass to make a tail go up and down.

We don’t even know what these creatures are. I wonder if we’ll ever meet them? Have a real connection, a close encounter, with these alien life forms in our own oceans, before we wipe them out for good?

And I wonder if we’ll ever make it out of this mess. Where we have to keep destroying our home because it is profitable to destroy our home. Where we have to keep waging wars because it is profitable to wage wars. Where we have to keep human beings on conveyor belts of exploitation and oppression, because to do otherwise would hurt profit margins?

I write notes on paper airplanes and sail them off the cliff’s edge, sending messages in bottles down the stream, never knowing who will read them or if it will ever make any difference. I live on the Outskirts, a crone who everyone says is crazy but they still listen when I speak.

The juggernaut treads on, in cold indifference to the pleadings of the poets and the tears of the Indigenous. It leaves fire and corpses in its wake.

And the news man stares into the camera with lifeless eyes telling us that this is how it has to be, that this is the only way it could ever possibly be, while fantasizing about the whiskey he will get to drink when he gets home so he doesn’t have to feel the gnawing sensation where his heart used to be.

And the Earth Eaters funnel living things into a machine which turns them into dead things, because living things are an unprofitable waste of valuable parking lot space. When they’re at home they stare at screens watching fake actors pretending to do fake things so they don’t have to think about the real people doing real things.

And the weapons manufacturers coolly calculate how many coins they can get for every human corpse, and how many coins it will take to help start the next war, because it’s still illegal to eliminate the middleman and simply kill people to sell their meat.

And empire architects with broken empathy centers say “If we can just force every molecule of the universe to align with our will, we will finally feel safe, because we will have total control, and then the tiny baby who lives in our chest crying out for its mother can finally go to sleep.”

And Bank Boys with broken empathy centers say “If I can control all the money then it won’t hurt to live, because I will be safe and secure and nobody can ever tell me no if there’s something I need, and I will finally stop feeling the cold sting of my father’s disapproval.”

And the whales say “We are here, we are here, you can get to know us if you try, if you just silence your yammering talkbrains for a moment, if you just take a moment to simply feel your lives, feel the water on your skin, feel the thrum of the Earth, feel your Mother instead of waging your endless war against Her.”

And the Earth says “I am here. I am ready whenever you are. If you ever are.”

And we stumble through, muddle through, turning gears because the boss told us to, praying at the Church of the Patriarchal God because our parents told us to, forming our understanding of the world based on what the news man tells us because our teacher told us to do.

We stare at screens, we pop pills, we drink fuckporn candycarbs adrenalinelove somebody-please-validate-me so we don’t look at what’s happening, so we don’t feel what’s happening, so we are anywhere but here, so we can sedate ourselves into slumber, so we can spin away into the void without having to experience our own extinction.

So we don’t hear the whales.

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New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on , following my antics on , or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi or . If you want to read more you can buy my books. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, . Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Latest comments

  • THANKS

  • Caitlin, this is so true and so perfectly written, it makes me cry against the bottomless perfidy, stupidity and cupidity of humans. They deserve to be the shortest ever species to have evolved and become extinct.
    Thanks you, I think, for making me so miserable.

  • …got to get ourselves back to the Garden….
    got to kill corpowhore world. put life expectancies on all corpo fake persons. make illegal the purchase or sale of a fellow person as defined by stupid supremes.
    add about ten new S Ct judges. demolish the senate, or leave the nation.
    CA, OR, WA & HA…WOULD BE 2ND BIGGEST NATION IN EU.
    FAIING THAT WE HAVE TO SAVE USPO BY MAKING IT A NATIONAL BANK.
    END THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND KILL THE SENATE ALSO.
    INSTaLL BMI FREE EDU FREE HC AND CUT DOD TO 20%…agree?! anyone? and…
    stop complaining. if we cannot do these basic things we have to do them de facto alone by ourselves.
    we have to restore the great prairie, soil asap also. abolish monsanto and Bayer. from USA at least.
    for poor neighborhoods, we’ll need citizen patrols like cops only unarmed. no death corps. only sweet persuasioners and pepper spray. calm and coca cola. might as well free every drug offender right now. so many states are legalizing drugs.
    and we need to outlaw the internal combustion engines [the true ICE] until driving one is so cumbersome people begin to buy electric.
    then we can take a long look at tire dust babies and see if we aren’t creating mental patients or something…with our reliance on plastic.
    BTW, prostitutes are now legal in copenhagen Amsterdam and NYC!
    we have to separate banks from investment firms AGAIN!
    stop all oil pipelines and end oil subsidies if not outlaw oil out right. ASAP. oil is killing the planet.
    staring at the moonies won’t do nada, baba. only Dada.

