Saturday, December 13, 2014

All Hail Saint Neot!

It says here that Saint Neot was a real guy who lived in the late 800s, the descendant of Anglo-Saxon royalty, although the book also describes him as Irish.  (I thought there was a shade of difference between the two.  Isn't there?)  Wikipedia says he was based in Cornwall, though, which I thought was another area of the Isles entirely. The book says he was 15 inches tall but Wikipedia says 4 feet.  (Maybe inches were longer in those days?  Maybe there were not so many of them to the foot back then?)

And he had such a way with fish that he eventually became the patron saint of US!  The patron saint of fish!  I want to add that they mention no particular specie.  Fish, in general.  

  • Like other saints before him, he was able to make fish MULTIPLY so everyone could have dinner. 
  • He spent his meditation time in a WELL -- unlike most saints, but like the inhabitants of more than a few holy wells in ancient Britain. 
  • Heck, this still WAS ancient Britain, wasn't it?  The year 877 sounds pretty ancient, even more if you measure it in short-attention-span human standards. Nothing compared to the longevity of the Carp clan, for instance, but still quite a long time.  I appear to have strayed from my point.
  • This guy has a holy well dedicated to him.  In Shaved Monkey parlance, I would call that a "smoking gun."
  • He did not just feed the fish to Shaved Monkeys.  He appears to have spent his off hours playing with them.  Not the way the offspring of the Naked Apes do, by dumping them out of their cages onto the rug where they suffocate in terror before being stomped flat, or by stuffing and mounting them on a wall the way their parents do.  Neot and his fish are supposed to have had fun together. 
I have a couple of issues with this.

  • If Neot really existed, the way these stories said he did, WHY IS HE NOT IN OUR COLLECTIVE FISH MEMORY?
  • Could this guy really be the the patron of fish?  If the stories are correct, obviously he was a recruiting operative, bringing humans and fish together.  And only a landfish -- a fish disguised as a human to draw them into the sea like Lemmings -- would serve them as dinner AND party down with them.  SO WHERE ARE THESE RECRUITS IN OUR COLLECTIVE FISH MEMORY?  At this point, a human bureaucrat would say "I have no record of that, madam."
  • If the relics attributed to him are really his, do they smell, you know, fishy?
  • How can the Catholics even HAVE a patron of fish?  I thought they believed that fish have no souls.  Why would a creature with no soul have, or need, a patron saint?  How does that work?  Does it benefit us?  Or the Naked Apes?  Or their faceless, columnar, yet universally loving, yet jealous and violent, smite-happy God?
My take on it is this:  While I'm sure Neot really existed -- and I'm sure that he was shorter than average -- the stories about him are hopelessly confused with the legends of a recruiting operative WE all know by another name.  Same general historical era, too -- she was born a few human generations BEFORE Neot.  She was such a shimmering fountain of fish, feeding the people and drawing them into the well, into the lakes and rivers, and finally to an ecstatic union with the sea that Neot's press agent simply adopted the stories about her and applied them to his client.  Thus he saved Neot from the pressure of having to produce any miracles of his own to get canonized...

...And let's be real, it covered up the fact that Neot worshipped the recruiter himself -- she was quite a looker and all he wanted was to be with her.  Hence the many hours spent down the well, talking to HER friends.  And the answer he got must have been NO -- because otherwise, how is he not in our collective fish memory?

I have this sudden urge to go watch Ringu, don't you? 


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