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StephenT [userpic]

(Poll) Girls who've seen the ocean

10th June 2010 (23:17)
Tags: ,

There's a song I remember from long ago which contains lyrics that I always found really evocative:

Their lives ran in circles so small,
They thought they'd seen it all;
And they couldn't make a place for
A girl who'd seen the ocean.


('Memories of East Texas' by Michelle Shocked)

The reason it stuck in my mind was, well, I couldn't really conceive of how anybody over the age of five could have never seen the ocean. But then again, I live on an island, rather than in East Texas or anywhere similar... So here's a poll!

Poll #1576861 Girls who've seen the ocean

Are you a girl?

Yes
46(54.1%)
No
14(16.5%)
When I was younger
25(29.4%)

Have you seen the ocean?

Yes, I've seen the Atlantic
4(4.7%)
Yes, I've seen the Pacific
2(2.4%)
Yes, I've seen the Indian Ocean
0(0.0%)
Yes, I've seen the Southern Ocean
0(0.0%)
Yes, I've seen the Arctic Ocean
0(0.0%)
I've actually swum (or paddled) in the ocean
1(1.2%)
I've never seen the ocean
3(3.5%)
I can see the ocean *right now*
0(0.0%)
I'm posting this from on board a ship at sea
0(0.0%)

Have you seen the elephant?

Yes, literally
31(37.3%)
Yes, metaphorically
6(7.2%)
No
8(9.6%)
Huh?
27(32.5%)

Have you heard the mermaids singing?

Yes
14(17.3%)
No
27(33.3%)
I do not think that they will sing to me
36(44.4%)
 Please note, you're welcome to take the poll even if you're not a girl!

Comments

Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:27 (UTC)

Never heard of the song, so most of this poll is confusing me...


Being Australian, I have OF COURSE seen the ocean. On many different occasions.

(I once almost did this thing where a whole bunch of Aussie uni students get to go over to America for a couple of months and help run a summer camp. And we were given this list of possible activities to lead. And only about two people thought they could lead watersports until the main guys said "Uh... you're Aussies. You guys all learn to swim when you're THREE. Trust us. YOU CAN RUN WATERSPORTS.")

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:59 (UTC)

Only the first two questions have any relevance to the song. The third is an American saying from the Civil War era meaning "to see combat" or more generally, "to experience the world"; Terry Pratchett uses it a couple of times in 'Witches Abroad'. The fourth is from a T S Eliot poem.

The Wikipedia article on the Southern Ocean was interesting; apparently most nations' maps show it as being only the waters around Antarctica, but Australian maps show it as stretching all the way up past Tasmania...

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:03 (UTC)

Posted by: Jonathan Korman (jonathankorman)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:20 (UTC)
Elephant

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:27 (UTC)
Re: Elephant

Posted by: Jonathan Korman (jonathankorman)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:55 (UTC)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 04:01 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:35 (UTC)

I've seen the Pacific and Atlantic and the Gulf (of Mexico) and have swam in all three at various times.

But I'm firmly anti-ocean and anti-beach now. You wouldn't catch me in the ocean unless naked!Spike was waiting for me in the middle of it. And even then, it'd be a tough call. I might fly in with a hang-glider and swoop him up instead.

Oh, I have no clue what that song is either.

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:43 (UTC)

Why are you anti-beach?

*is nosey*

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:52 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:57 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:03 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:06 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:09 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:15 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:17 (UTC)

Posted by: Fenchurch (fenchurche)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:27 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:31 (UTC)

Posted by: Fenchurch (fenchurche)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:39 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:48 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:42 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:46 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:50 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:53 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:05 (UTC)

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:22 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 02:05 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 02:04 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 13:57 (UTC)

Posted by: GingerWall (gingerwall)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:54 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:06 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:16 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:20 (UTC)

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 01:45 (UTC)

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 04:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 11:04 (UTC)

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 02:01 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:02 (UTC)

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:08 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:18 (UTC)

Posted by: Jonathan Korman (jonathankorman)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:23 (UTC)

Posted by: prophecygirrl (prophecygirrl)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:46 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:50 (UTC)

Posted by: fangfaceandrea (fangfaceandrea)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:52 (UTC)

Have you heard the mermaids singing?

"Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? wouldn't you think my collection's complete, wouldn't you think I'm a girl, a girl who has... everything!"

There you went and had me lyric-quote you The little mermaid didn't you? But, Ariel was a Mermaid and she sang so my answer is yes.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:03 (UTC)

Fair enough. :-)

Posted by: fangfaceandrea (fangfaceandrea)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:47 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:51 (UTC)

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 22:55 (UTC)
eny fule

I grow old, I grow old.

White flannel trousers do not suit me and I have no intention of wearing the bottoms of any of my trousers rolled. I will continue to measure out my life in coffee spoons.

I've swum in the Atlantic Ocean and the North, Irish, Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Or paddled at least.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:06 (UTC)

Have you ever eaten a peach, though?

I'm counting the North Sea and Irish Sea as part of the Atlantic, really, since they open directly onto it. Less sure if the Mediterranean counts for that purpose. (Though I have seen the Atlantic directly, in Scotland, Britanny and New York).

Posted by: Fenchurch (fenchurche)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:28 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:48 (UTC)

Posted by: gillo (gillo)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:13 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:03 (UTC)
Smug River by jkpolk

The reason it stuck in my mind was, well, I couldn't really conceive of how anybody over the age of five could have never seen the ocean.
Well I grew up on teeny tiny islands in the middle of the ocean, and if you couldn't see it you were *blind*! :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:09 (UTC)

I was actually thinking of you when I dreamed up this poll, and also of maharet83 - one of the questions is really specifically for her, in fact.

