Whale-Watching with Andrew

It does seem that Andrew Sullivan is the mayor of Provincetown, though his husband, Aaron, appears to be even more popular -- he's starring in two plays this summer alone. Provincetown is lively and high-spirited and rambunctious in part because it is extremely gay. (I have terrible gaydar -- at least when compared to my Jewdar -- but even I noticed that Provincetown makes Key West look like Colorado Springs. Maybe it was the shirtless muscle queens holding hands on Commercial Street that gave it away, I don't know).

But this post is not about gay Provincetown, it's about gay whales. No, strike that, it's just about whales. Aaron and Andrew and my family went out on a whale-watching trip, and it was awesome. I don't mean "awesome" in a juvenile way, I mean "awesome" as in, "if God did indeed create the earth, he did a bang-up job in the large mammal department."  We saw eight humpbacks and a bunch of minkes (as well as an enormous pod of dolphins). But the highlight for me was the finback whale, the second-largest living creature on earth, after the blue whale, which came so close to the boat I thought he would flip it over. It's impossible to describe the sight of a finback whale forty feet from where you stand. I'll say this -- you and your problems shrink in significance. 

I think it was Andrew who first observed that the presence of these whales, so close to Cape Cod, suggests that it is not too late for the planet. The fact that they still exist -- precariously, obviously -- means that humans haven't yet destroyed everything natural and beautiful  (though as Aaron pointed out, there's still time). These enormous and graceful creatures fill you with hope. I'll post pictures when I can figure out how Mrs. Goldblog's camera works.

And no, Andrew and I didn't discuss the Middle East. Provincetown seems very far from the Middle East.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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