The Fish Boner: A Freeform Analysis

I recently watched that movie where the Quiet Lady totally gets it on with the Fish Man, and I have some thoughts on it.  I can only imagine how “on the edge of your seat” you must be right now.  It’ll be one of the smarter things you’ll read today.

So, Quiet Lady works at the secret government building place, and as a Quiet Lady with minimal dating opportunities, she apparently has a natural interest in fish men. Because all of the human men around are either gay or sadists (true dat!).

Fish Man, being a Fish Man, does the double-blinky thing at her sometimes and also eats hard-boiled eggs that she brings for him.  (As an aside, if you think a Fish Man has some stinky butt-smells already, imagine incorporating hard-boiled eggs into the equation.  I guess as the old saying goes, “Love for a Fish Man is nose-blind.”)

Anyway, Quiet Lady develops a romance with Fish Man by having silent lunch with him a few days a week.  Since he never tries to chew off her fingers, she falls in love with him. Because those are just the kind of standards a single lady has to have at her age.

Quiet Lady finds out Fish Man is going to be dissected, so she helps him escape the lab.  Later on in her apartment, she pulls off all her clothes and she and Fish Man totally do it.  Does Fish Man even know what sex is?  Does he??  How do we even know that Fish Man is a man?  What if he’s a child Fish Man?  What if this is Lolita, but with a fish teenage boy?  What if this is a crime?!  And at what point can a Fish Man even give enthusiastic consent?  Is a fish boner considered consent?

Thankfully we don’t have to wonder whether Fish Man actually gets a fish boner, because when Quiet Lady tells her coworker about it later, she mimes what the fish boner looked like because, thank god, the writer of this movie knows that’s all literally everybody wants to know.

Conversely, I also find it interesting that in the movie “Splash!” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, he only does it with her when she’s in human form.  There aren’t even any double-entendre jokes about them doing it while she’s in fish form because people would be all EWW GROSS.  She probably used to just have one of those multi-purpose fish holes and was totally happy with it until she got a hold of last month’s Mermaid Cosmopolitan magazine where one of the headlines was, “Ditch That Multi-Purpose Fish Hole Thing – Drive Your Man Wild With a Human Vagina!

You know why?  Because this is yet another sexist bullshit double-standard, only this time women have to be totally cool with a fish boner from their fish men, while the men are like, “Human vagina or GTFO” to their fish women.

Anyway, back to the movie, it turns out Quiet Lady never realized she is actually part fish woman, so she and Fish Man swim off into the sunset together to keep doing it, but since she is still part human, she still has a human vagina, so win-win for Fish Man.

Which reminds me of this discussion we recently had about how the alien men on any Star Trek series are almost always fully alien (except for Spock, so don’t even start with me), and the women are almost always half alien (unless they’re a totally “hot” alien variety like Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine) , which I think is yet another sexist bullshit double standard.

Women are just supposed to be totally cool with getting it on with Neelix on Voyager, who is full Talaxian with actual whiskers and some kind of weird snake eyes and scrotum-head, but when faced with an amorous woman who happens to be full Klingon, dewdz are like, “Uhhhh, too scary?  How about half Klingon?”

And it’s never even half-Klingon and half something else weird for the women, like half-Ferengi.  It’s B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek Voyager:  Beautiful and exotic, half-Klingon and half-human.  The other half is always human.

And as if that’s not bad enough, they make her marry Tom Goddamned Paris.  Tom Paris!  Tom Paris is something you accidentally let fall into you during Spring Break and immediately regret, not something you marry.  Tom Paris?!  Who the hell marries Tom Paris?!!

I liked that fish boner movie, though.

Nobody Cares About Your Boner – Volume One

Thurston Moore is old and ugly.

Wow, that was really, super mean!  What the hell did Thurston Moore do to deserve that?

Oh, I don’t know, what did Kim Gordon do to make 99% of dewdz immediately tell me how old and ugly they think she is anytime the subject of Sonic Youth has ever come up in the past 25 years?

It’s not as if it’s served up like a casual observation, either.  It’s as if the words can’t escape their mouths fast enough.  Like if they don’t tell me their unsolicited opinion on the lack of their boner movement when looking at Kim Gordon, the world will die and fire will rain down on the universe.  I mean, I have to assume the stakes are that high, because it is literally the first thing they say about the band.  The first!