  • Ms Caitlin Johnstone desires to save humanity; while our owners and masters are desiding which of us need to die!!
    ~
    Downsizing: Prologue to Genocide
    ~
    Downsizing cannot be overlooked as the prologue in this process of eugenics or genocide (population reduction). It is, first and foremost, the foreshadowing of the IMF-WEF version of the 4th Industrial Revolution as promoted by Klaus Schwab in his 250 page primer, Covid-19: The Great Reset.
    ~
    The culture of downsizing and redundancies was the critical turning point in the devolution of human social organization of scale. It is a fundamentally misanthropic principle, which may subsist in a certain benign way within a cost-externalizing corporation that exists upon a broader society which, in the case of the latter, may be expected to shoulder those costs in the name of decency or legitimacy, or both. But once society itself embraces this corporate ethos, it has entered into the sort of new Dark Age thinking embodied in Ms Kissingers conception that non-essential members of society are useless eaters.
    ~
    Once fully introduced, no longer would General Motors, IBM, or Lockheed be seen as powerful or important based in any way upon the number of workers in its employ, the size and scope of their operations, the square footage of their productive centers, the number of floors in their corporate headquarters, the number of cars in their corporate fleet, the scale and scope of benefits and perks and corporate retreats delegated among the varying strata, and at varying levels, of its internally organized hierarchical structure – but based now entirely upon the its speculated future value in terms of stock valuation.
    ~
    If all of the old markers had to be destroyed and cast aside in pursuit of an ever-more roboticized, automated, out-sourced, and down-sized bottom line, then so be it.
    ~
    This great article can be read here:
    The Great Reset Morality: Euthanization of the Inessentials by Joaquin Flores!
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/19/great-reset-morality-euthanization-of-inessentials/

  • i. have to forward this one to everyone i know.
    touching on the beauty of our planet and the selfish degradation we impose upon it.
    our careless behavior might just be our final act.
    we are gods all right: perfect gods of destruction.
    {especially good at ruining things we do not understand–which is life on Earth}

  • I was reminded of John Denver’s “Calypso”, his ode to Jacques Cousteau’s boat, symbol of gentle exploration. Sort of like Caitlin.

    excerpts:

    To work in the service of life and the living, in search of the answers to questions unknown.
    To be part of the movement and part of the growing, part of beginning to understand.

    Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you
    to light up the darkness and show us the way.
    For though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from the sea.
    To be true as the tide and free as a wind swell, joyful and loving in letting it be.
    Aye, Calypso, the places you’ve been to,
    the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.
    Aye, Calypso, I sing to your spirit, the men who have served you so long and so well.

  • A tremendous poem! Always lucid and cogent political analysis. You are taking it to another level.

  • I have been arrested and fined by the Guardia Civil for listening to whale song while driving.
    Fortunately my guidance told me to take less cash out of the ATM that morning so they were forced to reduce the charges four levels so they could only screw me for what I had on me.
    Whales are wonderful!

  • Turn away. Stop running. Tread lightly. Be kind to non-humans and humans. Think carefully. Slow down. Question stuff. Switch off social media and news media. Take naps. Watch nature. Make art.

  • Brilliant writing!

  • I pray with the Church because the Truth within the Church drew me of its own accord. Whatever various empires have tried to build over the Church it still holds a Truth.

  • Sorry, I have to point this out.

    https://nearcyan.com/you-probably-dont-need-recaptcha/

    Until then, I bid you adieu.

  • Caitlin,
    One of your very best columns. We’ll probably be dead before we finish killing off nature.

  • I’m sure America knows only too well about white noise and the torturing of its victims.

    God only knows what the sounds of 1000’s of leisure crafts and large container ships pumping out ever increasing levels of engine noise and sonar noise has on them and other aquatic animals.

  • I have a couple of thematic songs for you, Caitlin (and readers)….

    It is metal…but there are some really good lyrics, messages in there, so if you don’t like metal, just turn the sound down…

    This one in particular, though be warned, you might find it upsetting. Hopefully it makes you angry.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZpMKK-LpRk

    Some Gojira, referencing the plastic garbage patch thing you mentioned:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2xZU8VpiWE

    And flying whales saying thanks for all the fish? Who knows.

    • Btw, their larger brains also relate to their bodily size, so I’m not saying they’re stupid…I’m just saying they actually need larger brains simply to coordinate their larger, more complex bodies. Elephants, similarly.

      Some of the worst damage to whales, dolphins and such would of course be NAVIES, sonar, other than bomb tests, trawling and hunting them and the incessant pollution…

  • Those last paragraphs, I appreciate very much. Your spirit is a giant, Cait. In this hurting world where there are no elders in power, never forget that with this odd technology in this strange time, you are channeling elder wisdom into the hearts of people with their eyes and ears open and longing for it. You’re a good person

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cfKYImFP_Pw

    What you wrote reminded me of this song

    Thank you, Cait

    • She lets you call her Cait

  • Holy crap that’s exactly it. I want to make everyone open their deadened brains and pour this in them. Beautiful outpouring.

