Monday, July 30, 2007

Fishstick Harvest Threatened; Shaved Monkeys Terrorized

...Or, as I like to think of it, SQUIDMAS IN JULY. A plucky group of Squid operatives, enjoying the expanded opportunities afforded them by global warming, set upon a delicious meal of Hake operatives, who as always gave themselves cheerfully for the Greater Glory of The Fish God, Dagon.

THEN YOU-KNOW-WHO SHOWED UP. The Squid and the Hake, working together, recruited these ill-smelling sailors on the spot. What always CRACKS ME UP about photos like these is the way they hold up our dead bodies for the camera as if they'd conquered us in a mighty battle. They FAIL TO REALIZE that the battle is OURS and ALWAYS WAS.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Get A Load Of This

I just think this is a very nice example of how our subliminal advertising campaign has leaked into EVERY AREA of human concern. Notice all the pretty fish scales in this photo? Did you check out the dolphin's dorsal fin on the light-blue fabric over towards the right? Is the caption not a perfect advertisement for OUR CAUSE?

Special thanks to a certain New Jersey nail tech who sent this here to me at HQ. Very observant. The Bleak Army will be very lucky to have you.

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This is a lovely little story, copyrighted 1953 to the author, John Wyndham, about PISCATORIAL SPACE MONSTERS and how they melted the polar ice caps, in order to drown all the land creatures and take over the world. Nice simple plot line, nice convincing characters, well-written (British, you know), with the nice Lovecraftian touch that the reader never gets to see the critters, even on the rare occasion that one of their craft is captured. Jolly good stuff.

One thing I especially like is that you can never know for sure whether they are really SPACE MONSTERS, or whether they were simply malevolent FISH who were lurking at the bottom of the sea ALL ALONG. The falling star/landing craft might be, as the humans say, RED HERRINGS.

Another thing I like is that you are never sure, even by the last page of the book, that they are GONE FOR GOOD. They might be only LYING IN WAIT.

I like also that this book COULD make a good movie, but probably WON’T. It would be too difficult for a modern-day casting director to find modern-day actors and actresses who could manage the difficult characterisations. Those are SO 20TH-CENTURY and this is a new day, producing movies unfettered by complexity or dramatic tension. This means that the mental pictures you create by reading the book yourself will NEVER be disrupted by afterimages of a film starring, say, Keanu Reeves as the sensitive hero, struggling to hide his American accent as he barks orders into a cellphone, and Ricki Lake as his plucky wife, not even bothering to hide hers as she shrieks at him to change the battery, already, they’re losing signal.

I like that to my knowledge, nobody has even tried to make this into a movie or TV show. That makes this story IMMUNE TO REMAKE-A-MANIA! It’s a dang good thing, too…the only old piece of dreck they haven’t remade into a movie yet is The Facts Of Life, and I think I’m NOT THE ONLY ONE living in fear of the day someone finally gets financial backing for that dread project.

I seem to have strayed from my point. I also like the cover art on this Penguin edition. It shows a big cruise liner hanging almost vertically in the water, wrapped in electric bolts like the arms of a Giant Squid and dragging the boat underwater as a mysterious shape, like that of a tremendous Tadpole, lurks beneath. Pretty cool.

This is great bedtime reading for the kids, even. You will need to break the chapters up into smaller pieces for that purpose. You can handle it. This is just the sort of story that brings PISCATORIAL LOVE to the forefront of an impressionable child’s mind.


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Saturday, July 21, 2007


This disturbing head-twirler of a book was written by some guy named Tom Robbins and published by Bantam Books, copyrighted 1994. I read it a few years ago and always planned to review it for you here, but I knew I would have to re-read it and couldn’t bring myself to do that. Bleagh; this is just the kind of book that makes me feel queasy, but it won’t affect all of you that way, and it is an important read. I recommend you GO AHEAD.

