Personae not chimerai (human nature)


Not a combination of beasts but one disguised as another.

In the background there are humans in shark costumes. The shark being the ideal metaphor for the socially successful human these days; it being the ultimate focused predator, selfish in the extreme. And in the foreground is another costumed human, this time as a mermaid. That metaphor/myth is also of predation, but a more human sort, one of deception and tragedy; stuff no shark knows, let alone cares of.

Here are shown humans–self-conscious individuals–facing off using forces of nature as disguises. This is not the classical use of personae where humans face off with social masks for the good of all. This modification of intercourse is not at all that, but is for the survival of the fittest.

I almost removed the mermaid’s harpoon for the picture, thinking, that as this is not a drawing of undisguised sailors and “real” mermaids, that the “turnabout is fair play” plus “caveat emptor” tropes  shown by the hidden harpoon don’t work. Also that it appeared to unfairly tipped the match-up in the “mermaid’s” favor as well as confounding the metaphor that assumes the contestants on both sides of the [broken] glass should be armed with only natural weapons.

But as a harpoon is a product of human nature and as a tail is generally no match for teeth, I left it in. Also, having the mermaid so armed seemed to be a more representative metaphor for observed match-ups. Of course, my opinions on these topics is changeable by further observation, debate, introspection or all three.