Lisa Frank is a Deceptive Shrew

Originally Posted March 30, 2011

They tricked us early on. I don’t know who “they” are, but I know they tricked us. We were misled to believe that whales are majestic, benign creatures when in fact, they are monsters of horrific proportions. Little girls run around with pictures of whales on their hand-me-down sweatshirts, climbing on snow mounds and barking at passersby at recess (granted these kids will probably grow up to be extremely lonely and don’t stand a chance in society, but that’s besides the point). Classrooms are riddled with Lisa Frank notebooks that show magical portraits of whales frolicking with ferries and unicorns (don’t even get me started on an animal with a sword coming out of its face – talk about terrifying). What I’m getting at, is that before we can tie our shoes and wipe our own butts, we think it’d be amazing to ride the back of a killer whale. We don’t even have control of our own bodies but we want to be pals with the largest creature on the planet?! This is dangerous thinking, and it’s got to stop.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Hey Taylor, what’s so bad about whales? Don’t they just eat harmless plankton?” This is exactly the kind of thinking that’s going to get you killed some day. First of all, there are plenty of whales that eat animals much bigger than puny humans like squid, seals, and other whales. Some whales only eat plankton. But they’re enormous size forces them to accidentally eat a whole lot of other stuff, too – like some idiot in a Lisa Frank scuba mask swimming in plankton. Whales range from 11ft long to 115ft long. That means that if the smallest whale in the world were standing next to Yao Ming, Yao would have to stand on his tippy-toes to motorboat the whale’s boobies.

Now that I’ve got your attention and you’re reflecting on what a complete lie your childhood was, let’s try to work out how we missed this. We’ve ignored all sorts of signs. Moby Dicktormented a sea crew. Pinocchio and Geppetto were swallowed whole by a whale. There are whale’s called “killer” whales for crying out loud. Still, it was easy to sympathize with the whales. They didn’t choose to be called “killer”. For all we know, they would have preferred being called Roger or Judy. Captain Ahab was trying to kill Moby so it makes sense that he returns the favor. And in a way, that Disney whale was helping everyone out by swallowing a gypsy puppet maker who was probably due for a meeting with Chris Hanson on To Catch a Predator and that sack of shit, lying pile of wood “real boy.” So don’t get too down on yourself if these examples didn’t give you the right idea about whales.

There were plenty of things that led us astray in our wrongful perceptions of whales. Shamu and all his friends at SeaWorld have had something to do with it; but above everything is the big screen production of Free Willy. The film’s star was 13-year-old bad-boy, Jesse. How could we be expected to NOT love whales after seeing him. Girls wanted him and guys wanted him to drown in the tank so they could scoop up the girls that were saving themselves for him. Not only did the hardass-turned-Save the Whales advocate make kids think highly of whales, but he also scammed parents into believing that their problem children would magically become well-behaved if they started hanging out with whales. Damn you, Willy. How did Tom Hanks win an Oscar over Keiko the Orca for best actor? Everyone knew Hanks wasn’t really “retarded,” Keiko tricked the whole world. People still think whales are friendly.

Now that we’ve identified this as a serious issue, we need to remedy it. Spread awareness. Talk to your kids. Schools, ban Lisa Frank and awful sweaters. Not only will people get the right idea about whales, but you’ll also save those kids from a lifetime of social torture. Wearing a shirt with a whale on it is like wearing a shirt Jeffery Dahmer on it. They’re both mass murderers and it shouldn’t be tolerated. As much as I’d love to see a Lisa Frank folder with an airbrushed portrait of Ted Kaczynski humping a mermaid on a cloud in space, I wouldn’t send my daughter to school with it. No more “Save The Whales.” The next time one beaches itself, punch it in the face, call it an asshole, and tell it we’re not going to take it’s false agenda anymore.