The Green Rush
by: Tristan Risk "Little Miss Risk"
We come on the heels of International Women's Day, as I write this. This is a day when we are supposed to celebrate women and talk with open dialog about the advancement of the women's rights and equality movement, where we talk to our daughters and tell them they can be anything they want when they grow up, and hope it's true. Overall, it's generally held as a time of forward-thinking openness that is meant to peel back the layers of the patriarchy, and to help raise awareness of crisis that face women today, from the glass ceiling, to passive sexism, rape culture, and violence against women simply for existing. I usually come away with it feeling the warm glow of positivity for my sisters worldwide and the hopes that we can move forward and offer the next generation more opportunities. But, sadly, there's always someone who's gotta piss in the punchbowl and ruin it.
I first heard about 'The Triggering' from social media. The idea behind this asinine concept is that somehow, in our modern age, we are now walking on eggshells because something we may say or do will upset and offend someone's gentle sensibilities. The movement, with the hashtag #TheTriggering is designed to take down what they view as people's PC 'Marxist' sensibilities that patrol and limit the realms of free speech. It's a direct backlash to what they perceive to be ball-chewing feminists and minority groups who, in their words, "love to present themselves as perpetual victims, thus expecting preferential treatment." Don't worry, I threw up a little in my mouth, too when I read that. In a climate coloured by Trump rhetoric of 'telling it like it is', (also known as being an ignorant asshole), they set to trend this on the same day that, big surprise, is International Women's Day. I'm unsure what it is exactly it is that they are upset about, whether it's people calling them out on their idiocy, to hateful remarks that people are verbalizing and making people who do this be accountable for being privileged twits. Either way, the number of whining posts I saw with the remarks to the tune of, 'But what about International MEN'S Day?" made for a slightly higher volume of vomit in my mouth than usual. Looks like someone(s) has a bug up their collective asses about said privilege being threatened because, oh, I don't know, woman want fair and equitable treatment?
Frankly, I'll settle for walking alone and night safely, thanks.
I'd like to point out, for the record here, that this has less to do with trying to be politically correct ALL the time and more to do with readjusting our thinking from racist, sexist and rape culture thinking. But the whiners remain, clutching to the old ways like a child worried that their toys are being taken away, when all it is growing the fuck up and being held accountable for their words or actions. The way that one would assume humans should interact with one another. But speaking of the old ways, the fear where this might have stemmed from goes back, way back, to when women who were healers and midwifes all of a sudden were unwillingly RSVP'ing to a bonfire they didn't sign up for. So let's cycle back, a little further, when women were respected, and to when it was believed that they didn't just hold power, but possessed arcane power. The ability to mythically affect the people and earth around them, that was likely an understanding of their environment that translated to fearful minds as the ability to curse others. I'm talking about straight-up witch's hexes, ladies and gentlemen.
There was once a widely held belief amongst more simple people that these women held the key to bless them and give them a boy or girl, to bring feast or famine. They were the first ones praised when shit was going just spiffy, but if the milk dried up, or some meteorological phenomenon occurred, then you'd better believe there'd be a knock at the door with torches and pitchforks on the other side. The common curse was often turning people into low animals like worms, snakes, or the like. As a modern day witch with a greater scope of scholarly interest in international biology, with specifics in marine biology, I have my own take on this... The Greenland shark. Called Somniosus microcephalous by science and Eqalussuaq by the Inuit, the unique nature of this creature I feel would be a suitable banishment on modern small-minded folk who take pleasure in yucking someone else's yum.
1. THEY ARE RARELY SEEN. The Greenland shark was first photographed below the depths of the Arctic not too long ago - in 1995 as a matter of fact - and it made it's first underwater video debut when captured on film in 2003. While small-minded people are never going to fully go away, by transforming them into Greenland sharks, they will be tucked down, out of sight, where they can mutter incessantly to themselves about 'crazy broads' and 'immigrants stealing their jobs' and leave the rest of us to operate, more or less, in harmony. Given the trollish nature of these individuals, I would think that they are already well suited to this, given they rarely emerge from their parent's basements.
2. THEY LIKE IT COLD. Greenland sharks populate the icy waters around Greenland (shocker) Canada, and Iceland. As the only shark that can survive in Arctic temperatures year round, they prefer cold water, and in the warmer summer months, they seek deeper waters where it's the coldest. Given the alacrity with which global warming is growing, one can reasonably assume that they'll keep seeking deeper and deeper cold waters. Given that 'cold' is the attitude that most of the human imbeciles I'd love to hex with this have been given for their narcissistic attitudes, I'm sure that this is well-fitting. As we progress towards a global attitude of iciness towards people who voice these hateful attitudes socially, I'd assume that they'd be used to it. Think of it as global warming (progressive attitudes) forcing the Greenland sharks (whiny Triggerers) to seek out self-serving colder and colder waters where they can mutter to themselves about how women are ruining the Ghostbusters franchise.
3. THESE SHARKS CAN GO DEEP. Greenland sharks are best known for diving deep in order to find colder waters. They have been spotted at depths as low as 2,200 meters below in the great blue sea. Like the keyboard warriors who surround themselves in the bluish glow of their computer monitors in their bachelor suites and parent's basements, these sharks have been seen resting on continental depths. With the Triggerers, I feel they would be at home here, resting and reflecting on stupid social standards that have let hateful shit slide for decades and thinking of troll-like memes deriding thoughtful action to post for other Triggerers to laugh at, in between fostering a sense of discourse and jerking off to cartoon porn on Rule 34. A good a place as any to stash these folks so the rest of us can continue our days in relative peace, while teaching the young ones about respect towards each other.
