Where I live, the feminine style, philosophy and lifestyle du jour is that of the “Mermaid Moonbeam Sister”. MMSs are defined by their culturally-ignorant bindis, floppy felt hats and consistent proclamations that, because they like travel and the beach, they are gyspsies and mermaids respectively. Ignoring that essentially everybody on earth enjoys temporarily relocating themselves for leisure and fart-arsing about by the seaside, and that “gypsy” is a racial slur reserved for Europe’s oppressed Romani population, it’s the unchallenged and consistent use of the term mermaid that really gets my sea cow, as it defies all reason to believe that half-woman, half-trout beauties inhabit undersea coral castles and have thus far evaded capture or documentation by marine biologists or that bloke who made Titanic.
Usually I’m not too bothered by others’ childish belief in mythological beings, but an MMS got under my skin recently. I was perusing image sculpting and mediocrity on Instagram before work, flicking through smashed avocados and “hot bitches”, strategically liking posts by those whom I’d enjoy to see naked at some point in the next five years. It was almost wrapped up when I came across a post by an amateur surf photographer and permanent fixture in the Moonbeam craven who I had come into contact with through the limited pool of socially compatible individuals on the Gold Coast (you can choose between the phony fauxhemian set or the vacuous, vain and violent steroid-addled and bolt-on mob). The shot was taken underwater, of a murky and uninspiring sea, with nothing in the shot bar the algae we unaffectionately know as “wet cornflakes” and a hardly discernible dame plunging ’neath the surface. The shot in itself was nothing of note, but the caption had me dumfounded.
“With over 95% of our oceans yet to be explored don’t tell me that mermaids don’t exist.”
I spat my café au lait at my iPhone 5, threw my croissant across the room and stubbed my Gauloise into my beret. The nerve of brazenly posting such an irrational challenge, not in the furtherance of satire or provocation, but indeed to garner support in the form of likes (75!) from her spirituality-light ideologues grated me to no end. I drafted and deleted response after response, tempering from vicious abuse, to blatant condescension, to sympathetic reasoning (see: blatant condescension), to eventually settle with old, faithful, is-that-quite-enough-rope-for-you-to-realise-the-folly-of-your-ways…
Her response was naught but I sincerely hoped that she’d reconsider her stance and perhaps use reason to respond to her own proclamation. Of course there are no such thing as mermaids because evolution, and evolution isn’t going to begin designing organisms unsuited to their environment because in doing so it offers you a beast that you can relate to your good fortune of being able to use the beach for leisure. Evolution has already gifted us with many great oceanic mammals and fish, although no neatly delineated 50/50 hybrids of the two classes of animals, yet.
Her assertion that 95% of the ocean that remains unexplored is about right, but all of that is deep, cold, dark and under intense pressure. There is no scope for mammals to exist at deep depths with perky breasts, and sun-kissed locks; the fish of the deep are vile, nightmarish ghouls, and the mammals fat and hairy. If there were the possibility that evolution decided to smile favourably upon the earth walkers of the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers and allowed a mammalian-fish abomination to exist it would have the front end of a walrus and the rear of anglerfish. To believe anything else is to either blatantly, or ignorantly, refute the, almost universally accepted, theories of Charles Darwin.
Moonbeam Mermaid Sisters, you are worse than Christian creationists, because at least creationists fear the wrath of their imaginary sky king, while you are refuting science based on the fanciful whim that you’re more important than the entirety of biology and thus deserve your own miracle being that acts as a totem to your privileged position, spare time, and geographic proximity to the seashore.
While everybody is free to do and think as they want, that freedom also extends to our right, nay obligation, to call out the more unreasonable abuses of that freedom. There is no greater conceit in the world that to believe that you have the ability to pick and choose which sciences you’ll believe and those that you’ll ignore. As adults we need to be able to discern between fantasy and fact, between things we wished were a part of the natural order and those that actually are. Moonbeam Mermaid Sisters, with their astrology and crystals and belief in the ability to manifest destiny, are doing themselves and their community a disservice, in preferring to create their own miracles that serve their pre-existing self-serving world view, rather than taking the time to appreciate the observable wonders of a universe that has so generously and temporarily allowed their consciousness to be a part of it. This frustrates me partly because their worldview is the antithesis of reasoning and enlightenment, and a waste of the gift of life, but mostly because I have to pretend that I accept the bullshit in order to enjoy even a modicum of sexual activity in the slice of Australia that I currently call home.
For more acerbic wit, check out Gravy’s inta nom-de-plume – @moonbeam_mermaid_sista
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Ex-editor of Australia’s Surfing Life, current producer and host of 50 Fiestas, Barcelona resident and drinker of all the wine, every last drop of it.