The story opens on the day of a major stock-market crash, and attractive-but-incompetent stockbroker Gwen Mati has (page 3 – for some reason this book starts on page 3) has left her clients “so far underwater they’re going to need gills to breathe.” RIGHT AWAY we see where this story is headed. But the way Robbins gets you there is really, really disturbing. As in, REALLY disturbing. This first scene takes place in a tavern called the Bear & Bull where the traders graze and sometimes, as they do today, drown their sorrows. In this unlikeliest of places, she meets some kind of strange dang operative I never heard of, a creepy guy named Larry Diamond who, LIKE EVERY SHAVED MONKEY EVERYWHERE, is TOTALLY UNABLE to keep his mind above his belt and LIKE MANY OTHERS treats Gwen (at first) as a dispensible sex object. He never does jettison the sex angle but he does ultimately come around to treating her as someone he wants to rescue from petty monkey concerns and sweep away to a better place. But in this case, he’s planning on sweeping her away to the Sahara Desert, specifically Timbuktu. NOT EXACTLY PARADISE FOR A FISH, DUDE.

OK, as the title of this book makes clear immediately, the story leans on the Frog angle, not the Fish. But check out this passage on page 135:

“’Fish,’ you say aloud, with a squeaky and altogether mirthless chuckle. You could be thinking that it is quite amazing how much we human beings – evolved, civilized, sophisticated, created in God’s own image – depend on those cold-blooded, elongated, squamous vertebrates (slippery, pop-eyed, and pornographically scented) that hide from us in unknown numbers beneath the waters, deep or shallow, broad or narrow, fresh or briny, rough or placid, of the world.”


The next sentence in the story refers to “the Nommo card,” a Tarot card Gwen drew from a face-down deck a little earlier. Never heard of the Nommo? This came straight from Robbins, but WHAT AN IDEA: Larry Diamond has modified the Star card (“bright prospects, hope, the promise of the future”) to be entirely piscatorial in nature – the woman in the card has been fitted out with scales and webbed hands. If I had thought of this myself, I would have already added it to the Fishface Tarot Deck, but oh well. This does indeed turn out to be the nature of Gwen’s bright prospects as she circle closer and closer to accepting her destiny as a Frog Woman. Robbins, through Larry Diamond, throws in all kinds of references from the Bible and stuff. They act as lures that Gwen can relate to, sort of, to draw her into the mystic frog pond at the exclusive University of Timbukutu, or wherever it is that Larry plans to go to get well – he is a sick man looking for a cure, and once he’s in love with Gwen he wants to bring her along too. That MAY be a metaphor for the process of transforming the landscum back into sea creatures, but personally I FIND IT A BIT CREEPY. True to the generally perineal tone of this book, Larry’s problem is rectal cancer, and at one point Gwen walks in to find him stuffing medicinal leaves up his poop chute. He proceeds to get her down there with him on the bathroom floor so they can have sex, whereupon his roommate walks in and they have a chat about an important show coming on the TV. This is a major factor about this book that churns my guts : Robbins is one of those writers, like John Updike, who seems determined to gross you out by filling your head with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of NOISOME BODILY FLUIDS. He is quite aware of this tendency: he has poor Gwen blushing red as a fire hydrant almost any time anyone speaks to her, or when she thinks, or when she comes to at one point in a dark alley with her pants around her ankles. I mean, on one level, this is a valuable process for Gwen because it tends to shatter the lens she looks through, always, as if under a curse: the primate hang-up on social status and dignity. Being rather beyond this point myself, I can still remember the pain of monkey humiliation. There is a TON of it in this book. Larry is rightly portrayed a an enlightened guy because he doesn’t worry about that stuff any more. But I’m not sure humiliating Gwen in eighteen different ways in a single weekend is the best way to break her out of her fear of humiliation. Jesus, JUST TURN HER INTO A FROG ALREADY.

Another thing that makes this book hard on the GI tract is the willy-nilly pace of the story, written entirely in the second person, giving the reader no opportunity to detach from the action. And because we’re in Gwen’s head as she is yanked, all unwilling, into a damper life, we cannot get away from the purple prose that sloshes constantly in her brain. Maybe all Robbins’s books are like this, but in this one, it’s Gwen who thinks in these nested metaphors. Gwen’s disconcerting habit of meditating on George Washington’s false teeth to clear her mind of sexual thoughts, in itself, is enough to kill a person’s appetite.

