Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bobcast: A slow-moving honor?

Latest Bobcast is up. Listen here or read below.

Sea-faring lore holds that sailors often mistook manatees for mermaids. Anyone who's ever seen the large, milky-white sea mammals whose other name is "sea cow" is left wondering just how lonely it must get for men on the open sea.

The U.S. Geological Survey describes them thusly, "Manatees are large, gentle, her-bivorous, slow moving mammals." While it’s difficult imagine them as mythic ocean beauties, manatees are captivating to observe.

The state Legislature is considering making them Alabama’s official marine mammal. That’s good, but it’s also what a therapist might describe as "projection," that is attributing one’s undesirable traits onto another.

While interesting to watch, manatees lack a certain, a-hem, aggression. That's one reason they are endangered. Fast-moving recreational boats often crash into the lethargic mammals that don’t move fast enough to get out of the way.

Sort of like Montgomery, stuck in its ways, resistant to moving quickly to fix what needs fixing in Alabama. And nobody would ever consider Goat Hill to be filled with mermaids.