Sunday, December 21, 2014

Siren Songs

by Julie Dillon
This post was sparked by the image at right, "Space Sirens," by Julie Dillon. First I was intrigued by the picture, and then I was even more intrigued when I read the description the artist gave for it. There's just one single thing holding it back from making great EMC. See if you can guess what it is:

The last remaining astronaut watched helplessly as his comrades left the ship one by one and were carried away deeper into the nebula. He told himself that he would not succumb the way his shipmates had; he knew he would struggle. But the creatures, if they could even be called that, somehow seemed to know him, and when his turn came and the singing of the cosmos reached a crescendo in his ears, his mind emptied of all but the desire to join them in the void. Gazing into the creature’s face, he mused on how tender, how gentle its embrace seemed, and even as his oxygen supply dwindled he did not resist.

by EuchridEucrow
Right: the victims die (well, probably). My first thought, on deciding to blog about Sirens, was how annoying it was that they typically killed their victims. Annoying, and also pretty irrational. What do the Sirens get out of that, besides some evil cackling? On the other hand, lots of mermaid/siren pictures show the creatures dragging studly young sailors underwater with the implication that what the mermaids really hoped for was hot sex...or maybe even hot sex slaves. So why not hot MC'ed sex slaves?

Well, even as I pondered that idea, I stumbled across the picture at left ("Kiss of Life," by EuchridEucrow), which shows a mermaid reviving the victim she's just caught. Yes, she's saved his life, but I really doubt she plans to let him go. And I also doubt he really wants to go by now. After all, her kiss almost has to be drugged, right?

by cg_warrior
Then there's the picture at right, by cg_warrior. To me, it's the most intriguing of the first three because of the victim's eyes. I really don't think that's the glaze of death. I think it's the glaze of enchantment. The mermaids have this man in their clutches in more ways than one, and he's deeply enough enthralled that he's enjoying it. Why else would his arm be drifting to embrace his captor's tail? Also be sure to notice that he's adopting the mermaids' pallor, but he's not white all over yet. That means he's still falling, deeper and deeper, into their clutches. I wonder how it'll feel when he succumbs completely. It has to be mindless ecstasy, right? It just does.

Oh, and for the record, cg_warrior's gallery has a lot of this kind of stuff: creatures who may be innocent or malevolent and people who may be dead or just enspelled. I love it.

by Herbert James Draper
Now here's one more note, maybe the best of all. When I first asked myself what Sirens could get out of killing their prey (well, besides vicious pleasure), I immediately thought of Odysseus. When you get right down to it, isn't it pretty suggestive that he had his men tie him up before they reached the Sirens? It's like he was saying, "Look, ladies! Here's your next slave, already bound and waiting!"

And if you remember your mythology, you know that Odysseus stopped his sailors' ears with wax so they wouldn't hear the Sirens' song and could keep steering while he had all the fun. But come on, look at this picture! Not only have the mermaids come out in force, but they're actually climbing aboard the ship. If just one of them manages to unstop even one ear of one sailor, he'll be totally in her power. Then he'll turn on his mates and Odysseus and help the Sirens enslave them all. Can't you just picture it (Hmm, and hey, couldn't I just write it?)

Clearly, the version of The Odyssey that many of us read in high school was a just cover story. The truth is out there - and it's wallowing in brainwashed bliss.

credits for the final three pictures, left to right: Fred Appleyard, Edward Burne-Jones, and Frederic Leighton

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