Distinguished, notable feminists Gloria Steinem, Irina Dunn, and Flo Kennedy have alternately been credited with popularizing the phrase, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” While I’m all about feminism, living in a house full of women I have sometimes taken pause to wonder if said fish ought not to be the one called to relocate spiders, fix leaking pipes, and remove bloody piles of rodent parts left by the cats as tribute on the back porch? I have learned, in my maturity, to defer to Tennyson:
“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.”
One, no, two big silvery, slippery
shadowy trout lurk silent, tails sweep
slowly steadying against the current,
beneath a tangled lodgepole strainer
Left over from spring’s high water.
These fish must be grateful
For a log like this, just right
And rotting back to the mud it sprung from:
A once-proud, once tree skeleton
Now just an eddy sanctuary
For two old cutthroats–like Butch and Sundance,
Pancho and Lefty, like Edgar and me–
No, not that. He’s downstream with his fly rod
And I’m not shouting. These two are mine.
I don’t let my shadow cross the water,
But here–big luck, Vegas-odds luck:
A greenish grasshoppery weed-to-weed leaper
Vaults, a mini-martyr, into my denim lap.
I snag him by one frail spring-loaded leg
Plop. He’s in. Can’t swim. Fish keep station.
as the sun
(bug flits around considerably, like a…bug)
Has everyone seen the new-ish Filet O’Fish Commercial that rips off one of my all-time favorite movies, Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou? Bad enough that this wonderfully quirky, subtle piece of off-beat cinematic brilliance is being draped in ugly commercialism, the Golden Arch-Villains employ a snotty, superior, hipsterish ironic tone to the commercial–this is a mockery, not a tribute, and clearly they’re expecting their audience to laugh at it, not with it. Who would have thought a big, hungry corporation (bigger and hungrier than a Leopard Shark!) wouldn’t get the joke.
I include a link to the commercial with one important caveat: YOU MUST NOT ALLOW IT TO SEDUCE YOU INTO BUYING ONE OF THESE (allegedly) SEA-BORN GREASE PATTIES.
Of course, there’s a certain degree of humor to be had from the idea the hipster sensibilities–that whole “look for something unique in order to bathe myself in that uniqueness just long enough that I can abandon it and say, well, I remember when that was authentic, long before they sold out”–being co-opted (not co-op, Pointdexter) to market these deep fried atrocities. There ain’t nothing authentic about Filet O’Fish, which is pretty much catfood on a mushy bun.
If you haven’t seen this great film, rent it yesterday–the soundtrack of David Bowie songs is worth the rental price alone, but the real treat is the fantastic cast, including Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Kate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum.
Before you read further and get all indignant, let me remind you I’m a big fan of Jesus–my upbringing in the bosom of the Methodist Church formed the framework for much of my morality–and, of course, my cynicism, my expectations of inevitable hypocracy and, ironically enough, my deeply sentimental conviction that there is good in the world (maybe not a lot, maybe not enough, but enough to be foolishly hopeful.) The thing I would have liked to hear more about in church was Badass Jesus, Defiant Jesus, Superhero Jesus, Jesus tearing up the temple and putting the crooks on their asses, Jesus the Original Left-Wing Troublemaker, Jesus sticking it to The Man, Jesus fighting the system like Robin Hood, like the Dukes of Hazard and, ultimately, Jesus taking a metaphorical bullet for talking too much and shaking up the power class, like Bobby Kennedy, MLK, Malcolm X. I’m pretty sure Jesus would have been a cool guy to sit down with, have a beer, and talk about those crazy Occupy kids and our favorite episode of My Name Is Earl–I mean, Jesus was a tradesman, at the end of the day, a carpenter. And a guy like that, you can bet he had a sense of humor.