Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Mermaid Is The Manatee

On this Thursday before this Friday which is Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, I want to talk about manatees. I found the hashtag #FolkloreThursday today and on it were my people *hello, wonderful* talking about things I like, like mermaids oh for instance just for example I'm not obsessed with mermaids in Western art and literature at all.

No one but a lovelorn bowlegged drunken sailor out of the sight of land for months could confuse this:

a walrus-grey mammalian version of a slug plushy

with this:

a comely topless Victorian young woman with long hair held up by scallop combs and the tail of a fish singing beautiful to ya. [Bonus, from The Smithsonian: how manatees became mermaids.]

Here (below) they are singing to Odysseus in a scary way that is also sexy. [Things men in literature of died from.]

Christopher Columbus was so disappointed. According to the History Channel's On This Day in History, "on January 9, 1493, sailing near the Dominican Republic, Columbus saw 'three mermaids'- in reality manatees - and described them as 'not half as beautiful as they are painted.'''  Forgive him, his world was flat and full of krakens.

Manatees, big girls, you are beautiful.

And John Lithgow thinks so too; listen to him sing  I'm A Manatee. "From time to time I dream I am a manatee / undulating beneath the sea, / unshackled by the chains of idle vanity/ a modest manatee, / that's me." There is love in his voice.

Love of the slug plushy slow sea cow that feeds on sea lettuce and water hyacinth (up to 10 -15% of its body weight daily) and who endures us, our propellers and our pollution, with a land-of-the-lotus eaters bewhiskered bewitching face: Whatcha doin'? You silly ridiculous landatees. 

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