Sunday, October 30, 2016


WHAT AN INAPPROPRIATE TIME OF YEAR TO REVIEW THIS MOVIE!  That's what I hear burbling in the waves...LET ME EXPLAIN.  This was billed to me as an under-appreciated Halloween story.  It arrived JUST IN TIME, and we watched it, and...WHAT A SURPRISE!  This is an EPIC of PISCATORIAL LOVE, two people meeting in a remote village where they're both trying to get away from it all, and LOVE BLOOMS, and gosh darn it all to heck if he doesn't find out that she's TURNING INTO A FISH.  But from there it all kind of goes wacka-wacka.  Make no mistake:  this particular love story is a TRAGEDY.  The tragedy is not about the romance at all, which is a nice change of pace.  The tragedy is about a recruiting operative's internal conflict about her DESTINY.


>> Evan (Lou Pucci), like any dutiful son, has come to Italy to fulfill his parents' dream for him.  Oh, and he's wanted by the police in California, so there's that.  But what he finds is not FREEDOM; it's BELONGING (to a North American, those two ideas are essentially OPPOSITES).  The love of his life is waiting for him there in a little seaside bar.

>> Louise (Nadia Hilker) approaches him quite BOLDLY, and Evan finds her irresistible.  OF COURSE.  But then she seems to change her mind.  But then she changes her mind again, and now she wants him.  And he wants her.  And then she runs for it, for reasons he can't understand.

>> From here the story becomes quite familiar to any landfish gal watching.  In a PAINFUL way. Louise is going through the stage of SELF-DOUBT many of us have to deal with:  is this really what I'm supposed to be doing?  Am I a shaved monkey or am I a many-tentacled water-breather?  Dry or wet?  Land or sea?  WHICH IS IT GOING TO BE?  It feels like a pretty monumental choice, you know?  IT IS.  OF COURSE IT IS.

>> But Louise explains it perfectly in two sentences:  "I don't choose.  My body chooses."  And so it is for us all.  WHEN DAGON CALLS, YOU GOTTA GO. 

>> That would be fine if that were where she left it.  But oh, no, she wants to FIGHT BACK and do what the protagonist of every American horror movie does:  DEFEAT THE MENACE.  She's trying to -- not irradiate the silicates or send the ghosts into the light -- but KEEP HERSELF HUMAN FOREVER.  Towards that end she's become an evolutionary biologist and is giving herself some kind of shots.  I really wonder what's in that syringe.  JUST KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME!  It works like gangbusters and within a few minutes of taking the stuff, she's a featherless biped again.

>> What's most familiar to me, is the way she needs to keep ducking out of the room, to take an urgently-needed shower, to eat something Evan mustn't see her eat, to sprout fins and gills in privacy.  It's SO HARD to maintain that wall of secrecy until recruitment is complete and the human becomes enough of a fish to UNDERSTAND.  And for MOST of us, the hard part is stepping back into human civilization, all buttoned up and pretending to be ONE OF THEM.  For Louise, the hard part is STAYING HUMAN.  Of COURSE it's hard.  In fact, it's IMPOSSIBLE.  But she doesn't get that!

>> See, she states early on that she's realized she is reverting somehow to an earlier evolutionary stage, like the fur-encrusted, tailed, gilled stages a human embryo goes through on its way to becoming an air-breathing, squalling, semi-aquatic Naked Ape.  DOES SHE REALLY BELIEVE THAT HUMANS EVOLVED FROM CEPHALOPODS?  If that doesn't tell you right there that she's on the wrong track..!

>> The fact is, becoming a Squid or Cuttlefish isn't part of her evolutionary PAST.  It's her FUTURE.  And the sooner she gets a grip on that fact, the happier she'll be. 

This funhouse-mirror, nightmare version of the Little Mermaid story is easily available on DVD for a few bucks.  Bring a whole box of Kleenex, if you're still human enough to cry.  This one will TEAR YOU APART.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Few Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas...





I Know Valentine's Day Is A Long Way Off...

But I just had to INFLAME my many, many female readers with this immortal image of Piscatorial Love!

An Image For You To Gaze Upon...

A QUESTION FOR YOU LADIES:  Is this an image for piscatorial LOVE or piscatorial EXPLOITATION?
We'll discuss it at the next monthly chapter meeting in your area.

Saturday, October 22, 2016



Betsy Carter has published a WHOLE NOVEL (ISBN  978-0-385-33977-3) on the subject of Piscatorial Love that treats its  subject as an unqualified POSITIVE.  It uses Piscatorial Love to solve the problems of a whole family of Shaved Monkeys, and everyone else they have dealings with, including the staff of a women's fashion magazine in New York, the owner of a café with a clientele made up mostly of carnival employees, and basically the WHOLE STATE OF FLORIDA.

