Thursday, April 12, 2018

Self Help Radio 041118: Mermaids

(Original image here.)

It's true, mermaids live among us!  While researching this show, in Fort Worth, which is nowhere near the ocean, I had a vision of mermaids playing poker in an undersea bar.  The music was slow & murky, because, you know, you have to move through water to play the piano.  & there were no drinks because you just had to open your mouth to drink something.  In fact, it made no sense why there would be a bar underwater.  But it was a vision, so it didn't have to make sense!

In my vision, after I ordered a scotch & soda at the bar (it never came) (for reasons explained above), one of the poker-playing mermaids motioned to me, & I went over.  She told me her name was Glurble & she worked part-time as a real estate agent while she was working her way through college.  She was so beautiful!  She said she knew of some lovely coral I could easily make a home in but it was going fast, not because of people buying it, but because of climate change.

While I couldn't buy any property, I could offer to buy her a drink, which went over as well as might be expected.  It turns out she was married, & I was too, even in a vision, which I thought massively unfair.  But after she spurned me I became aware that she wasn't the only one: there were hundreds, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of mermaids, & they were all married!

It seemed appropriate that this be the subject of a radio show.  & so it was.  Hear the results of my scientific investigation now at the Self Help Radio Science Page.  It's all true I swear!  You'll need a username & password to enter, but that information is on the page.  It's in two parts of almost-equal length, & what is in each section is below.

Spurned by Glurble!  My heart remains broken.

(part one)

"The Mermaid Song" Cab Calloway & His Orchestra _1941-1942_
"Song Of The Mermaid" Petula Clark _It Had to Be You: The Complete Early Singles_
"Mermaids" Paul Weller _Heavy Soul_

"Zennor Mermaid" The Hit Parade _Cornish Pop Songs_
"Mermaid" The Dollyrots _Whiplash Splash_
"Mermaid" Flight Of The Conchords _Folk The World Tour_
"My Mermaid & Me" Bill Soden _Fading Yellow, Vol. 6 (Another Rich Smorgasbord Of Timeless US Pop-Sike & Other Delights)_

interview with mermaid hunter Capt. David Fruchter

"The Mermaid" Ewan MacColl _Ye Mariners All: More Shanties & Forebitters_
"Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me" Mississippi John Hurt _D.C. Blues: The Library Of Congress Recordings, Vol. 1_
"The Mermaid" Frankie Laine _The Frankie Laine Collection_
"The Mermaid" Shel Silverstein _I'm So Good That I Don't Have To Brag_

"Blue Eyed Mermaid" Bobby Darin & The Jay Birds _The Complete Singles Collection_
"Mermaids & Surfer Girls" Colleen & Paul _Colleen & Paul_
"Mermaids" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _Push The Sky Away_
"Mermaid Smiled" XTC _Skylarking_
"Sweatshop Mermaid" Haircut _Sweatshop_


"Minnie The Mermaid (A Love Song In Fish Time)" Bernie Cummins & His Hotel New Yorker Orchestra _Baby How Can It Be (Songs Of Love, Lust, & Contempt From The 1920s & 1930s)_
"Little Mermaid Time" The Telephone Company _Panda Brain!_
"Mermaid Chant" Crushed Out _Teeth_
"Mermaids" Gingerlys _Gingerlys_

phone call from actual merman SteFin Seaborn

"Mermaids" I Am Kloot _I Am Kloot_
"Mermaid" Inspiral Carpets _The Beast Inside_
"Mermaid" Viva Saturn _Soundmind_
"Mermaid Drowning On Dry Land" Miles Dethmuffen _Clutter_

"At The Mermaid Parade" Katell Keineg _At The Mermaid Parade_
"In A Mermaid Tail" Po! _Horse Blanket Weather_

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Whither Mermaids?

(Image found here.)

My adventures with mermaids go all the way back to my youth.  As an only child living in a fishing village, with my mother all but enslaved to the local fishmonger & my father always out to sea, I was alone a great deal.  The busy wharf & market were too frenetic for a boy with my sensitive disposition, so I would find myself wandering along the shore, staring out into the sea which seemed my destiny.

One sunny afternoon, I was daydreaming with the gulls when I suddenly heard what sounded like a whisper, then another whisper, then giggling.  I crept along the rock to see two beautiful mermaids lying about, half-in the water, half-out, chatting in a carefree manner.  I was frozen by fear, but became aware they had noticed me, by their glances & the accompanying laughs, though they otherwise ignored me.

Soon enough they were gone, diving back into the deep with their tales splashing as they went.  But I came back to the same place every day to discover it was their ritual to take lunch at this very spot regularly.  Though we didn't speak the same language, we managed to communicate by gestures & expressions on our faces, though I did manage to pick up a few words of mer-talk by & by.  They never once seemed interested in learning my language, which suited me, as I was not a talkative child.

