Trip to the Full-Service Native American Bank

Don't miss the Centaur story arc that takes place simultaneously and starting at the arrival at the bank.

You can jump back and check out the first appearances of these comix, to get to know the characters first.

Matthea Harvey's poem, The Straightforward Mermaid, published in The New Yorker, and the short film based upon it, A Sea Full of Hooks, were sources for some of the references in these comix (can you find them?). A very big inspiration for the whole thing was, not surprisingly, the 1948 film, Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, with the adorable Ann Blyth.

I'm also inspired (within the past few years) by the work of R. Crumb in particular by way of the movie, Crumb.

Check out the centaur mini-adventure which starts at this point...

Centaurs & Other Mythical Creatures


Gays Needed

Although the "Gay Gene" may not have been found yet, I'm inclined to think that homosexuality is like the 10% propensity in pandas to become carnivorous, which is super-useful when the bamboo goes to seed every 107 years. Such recessive "deviant" behaviors can perhaps be a kind of "safety valve" for a species, maybe in response to population pressures or other environmental crises such that by oppressing homosexuals we may be short-circuiting our species' innate ability to save ourselves from the overpopulation meltdown we've been going through for the past 50-60 years. Apparently group selection or kin selection theory also holds that homosexuality is in fact adaptive, and not inherently "bad and wrong and against G-d" for the obvious fact that homosexuals "can't reproduce" (well, they can, they just don't, which is an example which a lot more people should probably follow for more reasons than one ;-).

Men Still Necessary

Had chat with biologist friend. Silver lining. We both came to the expected June Stephenson-esque conclusion ("Men are not Cost-Effective"), but I think I've just seen the glass-is-half-full angle in what my buddy said is the only thing men are good for.

We've all heard articulated or imagined the militant feminist lesbian apocalypse (e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y:_The_Last_Man) in which all men are killed off (usually by virus? I've been thinking on writing on this theme for years now) and through artificial sperm or some kind of egg-egg artificial chromosome exchange process woman carry on the species on their own, never looking back as they ride onward into the bosom of a welcoming eutopian gynocracy.

It turns out that men are good for something, and that's sex (obviously) but sex is what keeps a species one step ahead of diseases and mainly parasites. It's all about genetic variability. For instance if there are ten men and ten women, there are one hundred different mating combinations while if there is only one man, there are only ten (but biologists always manage to complicate things from there). That's why there are as many men as women, even though it seems that many would argue that we could do with many, many, many fewer. Obviously, we could, but we'd end up with less genetic variability and we'd be circling the plughole as a species.

This article http://www.rense.com/general63/galaxyofgeneticdifferences.htm might put the kibosh on things, but somehow I don't think so.

In short, men are useless, but men and women are the same species and women apparently need men -- though perhaps even less than they even thought -- despite appearances ("A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" is a timeworn feminist refrain). Having said that, biological raison d'ĂȘtre notwithstanding, in principle we all still have minds (some of us, anyway) and are living beings and maybe even have "souls" if you want to go there, and so deserve some kind of equal consideration based upon merit, biological uselessness aside. We all may even have rights (because it's an easier system than trying to establish a 7-billion-person pecking order through centuries of bullying -- although the Japanese seem to be making a good go of it (^_^). And hey, your cat probably can't lift heavy loads or set up a basic computer spreadsheet, I'm guessing.


Horseback Ride

The original inspiration for this gag was a Japanese TV ad for UFO instant ramen with Hirosue Ryoko (as a centaur).