The tale includes one of the commonest, best and most reliable recruiting methods we use.  A young mom dunks her infant into a lake, knowing somehow that she will learn to swim ALL ON HER OWN.  Although mom left it rather late to get her child started -- swimming is best taught to human NEWBORNS, and this 'yard ape' was 2 years old -- the kid is SWIMMING LIKE A SEAL in no time, and complains as long as she lives in her native Bronx, NY that there is NOT ENOUGH WATER IN THE WORLD to satisfy her.  Eventually she has an epiphany when her family takes a vacation trip to Weeki Wachi Springs, Florida, and from there she is drawn back irrevocably, LIKE A LEMMING TO THE SEA, to FIND HER DESTINY as an inhabitant of the Living Mermaid City.

>> I couldn't help noticing what a small role fully aquatic creatures have in this story.  Interestingly -- and compellingly -- Carter emphasizes our semi-aquatic operatives all the way through and lumps the humans right in among them, which their own scientists have had a very hard time doing EVEN THOUGH IT'S RIGHT WHERE THE HUMANS BELONG.  Not only are the Shaved Monkeys at center stage, but Dolphins, Elephants, Manatees, and Sea Turtles -- and, acting as comic relief, if not an actual funhouse mirror showing the humans what they are leaving behind -- the author throws in a Chimpanzee named LUCY.  I'm sure the name is no accident.
>> The fish find their way into the story nevertheless!  The central character, a born-again Mermaid, dreams all night long about water and fish.  When her roommate in the Mermaid barracks asks her why she was tossing and turning all night, she shrugs and says something to the effect of "Just the usual water stuff."  As if they all dreamed that way every night.  And then they shower up.  And go to work in the water.  The whole book goes like that.  In my opinion this should tend to make the reading more enjoyable no matter what sort of operative you are:  planning, infiltrating, concealment, recruiting, connecting -- fully landfish or fully aquatic -- YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL RIGHT AT HOME READING THIS BOOK.
>> Even the humans who have very little to do with the water are clustered around Weeki Wachi Springs, drawn back again and again like iron filings to a magnet.  Or LEMMINGS TO THE SEA.  Now that is my idea of a positive message.
>> Most obvious of all, I want to point out to anyone who hasn't noticed it yet that THIS IS NOT A HORROR NOVEL.  Piscatorial Love is treated as the nicest thing that could happen to anyone, the factor in this story that corrects all the problems and makes it possible even for the landscum to get their heads straight.  IT'S ABOUT TIME someone saw it that way.
>> Even the main character's name is perfect.  "Delores," a once-popular name for girls, means "pain" or "sadness."  Delores's last name is Walker.  Now, remember the Little Mermaid?  Once she swapped her fish tail for a pair of legs and started walking, she discovered that it felt as if she were stepping on knives.  In this case, as soon as she gets in the water where she belongs, Delores's pain GOES AWAY. 

Friday, October 14, 2016


This is far from a hot-off-the-presses review, but I did want to CLEAR UP a few ongoing misgivings about Godzilla as rethought by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin in 1998.  This Godzilla -- aka Deanzilla, aka Fraudzilla -- gets NO RESPECT but I want to point out a couple of things:


>> They do get the essentials right.  Godzilla is aquatic and primarily eats fish.

>> Godzilla is not up on dry land to take over -- only to smash some stuff and go home after some quick reconnaissance.

>> They finally got the sex of the operative right.  Sort of.  Halfway.

>>  Please note that even at this late date -- 44 years after the first sighting! -- filmmakers are STILL calling on their familiar landscum archetypes to interpret it all for the viewer.  In this case they trot out Exposition Lad, in the shape of Worm Guy -- to "explain" and thereby symbolically control something they cannot begin to manage, with or without the intervention of their scientists.  It's only put in there to make the viewers feel better.  (About what, you may well ask...)

>> And one more thing about Worm Guy (played by Matthew Broderick).  It's going to read as funny to both fish and human viewers, that in just about this ENTIRE movie, HE'S ALL WET:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Another Big Recruitment Event Succeeds!

Hurricane Matthew has paved the way for another big recruiting event in the Caribbean, bringing HUNDREDS more into the school and making THOUSANDS more ask themselves, "Is living up on dry land even worth it?"  I'm especially happy with the way our Alligator recruiting operatives are moving out and MINGLING WITH THE LANDSCUM to show them the advantages of aquatic living.