4. THEY GET BIG, GROW SLOWLY, AND ARE EASY TO AVOID. Due to the fact that they are rarely seen, Greenland sharks rival Great Whites in size, though not fame. Given their sluggish nature and that they grow at an estimated rate of 0.5-1cm per year (a shark tagged in Greenland in 1936 was captured again 16 years later and had only grown 6cm longer. Assuming that is a common growth rate, then in theory a shark that measures 7 meters and is mature is well over 200 years old). This, combined with it's lethargic cruising speed of 0.3m/s (0.76 mph), though they are capable of very short bursts of speed. This sets the Triggerers as perfect Greenland shark specimens. Given their slow processing of social evolution, it stands to reason that the Triggerers will catch up to current ways of thinking in another hundred years or so. May as well cast an enchantment that embodies this in flesh rather than attitude. The only short bursts of speed I've seen the Triggerers do is to accuse others of having no sense of humour. Kind of like the theory of the Shrodinger Douchebag that was pointed out to me, whereupon a guy who says offensive things and decides whether he was joking based on the reactions of the people around him. Nevertheless, The Triggerers can slowly meander in near darkness in the cold waters below, and anyone seeing these critters can easily avoid them. Much like blocking them on your social media.
5. THEY ARE HOSTS TO PARASITES. Like sniggering Beavis and Buttheads, Triggerers and Greenland sharks both play hosts to parasites. In the case of the Triggerers, they are bro-dudes, people who passively encourage sexism by posting obnoxious memes, and senders of unsolicited dick pics. The advantage of transforming them from human detritus to Greenland sharks would be the presence of the Ommatokoita elongata. This little parasite laches onto this predator's eyeball, and chews away at the corneal tissue, eventually rendering it blind. Which is kind of like the Triggerers - utterly blind to changing times and attitudes. So if you are determined to put blinders on your eyes, and willfully say/post hurtful/incendiary shit, then why not be blind, deep under the water in the Arctic where you won't bother the rest of the populace who have a vested interest in socially engineering a more positive place for future generations who don't need malevolent rhetoric?
6. THEY WILL EAT ANYTHING. The Greenland shark is opportunistic in it's eating habits, however, it is more a scavenger than a hunter. While when they drift to the surface, they may seek out and surprise a sleeping seal. However, given evidence of their stomach contents of various animal remains ranging from reindeer to polar bear, this supports the fact that with their slow swimming, the Greenland shark is inept as a hunter. Much like the Triggerers, they tend to fasten themselves onto social scraps that others have been content to let go of concepts and allow them to decay. The Triggerers and Greenland shark both are inclined to make meals of the corpses of outdated social norms and moose alike, giving good reason to move them further north, where they can sluggishly choke down their decaying devices, rather than forcing them to try and conform to the new social norms of not being a turd of a human being.
7. THEIR FLESH IS POISON. The Greenland shark comes with a legend from the Inuit people. According to myth, Ekalugsuak, the very first Greenland shark, came from an old woman who washed her hair in urine and dried it with a cloth. The cloth blew away into the ocean, and then became Ekalugsuak. So it kind of gives you an idea of what it's flesh tastes like. The off-putting taste doesn't come from urine, but high levels of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) which is what helps it to stay in the depths as it acts as a natural antifreeze. Consuming this flesh causes the TMAO to break down into trimethylamine (TMA) and can cause intestinal distress and neurological effects similar to that of extreme drunkeness. However, I'm still waiting for the cast members of Jackass to incorporate this into one of their weird pranks, it brings to mind the metaphorical poison of the Triggerers... while I wouldn't encourage cannibalisim, the Triggerers represent another kind of poison. The casual racism/sexist attitudes that their brand of humour perpetuates is far worse that feeling the spins and sharting. It seeps into the collective consciousness, giving a pass to worse behaviour with the 'well, what are you gonna do about it,' and 'boys will be boys' attitudes that allow men to shout obscenities to women walking down the street and people referring to Muslims as terrorists. That sort os social norms puts down dangerous roots that grow into young men being shot in the street for having the wrong skin colour (I could cite Trayvon Martin specifically here, but there are literally DOZENS of instances like this) and a man killing a woman for rebuffing his advances (like the death of Janice Talton-Jackson, a mother killed in Penn Hills, PA for rejecting the advances of Charles McKinney who later shot her). An appropriate hex, I feel, turning this poison into actual flesh, and banishing them to the Arctic depths is not the worst idea in the world.
In closing, I'd like to state that this is in no way meant to malign the Greenland Shark. It has proven to be one of the few examples in my mind of unknown deep sea creatures that the program Monster Hunter has actually delivered on. It is what it is, and makes no apologies for it. However, as we tend to think of humans as higher organisms, one would think that we hold ourselves to slightly higher standards of behaviour than a carrion-eating deep sea pariah. However, after witnessing the cultivation of hate and racism at the Trump rallies, the mewling meninists crying about having their male privilege snatched away from them on International Women's Day, and the flippancy of the the Triggerers, I can't help but think that the rest of us who want to better ourselves and create a climate of peace and equality for future generations wouldn't be better served if I answered this cry from my Inner Sorceress. I have baroque, elaborate fantasies where women can walk home at night, wearing whatever they want and not be accosted, people will be judged on the basis of their character, not the melanin of their skin, and the act of killing someone because their opinion differs from yours is viewed as an ancient barbaric curiosity. I like to think we're are inching closer to that ultimate goal. But if there is a greater power that can foresee this, then I am unaware of it.
And the Greenland sharks are keeping any info about that, to themselves in the icy deep.