First off, it’s good to be back! It’s been over 4 months since my last post, and as much as I want to blame the fact I’ve been busy (which I have been), and work (which there has been a lot of), and travel (ditto – in 2017, I dove two oceans, two seas, and a lake), the truth is I’ve been overwhelmed by events and needed a mental health break.
I’ve also been wrestling with the ideas of political purity versus political expediency. Basically, how does one reconcile what they want out of politics versus what they can get? Many people have made some persuasive arguments about propping up the American two-party system does not affect change, but all the while, while engaged in this existentialist wankathon, one party, and only one party, has been plotting the systemic destruction of the one thing on this planet I truly care about.
And I might have remained in this bullshit fugue state for this wake-up call by the Trump administration.
I’m pretty sure every kid, when they first start paying attention to the world beyond the sandbox, gravitates to the Mysterious World – the world beyond the veil, populated by unicorns, sea monsters, Bigfoot, Atlantis, and fairies. My parents wouldn’t buy me the Time-Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” collection (currently selling for close to $400 on Amazon!) and I always felt like I missed out on my true calling, as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, because of it.
This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast. Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.
On July 8th at Shark-Con in Tampa, FL, I will be releasing a brand new collection of poems, essays, and art called “Cap’n Klute’s Ocean Almanac, Vol. 44 #2”! It’s probably the most ambitious project I’ve ever embarked on. It’s a collection of some of the essays and poetry, and I’ve commissioned a whole bunch of illustrations and drawings from some of Arizona’s top talent to present the work in a way you’ve never seen before. I’m really excited.
And to sweeten the deal, I’m including an exclusive book-only essay on tiki bar culture and sharks! The essay also includes two drink recipes I’ve created, the Blue Guadalupe and the Waidroka Angel, and if you come to Shark-Con you can buy tiki mugs to serve those drink recipes in (note: that tiki in the picture is not what I’m selling, that’s one from my private collection).
As always, any and all profits from the books, tiki mugs, t-shirts, and stuff for the little remoras in your school get donated to shark conservation groups.
So if you love sharks, if you love the ocean, if you love tiki bar culture, and like it all with a little chaser of sarcasm, you know where you need to be on July 8th and 9th.
Come to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL and indulge your love of all things sharky, and stop by my booth, and say hi!
Follow Shark-Con on Facebook, or on Twitter – there might be some upcoming discounts. You never know.
As we all know, sharks are in trouble. Suffering from a laundry list of problems from overfishing, to habitat loss, to pollution, to a rapidly changing environment brought on by anthropogenic climate change, many species from the smalltooth sawfish to the daggernose sharks are teetering on the verge of extinction. The daggernose shark so endangered that the National Marine Fisheries Services got off it’s ass on May 9, 2017 to declare it an endangered species – under the Trump administration. That’s like the Flat Earth Society endorsing Buzz Aldrin for President of the Moon.
“The Prophecy of Teeth and Blood”, my first shark poem, written in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It was performed to great effect* by Team Mesa 2010 at the National Poetry Slam by myself, Brit Shostak (now of Portland, OR), Tristan Marshell, and Lauren Perry.