So is there anywhere in the Faroes which is too far from the sea for you to see it? (Not counting buildings blocking the view)

Edited at 2010-06-10 23:11 (UTC)

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:15 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:08 (UTC)
Yes! Yes! Rawwwwwk!

I mostly just want to squee a bit since Short Sharp Shocked is still one of my all-time favourite albums.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 10th June 2010 23:11 (UTC)

I had a copy given to me on cassette tape by a friend, way back when. Sadly the only album I have on CD by her is 'Arkansas Traveller', though 'Come A Long Way' is permanently in my main iTunes playlist.

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 11:12 (UTC)

Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 00:56 (UTC)

I live in the middle of a desert. I've seen both coasts, but they were Strange Exotic Places.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:01 (UTC)

I think the East and West Coasts of America count as strange and exotic anyway, regardless of the presence of oceans. :-)

Posted by: Nicki (peroxidepirate)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 01:33 (UTC)
days of hope

I've seen the Atlantic and the Pacific. I've glimpsed the elephant and that was enough. I've heard mermaids singing in Lake Michigan, but the ones in the ocean have never sung to me.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:02 (UTC)

Clearly oceanic mermaids are aloof and antisocial. Or maybe they can't sing...

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 01:42 (UTC)

The Gulf of Mexico totally counts as an ocean, right?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:03 (UTC)

Hmm. I suppose so; waves coming in from the Atlantic could flow straight through into the Gulf, so I think it counts as an arm of the ocean. :-)

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:06 (UTC)

Posted by: Denita (menomegirl)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:12 (UTC)

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 01:47 (UTC)
Wow

As of right now, I am the only one who has never seen the ocean.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:04 (UTC)
Re: Wow

There's three of you now. But it does make a difference if you live a thousand miles from the nearest coast instead of 50 miles...

Posted by: magista (magista)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 03:28 (UTC)
Spike smirk

Not only have I seen the elephant, I've ridden it...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:05 (UTC)

This is a literal elephant, I tak it? :-)

(I've ridden on an elephant too. It's an odd experience.)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 03:31 (UTC)

The first ocean I saw and swam in was the Atlantic, which my mother took me to when I was ten (cruise vacation). The second, the Pacific, in which I took myself in my last few days of living in LA. But I know many, many people who haven't seen either. It's odd to think about, not having seen the ocean...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:07 (UTC)

It is odd. For me, my earliest real memory is a trip to the seaside my parents took me on when I was about 3 or 4. I can remember standing in front of the hotel, which was right on the sea front, pretending to be the gate because the hotel entrance itself didn't have a gate and I thought it should have. ( Hey, I was three.)

Posted by: Mierke (mierke)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 04:52 (UTC)
Lumpy (sad)

I've seen the North Sea? Doesn't really count as an ocean, though.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:09 (UTC)

I think it can count if you want it to. ;-) The waves breaking on the shores of Belgium could have travelled in a straight line directly from the North Atlantic out past the Faroes...

Posted by: Mierke (mierke)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:34 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 08:19 (UTC)

On bodies of waters ...

Ocean: Swam in the Gulf and the Atlantic off of Florida's coast 1) because it was *right there*, 2) it was really, really hot, 3) I'd never seen the ocean, so of course I had to get in it to feel the waves and 4) I was ignorant to how close sharks get to land, that jellyfish are more numerous than you think and that there are small critters that can get you. I never did make it past my thighs and then only for a few minutes before I scrambled back to knee depth - I have this horror of riptides, which I'm convinced is the same as waves going outward.

River: Only if it is like less than knee-deep. It's not just riptides that scare the daylights out of me - it's the general tugging of moving water. I don't care how gentle it is - I'm convinced it's a ploy to lure me into dropping my guard so it can sneak up on me and sweep me away to... I don't know... a dam or waterfall or intake pipe or something.

Lakes: Only like waist deep - In addition to my paranoia over water rushing around me, I'm also freaked out by stuff I can't see under me. And kelp or whatever the lake version is, is clingy and kinda slimy and just ew. I'm also convinced it is evil and wants to wrap around you the same way it grabs at your hooks when you go fishing and is deliberately planning on drowning you. Which I also have a paranoid fear of since about forever and a day.

Pools: My parents have a pool. Used it every day of summer in high school - got over it - now almost never actually go in it. It's not that I don't like swimming, but it always seems like laying on the deck in the sun is less energy intensive and I've accepted that I'm lazy. *judge me - I care not*

Ponds: God, no! Those things are filled with even more slime than lakes - plus snakes, who wait to ambush you and then make people think it is your own fault for not watching where you were stepping. They're not exactly evil, but they are mean-spirited.

Hot Springs: I've always wanted to bathe in a hot spring - and then I saw that Brosnan/Hamilton volcano flick and now there is no way in Hell.

Posted by: The One Who Isn't Chosen (gabrielleabelle)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 14:16 (UTC)

OMG! Are you me? I absolutely share your enmity towards all bodies of water.

I'm also freaked out by stuff I can't see under me.

This. Yes.

Would you join me in my plans to exterminate all jellyfish?

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 04:26 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:12 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 04:39 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th June 2010 13:53 (UTC)

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 08:59 (UTC)

I've seen the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian ocean...and of course as a Mediterranean girl I've heard the mermaids sing, but I made sure that I was tied upbagainst the mast before I took off my earplugs...

I can show you pictures of may elephants.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:13 (UTC)

I've been to India but I've never actually seen the Indian Ocean, which seems like a lost opportunity.

Were the Sirens actually mermaids, or just generic acquatic females? :-)

Posted by: Chani φ (frenchani)
Posted at: 11th June 2010 18:49 (UTC)

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