Any time this has ever happened to me in conversation, I like to take a few different approaches with my response to see what sticks, and for general fun-sies, because apparently I enjoy the feeling of my blood pressure shooting up like a bottle rocket.

First I try the mental “ignore” button, which never, ever works.  They just keep blathering on with “I mean, am I right?”, “I don’t think she’s hot”, “I think she’s old”, or “I think she looks like Iggy Pop” – which is deliciously ironic – because these are always the same men who fucking worship Iggy Pop.

Second, I try logic, and tell them that nobody cares about whether someone personally gives them a boner, why is it only the women in bands who get subjected to their comments on physical appearance, and that Kim Gordon is a gorgeous example of humanity in every way, and that they need to shut up because nobody cares about your boner.  This is usually met with being called a “bitch” or some such other nonsense that men say to women when they realize they’re being rightly called out for their shitty behavior, because apparently a lot of men are sensitive and emotional as shit.

Then, finally, I try the “over the top” response, which is when I take it waaaay too far in the direction they’re going, and say that I couldn’t agree more with their assessment about Kim Gordon, and that she should be banned from music, have wood and rocks thrown at her every time she appears in public, get locked into a windowless room the rest of the time so men’s boners don’t have to ever look at her again, and eventually be frozen into carbonite like Han Solo for her inability to inspire shitty dewdz to wank it to her.  It’s only fair.  It’s the only solution that makes sense.  I find that one usually shuts them up, so feel free to use it anytime, btw.

For the record, and it really goes without saying, I think Kim Gordon is fucking awesome.  She is the real artist of that band.  She is the crown jewel of that band.  She is a pioneer for women in music, fashion, and art.  Without her, Sonic Youth would have been about as avant garde and groundbreaking as John Cafferty and the Beaver Fucking Brown Band.  (No offense, John Cafferty, as I am a lifelong fan of Eddie and The Cruisers, but your band ain’t breaking any boundaries there, and I think we both know it.)

And while we’re on the subject of women in bands, let’s shift to the other side of the coin, where dudes are actually okay with how a woman looks (prize!), but if they don’t think her technical skills are on par with some relentless, theory-driven blowbag like Dave Mustaine, she must quit music immediately and go start making sandwiches.

I mean, please, by all means, when I tell you that I like The White Stripes, please immediately volunteer your opinion to me about how shitty a drummer you think Meg White is.  There’s one I certainly haven’t heard before! (I have heard this no less than fifty times in my life.)  I assume your boner is at least okay with her appearance, or else that would be the first thing you would tell me about her, so I guess she dodged a bullet there!

Oh, by the way, you know who else is a shitty drummer?  Most garage band drummers, and no, I’m not providing you with a list of citations.  That’s kind of the appeal of a band that operates under a stripped-down format – the “not-fancy” drumming. Go ahead, drop some super technical player like the drummer from Rush onto any White Stripes album and tell me the songs are better off for it.  You know all that was missing that whole time was a double kick-drum and an extra thirty-five cymbals!  Who doesn’t want to hear rototoms on “The Hardest Button to Button”?!

And since we’re on the subject of musical skill, seeing as that’s your only criteria for kicking Meg White out of The White Stripes, Jack White has a unique voice that is well-suited to his genre, but it may not be the most traditionally skillful singing voice in the world, so he should be replaced with a much more skillful singer.  Don’t you think?  How about that opera guy, Andrea Bocelli?

Introducing Andrea Bocelli and the drummer from Rush!  Ladies and gentlemen – this is The White Stripes!

Now, look at that!  You have created the perfect band.  With that level of skill among the players, nobody’s talent can be called into question, that’s for sure!

You cannot win as a woman in music.  You can.  Not.  You can’t win because they don’t want you to win.  The game is specifically designed so that you do not get to win, no matter how hard you try to play the game.

The game where if you’re pretty enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you as skilled on your instrument as Yo Yo Ma is on the cello?

The same game where if you’re talented enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you hotter?

The same game where if you’re pretty enough and talented enough, they call you a whore who slept her way to the top, or a frigid bitch for not sleeping with them, or whatever else they call women who get too big for their britches.

