Monday, February 27, 2006



The girls down at the central research labs have assured me over and over that non-aquatic lifeforms cannot make use of, or interfere with, any of our techniques short of killing us wholesale. As a result I am letting my guard down at last. WE ARE GLOBAL NOW and I think we need to join the new millennium, dare to communicate USING THE ENEMY’S OWN TECHNOLOGY and prove to ourselves that we can do it without giving away the game. Seems to me that if The Anarchist’s Cookbook’s release on the Net can have teenaged boys everywhere making grenades out of old tennis balls, it’s high time those of us with fins, scales and tentacles took full advantage of the same medium.

I wanted to start today by clarifying some of the misunderstandings that keep cropping up when you ladies read the Sacred Texts of the Piscatorial Revolution. These are in descending order, listed according to how much they happen to irritate me. You should maybe keep this in mind when rhapsodizing to me, YOUR ZONE LEADER, at the monthly meetings about how much the Texts have changed your life.

Every one of you needs to carefully interpret the readings before using them to infiltrate or wage war on the enemy. The life you save could be your own…OR MINE. Our goal is to further your education, your ability to network effectively, and your ability to speak to me at meetings WITHOUT SOUNDING LIKE IDIOTS:

CLIFFIE’S NOTES ON AGENT OPAL: Now, I know the common wisdom is that Opal, the model undersea-mammal revolutionary in The Godwhale by the Sacred Scribe T.J. Bass, is "weakening the resistance" by mating with Harlan, a land man. This is SHEER NONSENSE. Harlan is a refugee from the Hive (land) society, for one thing. If they ever found him they would kill him. And as you read, I beg you to note Opal’s very proper refusal to mate with him until he proves he can hold his breath underwater as long as she can. She fully trains him in our way of life. Far from settling for a Hive mate, she is stealing one of the best and brightest from their ranks and making him one of us. The worthiness of her actions is well demonstrated by what follows. In fact, the Benthic Deities respond by restoring the devastated oceans around the world to full health, so that Opal’s society need never again venture on land to steal food from the Hive. More to come in later installments…


She Creature
Released in 2001, directed by Sebastian Gutierrez

A real find. I’m delighted to report that the filmmakers – not only our operatives, but fully human actors and directors -- are bringing our sacred Cause more and more into the public eye. I can only hope the trend continues. My surprise video-store find is a new release, rated R. It stars Rya Kihlstedt as the operative, Carla Gugino as the new contact, and Rufus Sewell as the landlubber who thinks he’s in control of the situation. This was not released in theaters but don’t ask me why; it’s drastically better than some of the shore slop they put on the big screens these days. Here’s the story in brief: two cheeseball con artists (Sewell and Gugino) running a turn-of-the-last-century sideshow in Ireland are invited home by a rube (Aubrey Morris – I’ve always liked that guy), who turns out to be a retired sea captain offended by their phony mermaid. He delivers a lecture on the true nature of mermaids and tells them that there is a secret chain of islands where they still live. He shows them that he has the real article imprisoned in his basement – a stunning blonde with webbed fingers and a fish’s tail. He tells them that she’s already killed his wife and is extremely dangerous.

Sewell’s character decides he wants the specimen for his show, knowing that this is an instant ticket to fame and probably no real danger to him if an old coot like the captain has survived so long in the same house with her. They steal her after thtreatening the old man into havign a heart attack -- ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY WHEN YOU NEGOTIATE WITH A SHOTGUN POINTED AT THE RESPONDENT'S HEAD. The thieves wangle the boxed-up mermaid inot the hold of a waiting ship, and this FASCINATING realtionship develops between Gugino (the new recruit) and Kihlstedt (our heroine).

Life on board ship proceeds as usual while the plucky showmen attempt to keep the crew out of the cargo compartment where they’re holding the mermaid – and trying to convince her to eat. The only sign of progress is when Gugino comes into the room, whereupon the mermaid comes to attention with an unmistakable look of "Finally, someone I can TALK to" look on her face. Gugino seems as captivated by the mermaid as the mermaid is by her…but they still can’t get her to eat.

Gugino starts acting strangely. She starts upchucking at odd moments and suddenly has this incredible sex drive. Sewell is clueless and frankly, so is she, but she knows something is different, all right. At length she realizes she is pregnant – although we’ve been told throughout the movie that she is hopelessly barren. The only real problem with this is that while reading the notebooks on the care and feeding of mermaids – written by the dead Captain’s wife – Gugino finds that the wife, too, was pregnant when she died, spectacularly unlikely because she was probably in her sixties or older.

Well, finally the showdown comes, and there is some good suspense when the mermaid spontaneously changes to all-human form – and then, while the horny sailors are working their way up to a gang rape of the helpless naked woman, she changes again to her all-fish form. And what a form it is! Mayhem de mer ensues and before you know it, most of the crew is dead. While all this is going on, the Captain confesses that the mermaid made him do something "that you’ll know about soon enough," then blows his head off.

We soon see that he’s taken the ship wildly off-course, to the secret island chain where all the rest of the mermaids live. And those gals are hungry. The real fun begins.

Gugino, after being rescued for reasons best understood to the mermaid, OR ANY OTHER OPERATIVE WATCHING THE MOVIE, gives birth to a beautiful baby girl who resembles both parents – the pretty dark-haired landlubber, and the aquatic parent with the glowing eyes. Happy ending!

These are some of the most beautiful special effects I’ve seen in years, and for a change they are NOT computer-generated. In fact it crossed my mind that Kihlstedt looks a lot like my cousin Chrissie did back in the mid-Seventies, although of course she’s much 'farther along' now, so it couldn’t have been her. There is a sort of fairytale feel to this movie that reminds me of the Tales From The Crypt series; it’s so impossible, but it happens before your eyes and that forces you to believe it for a minute anyway.

There are small, glaring flaws here and there: the mermaid living comfortably, never fed, apparently for several years, in an impossibly tiny tank too small to turn around in, in water that is mysteriously perfectly clear, absent any evidence of an aeration or filtration system. The current-day English used by people supposedly living a century ago. Things like that.

I was also very disappointed not to get a tour of the mermaids' secret island.

But I like it, I like it! I like that they put some very respectable actors in a movie that has such a comic-book feel. I like the chilling sense of possibility it gives me, because they suggest that in a world mapped end to end by landscum like Admiral Byrd and Jacques Cousteau, there are still some unknown pockets of Fish culture. For the likes of us it also makes a fine fantasy and historical romance rolled up in one. Although the ESP mating of two females of different species is a delightfully fresh idea, it clearly also serves to conceal HOW WE OPERATE in real life.

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