Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”, one of the network’s most prolific series on Tuesday nights, has high-seas adventure, momentous peril, and human spirit-breaking demands. Predominately, the crew aboard each crabbing vessel answers to a boat captain, no matter what the order-of-the-moment may be. Although each captain has his own demeanor with respect (or more aptly, lack thereof) pertinent to treating his crew, one which stands out as a drawback for me when I watch the “Deadliest Catch” episodes is the Saga crew’s captain, Elliott Neese.
Much ado about nothing
If ever there were a whiner bigger than what/who he is whining about, it is captain Elliott Neese.
It is for this reason, empirically-speaking, for which I denounce the persona of Neese on my favorite TV show. The show’s macro-exposures to Neese and how he operates his boat, and how he manipulates and denigrates his crew members, assures those moments for me to get up for a snack, drink, or to pee.
His boyish looks give hints as to his disposition and seemingly explosive, ill-reserved, misguided personality traits and poor attitude. One need not get stymied by Neese’s youthful features, including his vocal tone; the temperament deceives the audience into expecting a rather even-keeled, soft-spoken, reserved gentleman. Oh, the crab within the shell (wheelhouse).
Role-modeling exemplification is sunk
If Neese were to exhibit an example as to role-modeling, a choice persists. One can either mirror Neese’s cranky demeanor and thus become a clone of moodiness, ill-temper, and knee-jerk reactions to life circumstances and dilemmas, or, one can merely be wiser and conduct an about-face regarding the former traits, deliberating, at least, for finite resolution.
Poorly, it seems, Neese exudes self-development and growth much akin to his boat, the Saga: tossed about like a ship on the ocean and succumbing to push-comes-to-shove mentality. Too bad his crew has to pay, and pay dearly. No where to go, confined to tight quarters on a fishing vessel, hundreds of miles from any civilization…constantly barked at by the smarmy Mr. Neese.
For a self-professed lifelong fisherman, and a recently-self-assuming boat captain –Neese purchased his own vessel and refurbished it for sail before the season-taping of the “Deadliest Catch” 2013 episodes currently airing on Discovery Channel– he accords himself less-and-less respect by his fiery, brash attitude.
Weigh his negatives against his positives, and surely you have a heavily-tipped, imbalanced scale.
Not in his favor, either.
Reputation precedes, festers, and casts pall over the crew and catch
During his first season on “Deadliest Catch”, as a boat captain working for the owner of another vessel, the Ramblin’ Rose, he chronicled persistent shortages in catch quota. Moreover, discontent among his crew was fervently garnered; threats abounded in endless supply.
All throughout the former season (2012 taping), more than innuendo was cast about as to expectant utter shock if Neese were not fired.
In the off-season, Neese scored himself a new boat, which he purchased, repaired, and made ready for the season opener.
Yes, a grueling way to make a living, yet I fail to see how such a “boss” in any industry expects to cultivate a foundation which will reap dividends when denigration and devaluation of personnel is the seeming modality.
The adage “lead by example” comes to mind.
Responsible party to many lives sends wrong message
As a parent to two young children “back home”, it would seem to me to be more readily-apparent for Neese to expend his energies more on the expression of a father, working diligently to provide for his family, and the consolate gestures akin to family values, attachment, and longing.
Simply because something/someone is not within reach does not lend credence to going berserk up in the wheelhouse, on deck, in the galley, or anywhere else on the boat.
Taking his aggressions out on his crew appears to be routinized in Neese’s behavioral pattern.
A cantankerous senior citizen may garner some respect for his crass traits and persona, given chronicle age. But Neese is in his formative years, with a long way to go, if his disposition does not eat away at his soul first.
Characteristic traits haunt and tarnish legacy
A recent episode illustrated Neese’s explosive temper whereby he was talking on the phone to the mother of his kids and was apparently being put on the spot for cheating with another woman back home. It did not take long to witness Neese’s explosive temper, laden with profanation, with a woman who he deems his “soul-mate”. Un-edited, it seemed, and in full display for all to see.
Why the sudden and deep-seated angst if you were authentically innocent of your soul-mate’s accusations regarding infidelity?
In a related segment, Neese banters on the phone with a friend about “how she found out” about the other woman, threatening to “put a bullet in his head” as to the squealer he suspects of informing his kids’ mother of his other significant-other exploits.
To “Deadliest Catch” camera operators on-board, Neese intimates his suspicions regarding his male friend throwing him under the bus. Where is the positive lesson, Mr. Neese? Did your moral compass fall overboard and get claimed by the depths of the Bering Sea?
Redemption time perhaps
However vast the sea floor of the Bering Sea may be, I surely hope you are able to reel it (moral compass) back in, however minuscule the possibility may be.
How can one — a leader– expect his subordinates to respond in a reasonable fashion when the example set is that of a tyrant and self-serving entity?
Although the first episode of this season, depicting Neese refurbishing his newly-purchased vessel with the help of his father, encapsulated a tattered past-relationship history between both Neese’s, it alluded to hope and reparation from retrospective damages.
Something is missing
It escapes me thus far: Neese’s father, Mike Neese, is aboard for the trip to catch crab and plays a part equal to other crew members on the Saga, with the exception as the vessel’s mechanic and chef, as well. However, I fail to witness Neese netting any pointers from his father. In fact, not much mention of their relationship is portrayed on the show, with a basic introduction at the season-opening episode whereby each alludes to a rough past relationship for the cameramen on board to record.
Other than that, there has been nary interaction between father and son.
Not much concern regarding Neese’s behavior with his crew and his antics pertaining to his personal life; one is led to surmise that this personality trait is not the new normal for Neese.
Among several seasons since Neese joined “Deadliest Catch” production and video-footage, I can easily ascertain growing contempt for such a captain, not only by crew members, but by other boat captains in the Bering Sea crab fishery fleet.
Take a gander at a recent episode (at 00:37) whereby boat captain Scott Campbell, Jr., piloting the Seabrooke, clearly felt it plausible and deserving to yank the chains of Neese: after arguing vehemently about how at-odds each were with the other, an impromptu truce is formed, followed by a pact to concentrate on dual efforts to catch crab.
Well, the plot was against Neese to begin with, as his pseudo-partner never had any intention (if so, he changed his mind along the way) other than duping him into submission. No respect before the segment, less respect after the ruse.
The point: No respect is garnered when it appears lack of self-respect is evident. Negligable investment in an authentic friendship reaps dividends worth zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing but angst. And, that angst should not be cast upon the crew who boarded to make a living doing difficult labor.
Ideal role model
In contrast to Captain Phil Harris (posthumously), former boat captain of the Cornelia Marie which has been dormant among the fleet, lessons about life, reams of respect, excerpts of guidance of crew, and the storied tales of mysticism of the sea were infinite. Rest in peace, Captain Phil. You are sorely missed, indeed.
According to one of Neese’s bio interviews via Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch“ archived site, he states boldly: “You gotta give respect to earn it! I don’t put up with any disrespect from anybody! I don’t give a f–k who it is!” Nice.
Personal choice whether to cease watching ‘Deadliest Catch’ or self-censor by segment
Not quite the subject matter to be exposed to youngsters who are impressionable and learning characters traits. Certainly not the material typifying great leadership. Absolutely not the evolutionary new normal, at least not for the display of my kids’ eyes/brain matter.
And that is the tale of Mr. Neese: boat captain, father, son, and…not-a-favored-reality-show-captain to at least one spectator.