When people now talking about "the abduction," it is assumed that some criminal element from our village had taken me for the months I was gone, & though I did my best to dissuade the authorities, & my parents, that nothing of the sort had happened.  No one took my away; I had decided to travel with the mermaids of my own volition.  To be sure, I was afraid of the cold & dark world underwater, but to acclimatize me to their surroundings was easy, as they were of course magical creatures.  Most surprisingly, I discovered many other humans in their underwater world, humans who showed no interest in returning to the surface.  My concern for my mother always nagged at me, & soon I asked to be taken home.  The merfolk did not imprison me in any way.

Over the years, I ventured there when I could, & even once took a common-law mermaid wife, which explains why I have never married here.  But my life above water kept calling me back - my parents took ill & needed constant care before their deaths, & my mother had needed me to work with the fishmonger to pay the bills.  It wasn't until I was much older when I found one of my oldest mermaid companions playing with what seemed to be gold coins.  She took me the site of a sunken ship which contained a fortune in treasure.  I would take some jewels & coins with me every time I resurfaced, & soon became the richest man in our village.  I even bought the fishmonger's place, & put him to work as my employee.

Expeditions were launched to discover the source of my good fortune, but they could never go as far out nor as deep as I did.  Jealous rivals accused me of stealing, but with the money I had I could always defend myself, & on occasion, arrange for their own misfortune.  In this way I managed to remain happy both on land & in the sea - truly, I was one of the few who successfully navigated the dangerous waters - both literally & figuratively - that separated the two spheres.

& now, in my old age, I have thought to tell the world about my adventures with my mermaid & mermen friends.  A book seemed to me too common, & they would never let me film or record them in any way.  It seemed music would perhaps serve me best, but I am a poor singer with no musical skills.  Yet there were many songs about mermaids.  Thus I hit upon a novel idea: a radio program, where I would share my stories as well as songs about my merfolk friends.  Alas, I have discovered too late that this would already happen, well before I could prepare such a tribute.  But I shall listen!

That show, about mermaids, airs tonight from 9-11pm eastern on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington, Kentucky, a poor, landlocked place.  I will be listening with my mermaid friends online, at Lexington Community Radio's website.  Yes, mermaids have the internet.  They steal it from the wires that run along the sea floor.

As for me, I do hope my friends enjoy it.  If not - well, it's been a long time since humans have angered them enough to cause them to retaliate on the surface world!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Preface To Mermaids: What About The Mermen?

No, no, not the Mermen!

Mermen!  Male mermaids!

There's a board on Pinterest, whatever that means.  Plus I google image searched that shit.  Here are some of my favorites:

(This guy's story is here.)

(Romantic!  It's from here.)

(Popeye the Sailor Merman!  Oh my.)

(Fine art by Cameron Stalheim.)

& finally, the o.g. merman, Triton:

(Many more images here.)

Now, of course, almost all the songs tomorrow are going to be about mermaids, so hopefully Mermen's Rights activists will consider this a goodwill gesture to balance the show somewhat.

If female half-human/half-fish creatures are called mermaids, why aren't the male versions called merboys or merlads or merguys?  Maybe mermen deserve to be marginalized.  Just saying.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Famous Mermaids


A long time ago, when it was just me doing my show, I was often accused of talking too much.  You see, when it came to whatever the show's theme was, I loved talking about it during songs.  It probably was mostly boring, but I kinda miss it.

Nowadays, with the "interviews" I do, which I find funny even if no one listening does, I don't get a lot of time to explore the theme as I used to, by, you know, talking about stuff I found out.

For example, tonight I was reading this Mental Floss article about famous mermaids.  It's totally the sort of thing that I'd talk about over a couple of airbreaks on the show.  But since I probably won't have the time Wednesday, I figured I could share it here.

& since you didn't ask, no, I've never seen a mermaid.  I don't think I've ever even dreamed about one.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Thomas Mann

How long as it been since I've read The Magic Mountain?  I mentioned it to my very old mother today, who, despite being German, had never read it.  We were talking (my conversations with my mother are kind of weird) about tuberculosis.  Why were we talking about that?

My mother as she has gotten older has constantly questioned why she's gotten so old.  I would never mention to her that she's always been terrified of death (not to mention life) so she has been extremely careful throughout her life.  But I wanted to point out to her that if she had been born in 1829 instead of 1929 she would probably not have lived as long as she has.  I pointed out to her that in the 19th century, she wouldn't have had anesthesia, penicillin, vaccines - which led to the discussion of tuberculosis.

Anyway, after the conversation, I wondered how many Thomas Mann books I've read, which interested me.  Go to the end of his Wikipedia page, he's written tons of stuff.  It's just The Magic Mountain & Death In Venice for me.  I'm a little amazed that I've missed so much.

But then - just tonight - I spent some minutes watching the new trailer for Solo
more than once & I understand: the young man who was interested in literature in my teens will always, always, defer to the ten-year-old who fucking loved Star Wars.
Is that true for everyone?  I wonder.