48 - Lindsay Loftin (Mermaids For Clean Water)
This week’s guest is my friend Lindsay Loftin, a professional mermaid who uses her performances to raise awareness of marine conservation issues. She also boasts 60 pushups in two minutes and the ability to transform phone-addicted schoolchildren into avid gardeners.
• How mermaid performances can help us transform our relationship to nature;
• Sea goats and other weird half-and-half creatures, and how the Capricorn’s ambitious in-between-ness was a prophesy of amphibians as an emblem of evolutionary “ascent”;
• Remembering in our bodies the importance of the health of our environment and our right relationship to nature;
• Ecology as a mystical experience or way of being awake;
• The changing definition of nature once you think of the atmosphere as an artifact created by primordial ooze;
• Epigenetics, landscape agency, cities as automatic outgrowths of the lithosphere, and the argument against free will from a planet’s point of view;
• Plastics and endocrine disruption related sterility;
• David Pearce’s anti-species-ist manifesto;
• Responsible tourist information about how to visit wild places respectfully;
…and much more. I go off the deep end and talk about the possibility of ACTUALLY BECOMING mermaids with CRISPR, and the social consequences of the end of a common “human” body.
Then we talk for another hour. Lindsay tells some AMAZING animal stories. She has never been injured.
“I want to be the Bill Nye of mermaids.”
“I think when little girls see me holding my breath for two minutes and swimming around Barton Springs, it blows their minds…they’re thinking, ‘Science is not what I thought it was.’”
“It’s our time to return to the water. At least in our focus and our awareness. Because you know, the way our culture is going is so far removed from any sort of connection to nature as I’ve come to understand it. So that’s a systemic illness, in my opinion. My work…lies with healing that rift, that illness.”
“No two people react to nature in the same way. The way I experience going out side is kind of like a landscape level. Which, as an ecologist, I’m mapping in my brain how energy is flowing from the air, into that tree, into me, into the soil – the water going across the landscape, where that’s going, what animals are here – I’m seeing all of that at the same time.”
“I can pretty much guarantee you that you drank plastic within the last week…essentially, we are becoming plastic.”
“As someone who works with other people’s children, I just cannot stand the thought of sitting here waiting [for plastic-eating bacteria to save the world].”
“I don’t even have an Instagram. People hear that, and they’re like, ‘But you’re a mermaid!’”
“Dangerous wildlife finds me, gets as close to me as possible, and then completely leaves me alone. I can’t really explain why, but that seems to be one of my gifts: that animals are A attracted to me, and B have no interest in eating me.”
“If birds get really loud, or suddenly really quiet, both of those are times when you should pause and evaluate your surroundings.”
“Could plastic-eating bacteria be used to generate the electricity required to mine Bitcoin?”