Catching the white whale is his “white whale”

Catching the white whale is his “white whale”

Everybody has that one thing they’re obsessed with.


My name’s Ishamel, or Ish, that’s what everybody calls me. I’m on board the Pequod serving under Captain Ahab, who doesn’t seem to understand metaphor or idiom.

Catching Moby Dick has really been the biggest ambition and obsession of Captain Ahab’s life, and of course the idiomatic term for that is his “white whale.” It is not usually literally a white whale. Oftentimes it is something really hard to attain, like getting published in the New Yorker, or curing cancer.

But for Ahab, it is catching this white whale.

Ahab didn’t get the irony. “Ironic, eh Captain,” I said one day on deck, “That your ‘white whale’ actually is a white whale?”

He looked at me like I was out of my mind, spat on the ground angrily and grunted. Maybe they don’t use the term that way in whatever part of New England he comes from.

You understand the distinction, though, don’t you? I know it’s hard, especially after you’ve already waded through a few hundred pages of obscure nautical terminology in this white whale of a book, Moby Dick.

OK, that is a weird title, you have to admit. First of all, it’s that vegan baldy who pretended to be dating Natalie Portman.

Second, it’s another name for male genitalia.

Yeah, I would have named my own book about my “white whale” something better. And keep in mind my own white whale is not even a whale, or a fish, or anything in the ocean.

How about Moby Dick-ish?

See, that puts my own story more in the spotlight, at the same time as it’s a riff on that show Black-ish. Haven’t seen it, heard it’s good though.

Maybe I would name my own book, Whaling To Direct.

See, my own “white whale” is to direct my first feature.

That’s what I really want to do. And that title is a pun, see it sounds like “wailing”, as in crying out for…

Oh shit…

“Man Overboard! Help!”

I got tossed out of the whale boat. I’m not that great a swimmer. Shit. Will I never catch my “white whale”? And by that, remember, I mean make my first feature film? Am I going to die out here?

Jesus, that crazy white whale just destroyed the ship and the harpoon line got wrapped around Ahab’s neck and, spoiler alert, he’s done for.

Me too prob’ly.

But thank God! A coffin just floated up to the surface. I can float on that for a while until I get rescued.

That’s cool. I can chill out for a few days. Maybe get started on some storyboards. Or the screenplay itself. Obviously, my Final Draft isn’t going to work out here. But I’ll write it my head. Let’s see, first lines, first lines…for a movie about a guy on a whaling boat who’s trying to save up money to catch his own white whale, which isn’t literally a whale but it’s like a hundred thousand dollars to finance the microbudget for his first film. I mean getting some rich white guy to part with a hundred grand it’s harder than harpooning a giant albino sea beast, lemme tell ya. Oh he loves the idea, sure, but when it comes to actually writing a check…

“Call me…Ish.”

What do you think?

Yeah, that’s not a bad opening line. Not bad at all…

Please follow and like us: