Sunday, April 29, 2007



WOW, there is nothing like seeing a daikaiju film on the big screen. This brand-new release out of Korea is great, great, great, combining the best features of a dysfunctional family comedy and a film about a giant aquatic whaddayacallit.

I have to love this monster. It's sort of fishy/froggy/dragonlike, with the goofiest structure ever and some very nasty-looking mouthparts. Something like THAT shouldn't even be able to walk, let alone do the acrobatics it does in this film, but they make it work. It gives me new faith in computer-generated cartoon monsters. I was often aware that I was looking at CGI, but it didn't bother me too much. It didn't look crappy at all; it just looked like something that had no business eating sightseers on the banks of the Han River, and that of course was just the impression they were trying to give.

They never even try to explain where the monster came from, other than showing the head guy at an American army hospital morgue ordering an assistant to pour formaldehyde down the sink because the bottles are dusty. (This is classic movie shorthand. Obviously the head guy is a high-ranking officer -- sheesh.) Interestingly, the authorities seem to make no attempt to kill the monster or even study it -- they just want to cordon it off, along with the people who came in contact with it.

That fact that nobody but the Park family makes any real effort to dispatch the whaddayacallit suggests to me, personally, that the governments of both Korea and the USA are, as the Monkey people say, IN ON IT. Check it out, they're tear-gassing the protestors rather than the 20-foot frogfish that's eating the good citiziens of the town. What does that say to you?

This is a portrait of a recruiting technique we never use anymore -- the old just-dash-up-onshore-and-eat-'em method. For me, the real value of this film from OUR point of view is nostalgia for a simpler, less conniving time. I have to say it paints a very clear portrait of how unrecruited landscum see our efforts to help them. Get a load of that public grief ceremony with the flowers and the ranked photos of the dead. THEY REALLY THINK ALL THOSE PEOPLE ARE GONE FOREVER!

Rejoice, finny readers: the River Han is a direct path to Dagon, in whose realm we shall all dwell in wonder and glory forever.

A Call To Celebrate Fountains

Does anyone today on the fish Internet remember hearing in Latin class about the Fontinalia? It’s a long-disused Roman holiday. The Romans ritually recognized the importance of the Nymphs that lived in fountains every October 13th, decking them out (the fountains, not the Nymphs) with flowers and such. Naturally, they portrayed those Nymphs in their artwork as being surpassingly lovely human girls. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER that these images are just as distorted as the ones passed down to us by sailors, concerning the appearance of Mermaids. Sailors, like the ancient Romans, are VERY heavy drinkers. And if you’re a shaved monkey, it’s very hard to convince your beer-hall buddies that you were overwhelmed, seduced and cast back up on shore by, well, a fish. To make the story believeable you’d better make her human, and you’d better make her pretty.

Here’s my thought: Labor Day is really just a stupid holiday about cooking meat, and there’s nothing else between that and Halloween. Why not reinstitute the Fontinalia? I want to start reviving the holiday this year, at the site nearest to me here in the Manoogian Mansion, the hideous Dodge Fountain pictured on this page. If any structure in modern history needed to be decorated, nay, disguised in wreaths of flowers, this would be the one. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING WHEN THEY APPROVED THIS DESIGN? I ASK YOU.

I was reminded of the Fontinalia while reading 13: The Story Of The World’s Most Popular Superstition, written by a human named Nathaniel Lachenmeyer. He mentions the holiday on page 75. This charming little book is published by the delightfully-named Thunder’s Mouth Press, an imprint of the Avalon Publishing Group, New York, copyright 2004. It gives an especially clear picture of the way this pitiful species likes to stitch things up into nice, neat, logical packages that seem to help their world make sense to them, while simultaneously making THE REST OF US laugh ourselves sick. If you need a laugh at human foibles, this is a great read.

In the middle of this examination, Lachenmeyer also drops a real grenade, on page 115, in the form of a description of an old Estonian "superstition" about secret underground waterways and the importance of not spending too much time near them. Of course, the Estonians have been extremely tough to recruit ever since they discovered our 'Underground Railroad.' They are unusually stubborn about believing that it’s a bad thing to turn into a fish. I figure it’s THEIR LOSS.

On the bright side, NOBODY BUT THE ESTONIANS are willing to believe that we lurk constantly beneath their feet.

Friday, April 13, 2007


This moving future memoir of humanity's re-absorption into the ocean is the perfect book to review on the occasion of the author's death, AND, I HOPE, BURIAL AT SEA. He lived on Cape Cod, people: for crying out loud, take advantage of the fact.

Kurt Vonnegut, almost alone among authors, is loved by the college crowd as well as their kid sisters and stuffy aunts. He has done more than his fair share of bringing recruits to the jaws of Dagon. He did this by penning Galapagos, the moving story of how the last few humans on dry land finally went back to the ocean AS THEY WERE INTENDED TO ALL ALONG. You have to like how he works the story, so that within a very few generations, the few plucky survivors of a worldwide plague transform into a population of furry, torpedo-shaped, seal-like characters who live all their lives on the beach and in the sea, catching fish in their teeth as Dagon intended, while still retaining the essential characteristic that marks them as human: when somebody farts, everyone laughs and laughs.

You also have to love the narrator, a long-suffering ship's ghost. This character was trapped in the hull of a cruise liner he was working on, after dying in the shipyard of a nasty accident. He was doomed for the rest of history, after the ship foundered off the Galapagos Islands, to watch how it all comes out. This is the only human who gets to see up close, and really understand on a human level, the fate of humanity.

What's his name? Leon Trotsky Trout, named after a visionary of the Communist movement...and a fish.

And what have the humans on Galapagos finally achieved? The Communist ideal, is what. Total togetherness, in a paradise free of both possessions and labor relations. All they needed to do was return to the sea.

If my eyes could still make tears, this book would move me to cry. It's been great, Mr. Vonnegut. There will never be another one like you.

Operative Honored In Online News Organ

I've really hesitated all this time to link the Notes to this newspaper...Frankly, I'm afraid you'll read IT and not ME.

I shouldn't worry about these things. After all, if you don't carefully absorb each detail of every memo, newsletter and telepathic communication I send out, you will be KILLED and EATEN.

Oh, the article linked above? I just wanted to respond to a number of worried-sounding cards and letters from the membership, asking whether this operative's mission has been accomplished properly if the humans are still this puzzled. The short answer is YES, EVERYTHING WENT PERFECTLY. I am particularly sorry to see this operative giver her life for the Cause, just because every scrap of work she's done for us over the years has been so brillaint. But I guess your number has to come up someday.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Enormous Rockfish Allows Herself To Be Examined In Alaska

Dear Cod, I was about to make a joke about how they sawed her in half and counted the rings, and it turns out that's exactly what they did. Click here for the gory details.
I want you all to know, this went down EXACTLY THE WAY WE PLANNED. The operative (name withheld at her request) was actually itching to take on this mission years ago, but we asked her to wait for the proper moment.

This is exactly the sort of eager volunteerism I like to see, ladies. Brava.