Summit Up 11-14-12: Rediscovering the classics
Ryan Summerlin November 14, 2012
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that loves its literature.
According to the all-knowing Internet, Nov. 14, 1851, was the publishing date of the great classic “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville. With so many popular books these days featuring celebrity fad diets or sparkly vampires, it’s nice to take a look back to the classics, to the works that have endured the test of time, and remember why they’re great.
For those looking for classics to read or re-read, we suggest the local library, or back-issues of the Summit Daily.
Speaking of cetaceans, it seems that human-whale relations have become much less aggressive than Melville’s day, and much more friendly. While diligently doing important research on the web recently, we stumbled across a video of a speaking whale. It wasn’t Auto-Tune or a hilarious dub-over, but an actual event in which NOC, a white Beluga whale, appeared to be attempting to replicate human speech. NOC held “conversations” with scientists from the 1980s until his death five years ago.
Though no one knows why he was trying to talk (maybe he wanted a different flavor of anchovies, maybe he wanted to let his trainers know that their rad ’80s fashions would eventually morph into embarrassing photo moments), it was clear that he was imitating human speech.
Not to be outdone, an elephant in a South Korean zoo has recently been heard speaking in Korean. Koshik has been recorded saying five different words in Korean, and performs the feat by folding his trunk into his mouth.
We here at the Daily are a little concerned. If the animals start talking, what’s next? Our cats demanding more tuna in the middle of our “Seinfeld” marathons? Our office dogs glancing over at our computer screens and correcting our spelling? Well, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. Would it really be so crazy to use Fido as a spell-check? Dogs are already in nearly every aspect of our lives. Uggie, a jack russell terrier, which some may remember from the Oscar-winning movie “The Artist,” recently became the first canine to leave his paw prints in cement on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
You know what, we’ve changed our minds. We’re not concerned; we’re relieved. Let the animals take over for a little while, particularly in Hollywood (we’re expecting “Lassie” and “Flipper” re-runs). We’re going to kick back, relax and catch up on our reading.