  • Be stunned by the ‘animals slaughtered’ counter on this website:
    http://www.adaptt.org/
    We can’t save the world, but we can significantly reduce suffering with ONE action.

    • You mean to say, stop supporting, (particularly industrial) animal agriculture?

      • Adopting a plant based diet Iso.
        The health benefits for our bodies and the Earth are immeasurable.

        • Well I figured that was kinda implied with stopping support of animal agriculture, but yeah. Agreed.

          The medical and agricultural crap is practically entirely backwards.

          Jumping through hoops, based on like, sai, training AI for say, advertising and such money with these recaptcha things is really annoying, when I just want to say something…

          Like, does Caitlin know it mostly benefits “The big and powerful”? You know, like google, and is kinda dehumanizing? I find it somewhat hypocritical.

          • Perhaps the platform she is using to blog has recaptcha built into it. Maybe you should be targeting the platform developer.

            • Fair enough, though she should be aware of that.

  • Ah, the Buddha Ms Caitlin once again displays the depth of her sight into infinity. The whales, like most of the rest animals on this planet, probably hate the human species with a passion beyond belief. Thank You again, Ms Johnstone for feeding my soul!

  • Your writing today is so profound that i feel like writing something to contrast:

    You know you can really get to know someone by watching them brush their teeth.

    The story of a ridiculously responsible man. And it would be irresponsible if I didn’t say he is someone who is ridiculously ridiculous, without overstating and/or risking redundancy. Redundancies and distractions, two things to be avoided at half cost. Most often one would say at all costs. But here you get a discount, because “at all costs” would be hyperbolic and not a good deal, and would be an overstatement.

    Understatement or overstatement both are to be avoided, what is necessary is to hit the target every time, like a zen master, like you Caitlin. Perhaps it’s not so important to actually understand specifically whatever it is I am saying, better to just roll with it and enjoy it without any effort, like riding on a roller coaster, something that honestly, I have feared throughout my life, having done it once, which was truly horrifying. But I know many really love it. 

    Yes, at times I am more serious than I would like. What I am attempting is to write without any intention or purpose other than to be able to laugh at myself, like a whale might do, when he must accept the fact that his existence is being wrecked by the most thoughtless creature alive, who is so proud of his brain; the irony.
    If you enjoy the ride, then I am happy. But if you find this beneath your dignity or a waste of your precious time and don’t go all the way to the end with me, I might be sad. Fortunately, however, I guess, I have no idea who might read this or how long they will endure my specious whimsicality. I can only imagine, and so I prefer to imagine that you are loving this intimate little journey together. 

    At the same time I don’t wish to appear too self conscious, like the underground man or the ridiculous man in Dostoyevski’s 2 short stories, The Underground Man and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. Why? you might wonder, because I find self-consciousness unctuous and pathetic. Two characteristics that I would hate to have.

    I want to be personal, intimate even, but maybe not too much. After all, I don’t know who is reading this, and actually I am kind of a private person.

    Now, there is the danger that I am actually just writing about myself when my real intention is to be writing about nothing in particular. 

    And you, dear reader, yes I feel affection for you even though I don’t know who you are, but just because you are still with me. I really appreciate that without hopefully, coming across as too humble. And besides I am like a child or a dog perhaps, in that I am quite willing to be affectionate most of the time.

    But I tend to hold back, even when giving a salutary hug as is the custom in latin america, because I would hate to impose myself on anyone. Because as loveable as I may be to at least one or two or possibly many people, it is not hard for me to imagine that some may not feel that way to me. I can remember some great old aunt planting a gushingly wet kiss on my cheek as a child and feeling repulsed. It could go back to that. Some might view this as a minor trauma, because now, as a mature adult, it is easy for me to imagine myself as incredibly sensitive as a child and no one having noticed that.

    But even now in the dotage of my old age, I still feel much like the innocent little child I was. And when I see myself in the mirror brushing my teeth every night as it were, as I must, as everyone must, I can’t help but laugh at how funny I can look. And the fact that every day must end this same way, in this pedantic, prosaic manner, for all the days of my life, no matter how spectacular the day might have been, seems like an unfair sentence for something I never did. Perhaps, it’s just because I ate food. I certainly am not one to enjoy a foul taste in my mouth. And I am one who wishes to keep my teeth and not have them rot away or have to wear dentures. 

    It’s hard to imagine that every person who ever lived had to brush and floss (I don’t want to leave flossing out) every day of their lives, or suffer a bad tasting mouth along with bad breath, and the inevitable and eventual rotting away of what is so necessary to have if one is to enjoy chomping away on something delicious.