She’s only famous because she’s hot.

She’s only famous because her parents are rich.

She’s only famous because she’s dating some famous guy.

She’s only famous because some producer guy writes all her songs.

She’s only famous because she writes her own songs, but OMG her songs are so shitty, right?!

She’s only famous because girls are never the drummer.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

Every “only” is meant to reduce you, until you’ve shrunk so small that you disappear.

There are one million conditions we have to meet as women to “win” in the music business, but here’s a little secret: Even if we met all one million conditions, there would be a million more to meet that we were never even told about.  We’ve been led to believe that if we do exactly the right things in exactly the right order, then they’ll be cool with us, but that’s a lie.  It’s a goddamned lie.

The only way we can win is by not playing their game.  By not caring what they think.  By giving our dollars, our time, our attention, and our energy to women artists.  By lifting each other up.  By making our own game, and telling them to take their game and go shove it.

Vacation All I Never Wanted

Of the approximately one million things I am too old for, agreeing to stay with you at your place when I’m on vacation is pretty near the top of the list.  Near.  I don’t foresee it overtaking “having to endure long conversations with junkies about Jim Morrison” anytime soon.

It’s not just that I’ve become particular in my old age, I have just never enjoyed crashing at someone’s house.  It was different in my 20s when I was so full of hope and optimism, I was willing to give it a chance. Now I’m just too old to hold out any hope that it’s not going to be a living nightmare.  I’ve learned my lesson.

The main problem, as it turns out, is that I am an asshole, or rather, I have asshole expectations.

Expectations that you would mention to me, prior to my agreeing to stay with you, that you don’t actually have any room for me, but that’s okay, because you’re “sure I won’t mind just sleeping on the floor” (although this also falls under a general category of “You forgot to mention that you have no furniture”).

Expectations that include things like having a guest towel.  I don’t mean a towel that is fancy, embroidered, or professionally laundered – far from it.  I’ll take an old beach towel, no problem.  I mean a towel to use on my own body that isn’t the same one that you just used on your own body five minutes ago, and that isn’t covered in mold and poop spores from being stored on the wet bathroom floor curled up against the toilet.

While I am absolutely an animal-lover, I would generally expect that you would have mentioned to me that you had recently taken in a large, vicious, stray dog, and that it will growl and snap and bite at me and try to shred me and my belongings into dead meat the entire time I’m there, oh, and that you will do absolutely nothing to stop it.  You will sit there and pretend it’s not happening. That’s something I would have liked a heads-up on.  What can I say?  I’m an asshole like that.

Aside from expectations, I am also an asshole because I do not enjoy sleeping on someone’s couch only to have them come into the kitchen at 5am and start using an electric coffee grinder five feet away from my head and then when I wake up, look at me quizzically and say, “Wow – you must be a light sleeper!”

I do not enjoy the fact that you never mentioned to me that you were a drug dealer in your spare time, and that you deal out of the living room which is, coincidentally, the same room I am trying to not get shot in.

And even though we’ve known each other for years, I had no idea that you couldn’t sleep unless you had the local classic rock station blasting throughout the entire house all night.

Or that you are some kind of cocaine monster who only exists on two hours of sleep a night, and will never let me actually go to bed.

I also had no idea that your entire family was in town and were also staying with you, but that’s okay because your pervy dad only feels me up when he’s drunk, which is every night.

I realize all of this may sound like “Hey Maggie – take a hint!” and that people just desperately wanted me to NOT stay at their houses and were just trying to blast me out old school style like Noriega, but that’s not the case.  I have never, ever enjoyed staying at people’s places when I’m on vacation, and have only ever done it after the person has literally begged and pleaded with me to stay with them and eventually psychologically wore me down into saying yes.  By the time I very begrudgingly say yes, I have already said no so many times that I should have “No, really, I am much more comfortable in a hotel” tattooed on my forehead just to save my strength.

Yes, my own personal discomfort is the biggest factor in my not staying with you, but besides that, I think I’ve just reached an age where, as friends, I don’t really want to know how fucking weird you are.  The way you conduct yourselves inside your respective homes is weird.  So weird that there’s a reason you never show this side of yourself in public.  I enjoy the mystique of thinking you might not be so fucking weird because, seriously, you are so fucking weird.