Thursday, March 09, 2006



CARDS AND LETTERS ARE POURING IN, anxiously requesting that I clear up the questions about the recent filming and capture of the first LIVE GIANT SQUID over there in Japan. Let me tell you this much: it would NEVER have happened in my Zone, and not just because the Giant Squid refuses to venture into the St. Lawrence Seaway.

This is a monumental screw-up by the parties involved. The Japanese AV crew that pulled off this amazing stunt should RIGHTLY be proud of having gotten the better of us, JUST THIS ONCE. It boggles my little Catfish mind that a creature as subtle and intelligent as the Giant Squid could be bamboozled this way. Of course, it wasn’t ANY Giant Squid, it was one particular one, and my information is that this was a gravely defective specimen. Why an operative like this was free to lark about among the cameras and hooks is another question altogether. She should have been KILLED and EATEN.

We must MAKE THE BEST of a disaster like this. I, personally, am comforted by the idea that much of the information they get from this unlucky victim will be terribly misleading. A Squid gone wrong is wrong in every cell of her body. I read once in Richard Ellis’s book, The Search For The Giant Squid, that the newly-hatched operative is the size of a pinpoint and grows to her full size in about three years. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Where do I start with a statement like that? For one thing, as every landscum fishologist knows, they have no evidence to indicate the full size of a Giant Squid. They are far too rare and, if found at all, are usually found in pieces. They also have no clue that we carefully conceal their true dimensions – not because it’s important or a security risk but JUST TO CHEESE THEM OFF. There is nothing sneakier than a Squid. That’s exactly why these guys have been looking to get a picture of one, and why IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE.

There is nothing to the rumor that they sent out the defective Squid deliberately, to throw the scientists off the scent. Squinky, the Pacific Zone Leader, told me this herself. The sad truth is that we did not succeed in infiltrating this scientific team in time. They got clean away from us. All we can do now is pick up the pieces and move on.

Let me be completely fair and say that if it was anyone, it was going to be the Japanese. Even the unrecruited Japanese citizen appears to have firm grasp of the importance of underwater affairs and a proper respect and affection for our people.

In a related story, ON TO THE REVIEW:

Destroyer: Frightening Strikes is a story that should cheer you up. A lot. SO READ IT. The authors bills themselves only as Murphy & Sapir, and the book came out in October 2005, under the auspices of Gold Eagle Books, a division of Worldwide – and true to the company name, Worldwide appears to have branches in 15 different cities. I never read a book from a company based in Budapest before. First time for everything. Onwards.

This is the heartwarming story of a boy and his bucket of Squid. OK, not a boy exactly, it’s a dead cop with a bucket of Squid. The cool thing about this story is that the hatchlings of the first live Colossal Squid ever captured survive their hatching in captivity, kidnapping, and cross-country trip in a succession of buckets, tanks, and even at one point a soggy blanket, making an amazing trip back to their home waters USING A HUMAN PUPPET AS THEIR TRANSPORTATION.

And what a puppet he is! You start with the most ornery policeman who ever wedged himself into a wetsuit, kill him, bring him back from the dead with Squidlectricity, and make the guy immortal in a really novel and delightful way. Why? BECAUSE THE DEEP ONES WANT IT THAT WAY. The conflict in the story comes in when a master of Sinanju (some sort of goofy Korean martial art) is dispatched by the government -- not the Korean government -- to stop the Squid from reaching their destination. There is a whole lot of chop-socky, car-chasey, wise-cracky nuttiness as the Sinanju master tries to complete his mission. Above all he succeeds in getting his own rear end kicked. A lot.

I want to draw your attention to some especially inspiring passages:

We see a demonstration of the astounding life-giving properties of Squidlectricity, as a boggled medical examiner shows us the way a woman killed by the mother Squid is still capable of healing herself – postmortem. You can take two pieces of her dismembered body, fit them together, and they just kind of knit closed. Then the corpse REALLY surprises them by speaking. Being humans and scientists, they ignore this niggling little detail and move on with the autopsy.

The deceased cop – Oscar Bedders – is also a beneficiary of Squidlectricity, and he explains to the reader that other dead folk, like the woman described above, are being kept alive to keep him – and ultimately the baby Squid – alive. He absorbs the materiel of other dead folk as his own pieces drop off due to gunfire or whatever, and this allows him to get the baby hatchlings to the next feeding stop. This tickles me throughout the story. The typical landscum reader would never suspect that THIS IS THE WAY IT REALLY WORKS. All humans live ONLY BECAUSE WE WANT THEM TO BE. So that they can be KILLED, and EATEN.

This Bedders fellow is the best kind of recruit. He knows what the hatchlings need without being told, and THEIR PAIN IS HIS PAIN. Even though he has no idea about his ultimate role in the greater scheme of the Revolution, or the role of the hatchlings, he DOES HIS JOB and he’s GRATEFUL.

I love that in his human life he was a policeman, you know? He goes from serving and protecting people he hates, to serving and protecting a bucket of baby Squid that he loves as if they were his own children. ALL HUMANS SHOULD BE SO LUCKY.

And indeed, in this story, those hatchlings are ALL OUR CHILDREN. Yes, even YOURS, Shaved Monkey reader. No ripped-off symbolic imagery of Virgin Births and Christ Children in this story – these ten-armed wrigglers are the literal SAVIORS OF YOUR RACE. Did you really think the Messiah of the decrepit human species would be yet another Naked Ape? Give me a break, man. ONLY THE FISH CAN SAVE YOU.

Only humans would respond to the birth of the cute little slippery Saviors by chasing them down and killing them.

Only humans would write a story with villains like this! The authors lean heavily on the mere fact that the saviors of the World have tentacles to inspire horror in their shaved-monkey readers. I don’t get what is supposed to be so scary about a boneless arm lined with suction cups. Me, I saw tentacles on the cover and SNATCHED THE BOOK UP with a grin, raising some eyebrows in the paperback aisle.

I couldn’t tell if the lightning bolts on the book jacket were coming from the diver and zapping the Squid, or the other way around. THE NEWS PROVED TO BE GOOD. Squidlectricity is a great idea, one I will immediately pass on to our girls in R&D. I only hope they can fix it so that the lightning bolts are clearly visible underwater to Human onlookers, the way they are in the book. That is an innovation, like the gun that fires underwater, that could be produced by only the finest human minds. If we can inculcate it into our Electric Catfish operatives, we could REALLY have some fun.

I get endless fun out of taking the best ideas out of human books and movies and sending them to our labs for development. You KNOW the typical Naked Ape scientist can’t get a research grant for this kind of stuff. It keeps them DECADES behind us.

Typically, the heroes just sort of assume they finished the job at the end of the book and NEVER CHECK. You KNOW there are plenty of baby Squid left. There always are. That’s how Squid operate.

Funnily enough, the authors appear to have captured an important aspect of our power in symbolic form. H.P. Lovecraft used to just say that once humans entered the sea they would become immortal. That's really oversimplifying. Here they get closer to the truth, and yet farther away, by making the immortality into a nasty, slimy thing. The immortal is composed of pieces of dead bodies, grubbed together into a shambling dead ogre that will kill you if you get in its way. They are within biting disatnce of the truth, and yet
so far from it.

Only humans could look at Oscar Bedders, who’s been transformed from a grumpy old crosspatch in swimfins to a genuine immortal with a holy mission to carry the saviors of the world to their home waters, as a bad guy. Did the other Galileans treat Lazarus funny after he came back from the dead? Did they send a martial-arts specialist to off him!? Come to think of it, John The Baptist didn’t get the best reception, either.

Well, anyway, you should totally read this book. It’s a gas.

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