What’s Up With Merpeople? A Disquisition

Do you know what I’ve been thinking lately? I wish my blog were deeper. With that recent spate of hotness and fashion and Victorian bashing I realized…hey, this feels kind of shallow. Hey. Maybe I should take it deeper.

Maybe what I need is more social/cultural commentary, more metaphysical questioning, literary criticism and linguistic analysis. More political commentary through the lens of sociobiology and human psychology. More psychology in general, but not that superficial cognitive behavioral therapy crap. Depth psychology…deep psychology.


So that is my pledge to you. Spartan Holiday 2014 will be the year of probing deeper. No more tippy tapping around the top layer of ice, we are going to plunge right in. It’s going to be icy and cold and possibly salty or at least brackish but at least we can say we were down deep… where the mermaids live.


Do you know what’s deep about mermaids? I do. I once wrote a very deep story on merpeople called “The Merman Condition” in which a merman philosophe contemplates that most fundamental of questions “Do I exist?” It included scenes like this:

…there was the sound of something in the distance—the faint din of human voices and the drip-chop of oars in the water. A boat of fishermen, perhaps, trying their dumb luck in the rockbound bay. The merman slipped into the water up to his neck and listened, leaving only his head above the surface, hooded in fog.
“Ayyyyy, Jorgen, I heard a fish!”
“Ehh, I heard it too, Niels, ‘twas a large splash.”
“Nay, not a splash, more a slipping into the water.”
“Aye, a large slipping into the water.”
“Could be a gray gurnard.”
“Could be a cod.”
“Could be a whale.”
“Could be a herring.”
“Could be a sea lion.”
“Could be a conger.”
“Could be a mermaid. Har har har har har har har har.”
“Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.” (Nervous laughter)
“If it ‘twas a mermaid, she’d be trying to lure us with a song to a watery demise.”
“How would it go, the song?”
“Like this: Ooooooo  oaaaaayyy yeeeeooo ooaahhhhhhhh hooooo oaaeeeee oooooo oaaaaaaaaaeeeeeee eoooooooooooooooehhhhhhhh haaaaaaaa hhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooo ahhhhhhh.
“Stop, Jorgen! Stop! ‘Tis a horrible sound that strikes to me very heart!”
“Cover ye ears if you hear it. For ye are too young to die. And cover ye eyes as well, for she will be bewitching to behold.”
“What will she look like?”
“Like the most beautiful conjugation of fish and woman you could ever indream. Her hair will be gold, or seawater green, her skin soft and deliquescent as the snows of Sweden. She will have a clamshell brassiere and lips sweet as pearl. Her scales will shine like the constellations over the sea. Her tail fin will scintillate with unfathomable beauty.”
“Could you hand me my sweater please, Jorgen.”
“Did you suddenly catch a chill?”
“That means a mermaid is near.”
“Stop, I cannot bear it!”
“Is your heart full of terror?”
“Aye, an irrational terror that I can neither comprehend nor abide!”
“Well, then it is probably a merman, not a mermaid.”
“Let us row away!”
“But it’s 1875. I don’t believe in mermen.”
“But you just said…”
“I know what I said. I was only trying to frighten you.”
“So mermen don’t exist?”
“No. They are merely cognitive surrogates of man’s psyche—his pre-scientific quest for dominion over the natural and subliminal worlds, a paradox in which men create their own gods and demons so that by narration of these beings’ drama they simultaneously control the universe and at the same time relinquish responsibility. We long for an anthropomorphic presence in the great mystery of the deep is all. ”
“I see. Yes. Now, I see.”
“Paradigms are changing, Niels, let us row further asea.”

It was never published.

But that’s what I’m saying. Instead of writing “Look at those Victorians dressing their kids up in sailor suits. Ha ha ha.” Instead I will say: “You know what the Victorians were doing don’t you? They were really into sailors for a reason. Sailors were, once upon a time, the first contact with terra incognita…the agent of Man penetrating the Mystery. Hence much erotic (Eros) energy around the sailor archetype.


Did you enjoy that? Well I hope you did because there’s a lot more where that came from on Spartan Holiday 2014. That is my pledge. Which is different than a resolution.

What is your new year’s pledge? Share it here in the comment section. It’s time we turned this into more of a forum of thoughts, don’t you think?

Deep thoughts only please.


2 thoughts on “What’s Up With Merpeople? A Disquisition

  1. Ooo Lynn, very very good pledge. I like your highly literal mind…Also: putting your own work in the Peppernut does not count as being published.

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