Anyway, GWEN NEVER QUITE GETS THE IDEA, and I think this is because all the slings and arrows on this zany weekend are distracting her from the real goal. You could use this book as a guide on HOW TO COMPLICATE THE RECRUITING PROCESS.

I think part of the problem is that Robbins (I checked) is quite human and writing a novel about financial insecurity and status consciousness, not PISCATORIAL LOVE. Hey, with all this chatter about the ancient Egyptian knowledge of Amphibian consciousness that survives to this day by the reedy watersides of Africa, he never makes the elementary connection between the piscatorially-enlightened tribe Dogon and our Great God, DAGON. Doofus.

He does give the reader one incredibly bracing, even heartwarming thought, on page 210:
”The Father’s a frog, the Son’s a tadpole, the Holy Ghost is swamp gas.”

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An Appeal to the Membership

OK, I'm asking all of the operatives who are not under deep cover to let Mr. Troll know: this is HIS OPPORTUNITY to bring the joy of Squidmas to all the children of the world! Flap those gills, girls! I think he'll be persuaded once he realizes how many piscatorial operatives, as well as HP Lovecraft fans and all manner of Goths, want to GIVE HIM MONEY for this holiday item, which I dare say would be available NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH! Who cares if it was my idea, it would be HIS INCOME.
Dare I hope he'd put "Merry Squidmas" in the spaces between the tentacle bundles? At that point I think I could RETIRE IN TRIUMPH and settle down the the task of shipping Squidly parcels everywhere from my watery lair.
Now, I want to add this IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not call, write or e-mail this renowned artist unless you are in the company of at least two non-operatives who are also calling, e-mailing or writing requests. We can't risk THAT much exposure.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Incredible News!

And I do mean INCREDIBLE. I just got an e-mail from RAY TROLL, ladies, yes, RAY TROLL.
HE IS ACTUALLY CONSIDERING DESIGNING SOME SQUIDMAS WRAPPING PAPER FOR US! Oh, OK, probably lots of landscum would buy it too, for their own debased Goth reasons, but
Well, this was shaping up to be a lousy day, and one e-mail turned it all around.
He's even sending for his own copy of Night Tide on the recommendation of the St. Lawrence Seaway Zone Leader of the Global Fish Conspiracy! Yes!
Oh, I know it's unseemly to get so excited about a gaudy, tinpot thing like human celebrity, but seriously, if he goes htrough with this mad plan, this could mark the very first time a human, knowing who and what I am, has agreed to FURTHER OUR GOALS.
Excuse me while I sink to the bottom of my tank in a stupor.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

"Cardinal Hume" is here already!

Wow, these people work fast. The fish-scented miracle is busily taking root here in the Lost Recruiters' Memorial Gardens, right down front where it's easy for passers-by to take a nice deep whiff of that Cod perfume. Sorry, I cannot release the address of the Memorial Gardens on the Internet, for obvious reasons. Consult your manuals for road directions.

And, yes, additional Memorial Gardens will be springing up everywhere around the world as the number of operatives who sacrifice themselves to recruit more humans continues to mount up.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Fishy Miracle of "Cardinal Hume"