    Please excuse me and understand that I am purposely preferring to speak of the prosaic as opposed to the profound, perhaps to stand up for the unappreciated, which is so rare. Perhaps to point out that even the most common and uninteresting things that make up a  large part of our lives, those things we would  prefer to overlook or ignore are sacred too and have their place. After all, if everything was profound, heavy, and deep, they would not seem profound at all, but rather ordinary, even maybe, superficial. So the insignificant, the trivial even, the pointless all serve in their underappreciated way to make profound thoughts, music, whatever be profound and glorious in comparison. 

    This could be an almost profound point, something I am really trying to avoid in this digression, if I may call it that, if it needs to be called something, certainly not a rant, please don’t call it that. I would hate  to rant.

    • Tom Charles Osher; I read you to the end, I was more concerned for your well-being than about anything that you had to say, as you said yourself, maybe it was just because it was about whales and therefore more difficult to relate to, maybe it was it was 3 am where you were, anyway, it’s getting more rare but there are still people in the world who care about, even complete strangers. Actually, I’ve read quite a few of your comments on the narrative here. So, I think it was more of a funny flip out, like how dogs enjoy rolling around in tall grass. Nothing to be concerned about, just being in a happy place for a moment.

    • You have teeth to brush?

      I find it kinda funny how people have been conned into poisoning themselves with one of the worst toxins, fluoride, so willingly religiously.

      Besides that, I shower like once or twice a month.

      • Which is to say, I wouldn’t let a child ANYWHERE NEAR fluoride toothpaste.

  • Beautiful

  • Photos: The Culture Of Whales
    April 19, 2021
    2-Minute Listen https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2021/04/19/988028339/photos-the-culture-of-whales
    Brian Skerry says it was “the stuff of dreams” to be in the water with a nursing sperm whale.

    The National Geographic photographer and explorer dove into Caribbean waters to capture what he believes to be a unique image. He got within a few meters to get the shot.

    “This was a very trusting mother, a new mom with maybe a five- or six-month-old baby that was nursing down at a depth of about 50 feet,” he said. “I very gently approached, just breath-hold diving, swam down. She saw me and then actually closed her eyes. I mean, she was so relaxed that I could enter into that world. I was being allowed into her world and could make these pictures.”

  • We are the peak predator as we are peak conciousness.
    Conciousness will rise. The penal colonies and dinosaur corp. Inc. Are as obsolete as billy gates. We are the action.
    It is avoidance to talk about whales and ignore those who handcuff young boys and use terms such as mental illness to hide a violent Catholic ancient order which is becoming more high tech, dangerous by the day.
    It appears there is a failure of femininity in the handing over of responsibility to plutocratic greedy judges.
    Why cant you see that the majority are twenty years behind and delusional of the high tech tools and the claim of illness, to be woken. How can you claim feminity and accept roman empire mental illness labels, where sociopathic police persons are labelled, ptsd rather that the sociopath labels that are available.
    How can this hole in the collective exist.

  • Nice article. Humanity is indeed too busy and preoccupied to hear the whales and everything they represent.

  • Maybe they’re using their large brains to send powerful telepathic messages to dogs who are owned by oligarchs? Telling them how to manipulate their masters into doing evil things to the human masses? Payback for centuries of animal abuse at the hands of the working class poor?

    • You know, Hydrogenboy knows a thing or two about that and suggests you’re not far off…

      If you’re unfamiliar, Hydrogenboy is like Aquaman but more volatile and powerful. Aquaman only reigns over 70% of the planet. Hydrogenboy kinda spawned that and makes life on the planet even possible.

      I have a ~21 year old dog (like a portuguese shepherd, basically) living with me, btw, he followed my brother here, when he was a puppy on the streets. I like to think of him as Anubis as he’s apparently indestructible, though his “official” name is Nutsy.

      Here’s another reminder of how “clever” people are.

  • I really like your work, It is rare to find a journalist so bold, who is not afraid of telling the truth. But what I like the most is the poetry that sometimes you share with us, readers. It is so beautifully said, and so deep the message. Yes, the world is a mess, but I firmly believe that art can and will save us.

  • Great post. However, I hope you’re not really polluting the environment as per, “I write notes on paper airplanes and sail them off the cliff’s edge, sending messages in bottles down the stream,…” Please tell me it is only poetic license and not reality.

      • I appreciate your messages on paper airplanes and in bottles

  • Millions of gallons of radioactive Fukushima waste will be dumped into the Pacific, saturate to California and sterilize the whales migration route. Millions of sheeple have mRNA bioweapon jabs. This is the first planet wide extinction event caused by self replicating, multi-cell, claimed “higher” lifeforms.

  • unlike you, expressing myself clearly and beautifully is not my gift, so i’ll just say WOW!!!!

  • Beautiful. Thank you.

  • thanks caitlin. another lovely one. shared.

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