Its not the first time the satirical show South Park have addressed the issue of whale conservation, but the latest episode treats this subject with their usual direct in-your-face attitude.
It's a measure of how the issue of the drive hunts in Japan is reaching out to new audiences. One of the amazing things I noted about people who saw the film the Cove when it was shown in Japan was that many Japanese people were not even aware that their country was actually killing whales. That's one of the problems when the Japanese media will not talk about the issue. Why? Maybe they don't wish to upset the Government: maybe they don't believe they have a responsibility to do so. Whatever the reason, democracy and debate is the thing to suffer when the media avoids an issue - as well as the whales suffering of course.
This representation by the South Park guys is not, of course, a true example of all Japanese people and indeed may cause offence to some people, be they Japanese or not, - but it does show what the issue of whaling and dolphin killing means for the way Japan can be perceived in some quarters.
Come on Japan, don't let the world think that all Japanese support their Government's policy on whaling.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the fact that the captive display of dolphins and the increasing number of shows that include public interaction, is one of the reasons Japanese dolphin hunters use to justify their catches. So next time you think about visiting one of these facilities maybe think about the dolphins that are dying to supply this industry.
That dolphin smile may be hiding a multitude of horrors - and not just because some hairy guy wants to give them a kiss.
In the USA I think this episode airs this evening (Wednesday 10pm PST) and on Friday in the UK. Sorry I don't know about other countries, but if anyone wants to let me know, I'll post dates here.