Isn't this a pretty flower? BUY ONE. NOW.
OK, let me explain. This is more than just a handsome purple rose, ladies; it's a POWERFUL RECRUITING TOOL. This particular cultivar, called "Cardinal Hume," is the perfect specimen for any gardener who hopes one day to turn into a fish, or who hopes to turn her neighbors into fish. How can a member of the WRONG PHYLUM help us with our glorious cause, you ask? Stop asking questions and take a whiff.
Different sources describe the scent differently, to say the least. This is always the mark of a complex and compelling fragrance. In fact, to say only that much about the scent of "Cardinal Hume" is to damn it with faint praise. It's been compared to cinnamon, overripe fruit, cleaning chemicals, cheap perfume, heavy musk, and, most importantly for our purposes, FISH. Wait'll you see how it affects unsuspecting humans who sniff this flower.
I was visiting a high-toned seaside nursery in England when I personally witnessed the miracle of "Cardinal Hume." A human female accepted an invitation to take a whiff; she stepped backward in surprise; she then turned on her heel and charged straight across the parking lot and into the ocean. Squinky and Gertruuid were with me at the time and can vouch for this incredible story. The salesgirl seemed to consider it a lapse of taste when Gert rounded on her and asked to buy the bush. She was only a kid and could hardly have understood what she was seeing. All I can say is, first, Gert knows a good recruiting tool when she sees one, and second, no woman turning into a Grouper is ever going to have a lick of social delicacy, OK? So she went for it. The story showed up the next day in the papers over there; NOT A SOUL connected it to "Hume," not even in the Letters To The Editor later on. I had my people keeping an eye on that. Further proof of this rose's power over humans, wot? If it affects you at all, you instantly know enough to KEEP YOUR HAIRY MONKEY MOUTH SHUT.
I have seen many, many humans sniff this rose in the years since, because I have them flanking the front gate of my secret entrance. Every one of them falls back a step. None of them has plunged yet into the Detroit River, at least not while I happened to be watching; but an astounding number of them have been recruited on the spot. Most of them sign on the same day. That perfume has a real kick to it.
I can't help wondering what old Basil Hume, a landlubber to his last day on earth, would say about the unexpected gift hidden in the plant named after him. Maybe just "Are you kidding? They breed a rose that smells like low tide, and they name it after me?" But I like to think he might have gone for an unexpected swim if he had ever had the chance to inhale the sweet breath of this rose. I recommend that even the eager recruits still up on dry land get access to this rose and take a sniff; all I can tell you is that is smells like home, like Land's End, the place we all want to be. One comes away from the shrub with a renewed sense of purpose.
Even if you just know a human practical joker who'd proven impossible to recruit, this rose makes the perfect gift!
This used to be available in a lot more places, but I found it on just one sales site after 45 minutes of searching. I hate to tell you, but I apparently bought the last one they had, because the sales tage vanished off the site with my purchase. Never mind; they'll have more next year. Meanwhile, IF YOU'RE NICE you can have a slip off one of mine, dipped in rooting compound for your convenience. Wait, that's illegal. You can have some of the flowers, and if you root the stems it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Oh, here's the place that sells them:
They appear to prefer e-mail communication at

MAIL: Ashdown Roses
PO Box 129
Campobello, SC. 29322
FAX (864) 468-4889

The nursery address is
Ashdown Roses
2220 S. Blackstock Rd.
Landrum, SC. 29356

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"The Innsmouth Look"

Just get a load of this lyric:

I met her at the EOD
She sank her dew claws into me
We stepped out to watch the tide come in
She said a little swim would do some wonders for your skin
I shed my old self, slipped into the sea

One glance was all it took
She gave me the Innsmouth look(x2)

I dig her batrachian lips
Her bulbous eyes and scaly hips
She's got secrets but they'll soon be mine
Oh, Father Dagon smiles upon me from the bas-relief
And something's fishy down at Devil Reef

One glance was all it took
She gave me the Innsmouth look(x2)

Obed was a sailor
He sailed the 7 seas
He made love to the fish
He made love to the fish
He made love to the fishies (repeat ad nauseam)

One glance was all it took
She gave me the Innsmouth look

This catchy little tune was recorded by Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets, a Canadian punk band that chooses to honor the vision of the Great Scribe Lovecraft. So naturally, there are a whole lot of lyrics on their albums about PISCATORIAL LOVE; this song is easily my favorite. It's a got a good beat and you can slamdance to it.

But when you settle to the bottom of the tank and really listen to the words, you realize it's far more than catchy and danceable; it paints a charming little picture of an operative and her recruit DOING WHAT THEY WERE MEANT TO DO, falling in love and going for a little swim in the moonlight after a church meeting. This would have been recorded on Motown Records if Marvin and Tammi were, um, fish.

Click here to buy their albums; to hear this song, you'll want to order Spaceship Zero. It's the one with the dreamy space-suited Gill Man on the back cover. To me he looks like Charles Bronson, if he were, you know, a fish.