September 30th, 2009



  • 00:02 Photo: Wonder Woman lassoing a Nazi T-Rex? That has to be one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! Source:... #
  • 09:40 Do we really need ANOTHER Olympic Games in the United States? Come on, let the countries that still care about them have them! #
  • 09:41 @TheRealTavie I only wish I could! #
  • 09:51 Photo: Yeah, when first learning the Turtles’ names, I basically thought, “I know three of them are artists,... #
  • 13:47 Actual titles of history books: "Harry
    Truman's Excellent Adventure" and "Napoleon's Hemorrhoids." I kind of want to read the latter. #
  • 15:40 My favorite disco group is KFC and the Extra Krispy Band. #
  • 15:41 What's so intelligent about Smarties, anyway? #
  • 15:56 When did churches hijack the word "inspiration"? The only thing the all-gospel Inspiration Station inspires me to do is change the channel. #
  • 15:57 Photo: #
  • 15:59 I found out today that Staples sells Snuggies. Since when are they office supplies? #
  • 15:59 Then again, in a world where people wear Crocs to work, I guess anything goes. #
  • 16:30 @JaredofMo Excited, yes, but not high-pitched. And I definitely don't imagine her sounding like she does in Emerald City Confidential. #
  • 16:34 @MikeConway You know, I think that makes a certain amount of sense. Do you think Cyndi would ever be willing to do the voice? #
  • 16:35 @MikeConway Then again, if Cyndi voices Scraps, does that mean Captain Lou Albano would be Dr. Pipt? #
  • 16:39 Man, you should have seen them kicki
    ng Edgar Allan Poe. #
  • 17:12 Link: Bush Officials Objected to Awarding Medal to J.K. Rowling - Note to morons: There’s a reason those... #
  • 17:17 Video: The dark ending of Dragon Warrior.  Too bad you can’t actually play as the Dragonlord’s partner.... #
  • 17:33 Photo: The Last Supper of Internet Memes Source: Cal’s Canadian Cave of Coolness #
  • 19:06 I heard something on the radio involving Mariah Carey and "in theaters." Here's hoping it isn't "Glitter 2: The Passion
    of the Dice." #
  • 19:14 @3x1minus1 Well, you START at ABC, but then switch to CBS to see Jimmy Fallon. Seriously, I have no idea. #
  • 19:16 Didn't Jon Gosselin leave his overly fertile wife, like, months ago? Why is he still being discussed? #
  • 19:21 I'm way behind everyone else on pop culture, so it's weird when the mainstream starts talking about something that's old news to me. #
  • 19:24 Like the recent interest in the end of the Mayan calendar, when I'd read about that some time before. #
  • 21:22 We're flying to Oregon on Delta Airlines, the official airl
    ines for kids! #
  • 21:31 Photo: It’s a little-known fact that Sophia Loren kept her youthful looks through a strict regimen of... #
  • 21:37 Automated systems that make you talk to them are such a bad idea. #
  • 22:20 @JaredofMo Yeah, but people are talking about his leaving the show as if it wasn't inevitable at this point. #
  • 22:21 @jlbellwriter Or maybe I remember the future! No, that's probably not it. I'm not Merlin. #
  • 23:23 We need to repeal the dea
    th tax! All those poor dead people are getting screwed! #
  • 23:36 I just found a 2+ week-old insulting reply to something I'd written. Nice. #
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God's Fish

Earlier, I expressed the possibility of writing a post about the fish-god Dagon, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to do so. Yeah, I know I usually write mythology posts on Saturdays, but I don't know if I'll have access to a computer this Saturday, so I'm just taking care of it today. Anyway, simply looking at the Wikipedia entry for the deity calls into question the whole idea of his being a fish-god. The identification is supported by coins and other iconography bearing pictures of fish-men, as well as the connection between the name Dagon and the Hebrew word for fish. On the other hand, the name is also similar to the Ugaritic term for grain, and Dagon is sometimes said to have been a grain deity, credited with the introduction of the plow. The god was worshipped by several peoples, and some suspect that it was when his cult spread from Babylonia to the maritime Phoenicians and Philistines that the association between Dagon and fish began. It seems that pictures of fish-men from the time of these civilizations include humans with fish tails (like the Greek Triton and the contemporary concept of a mermaid), humans draped in fish skin (the usual portrayal of the Babylonian god Oannes), and reverse mermen with the fish part on top. The Catholic Encyclopedia claims that the Syrians often abstained from eating fish, which it links to the idea of a cult for a fish-god, but could be for a different reason.

In addition to the several fishy deities I've mentioned, there are some others who deserve notice. One is Matsya, the first incarnation of Vishnu in Hindu mythology. Matsya started out as a tiny fish, but continued to grow ever larger under the care of Satyavrata, King of the Dravidians. Once Matsya reaches gigantic size, he reveals his true identity, and tells Satyavrata to build a boat that he can use to avoid an upcoming flood. Sound familiar?

Fish are also often associated with mother goddesses, and said to be representative of the vagina. As the fish as a fertility symbol remained popular in Roman times, it's often speculated that it was later adapted by Christians into the Jesus fish. Sure, people try to claim that the fish is based on a Greek acrostic for a description of Jesus, but who doesn't love the idea that a lot of pious Christians are driving around with vaginal symbols on their car bumpers? In fact, it's so amusing that it gives me some cause to doubt its truth, although it's probably true that it was adapted from a pagan symbol. Most Christian iconography was, after all. I've also seen it suggested that the miters worn by bishops (including the Pope) are based on the icthyan headgear of the priests of the Semitic god Ea, as seen in this rather sloppy graphical comparison.