Forget Creationism & Evolution! Meet Fungus Man

This may be the most exciting news we’ve ever told you about, dear reader. It comes to us from an article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner of Fairbanks, Alaska. The newspaper has a comments feature. Their headline is Fungus Man and the start of it all. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Alaskans love fungi. This was evident one Saturday when author and mycologist Lawrence Millman offered a mushroom walk at Creamer’s Field on one of the wettest days of the yellow-leaf season. “Eighty people showed up in the rain, all eager to learn about fungi,” Millman said by email after returning to his home in Massachusetts. “I dare say the hunter-gatherer instinct is alive and well in Fairbanks.”

That is a strange beginning. Wikipedia has a write-up on Lawrence Millman. They say he’s a mycologist, a biologist specializing in Mycology — the study of fungi. Okay, but where is Millman’s mushroom walk going to take us? You must continue reading, dear reader. All will be revealed. Here’s where it starts to get interesting.

During a lecture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Millman introduced the crowd to Fungus Man, a character in a Haida myth. Millman showed a drawing depicting a wide-eyed Fungus Man paddling a canoe. Fungus Man guides Raven, who sits in the front of the canoe holding a spear.

According to Wikipedia, the Haida people are natives of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Some live in British Columbia, and some live in Alaska. Okay, at this point we’ve got Fungus Man padding Raven around in a canoe. So what? Here it comes:

As the legend goes, Fungus Man paddled Raven the Creator to the land of female genitalia, “thus making it possible for homo sapiens to appear on our beleaguered planet,” Millman said.

Hooray for Fungus Man! Where would we be without him? Then we’re told:

Robert Blanchette of the University of Minnesota once fleshed out Fungus Man in the journal Mycologia: “Fungus Man originated from a bracket fungus with a white undersurface upon which Raven drew a face … Of all the creatures that Raven placed in the stern of the canoe only Fungus Man had the supernatural powers to breach the spiritual barriers that protected the area where women’s genital parts were located.

You must admit, dear reader, this is much more satisfying than the creation account in Genesis. The article then tells us that some native people have a higher regard for fungi than others. That’s far less interesting than a journey to the land of female genitalia, but it’s still worth mentioning:

… Millman, a frequent visitor to the far north, noted in his lecture that Interior and coastal Alaskans didn’t seem to have the same reverence for fungi as the Southeasterners. … Perhaps, he said, it was because a Yupik translation of mushroom means “that which makes your hands fall off.” Or because some Natives of the far north explained mushrooms as “the (excrement) of shooting stars.”

That’s good to know. This is how the article ends:

“You can quote me as saying that Fungus Man is a far more benevolent deity than the Christian God,” Millman said. “(It’s) a pity no one believes in Him anymore.”

Yes, it is a pity. Of all the gods we’ve ever heard about, Fungus Man may be the most benevolent. It’s too bad Darwin never visited Alaska. The theory of evolution would have been greatly enhanced by this information. It still could be! More research is needed.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Forget Creationism & Evolution! Meet Fungus Man

  1. Olivia is now abandoning the term “Fungus Man” in referrring to you–on the grounds, as she says, “He most certainly lacks any ability–and certainly not any supernatural powers–to approach women at all, leave alone breach any ‘spiritual barriers.’

  2. I agree that Fungus Man IS a much better deity than the vile creature in the xtian holly buy-bull. Also, this creation story sounds way better. Oh, wait, I am just an old, broken down machinist who quit religion 54 years ago.
    IF I ever started to buy into and doG, I’d be willing to give old Fungus Man a try.

  3. I’m thinking about an expedition to Alaska to find Fungus Man, who will show the way to the fabled land of female genitalia. If that doesn’t work out, I may open a theme park. It should be more interesting than visiting Hambo’s ark.

  4. I wish they had called him Mushroom Man, because then I could say “boy, that Mushroom Man sure sounds like a fun guy,” without it sounding forced.

  5. When I was trying to reach that same destination, Fungus Man failed to pick me up in his canoe… so I had to learn to play the guitar. The old Les Paul got me where i wanted to go, but I still spent a lot of time sitting in the front seat holding my spear.

  6. Our Curmudgeon contemplates

    an expedition to Alaska to find Fungus Man, who will show the way to the fabled land of female genitalia. If that doesn’t work out, I may open a theme park.

    Yes!!! Count me in! But you need to think on an even grander scale here, this could be the big time! I’m talking about founding an exciting new religious schism here: The Answers in Genitals Ministry!.

    In addition to The Stark Encounter theme park you’ve mentioned above, we’ll need to build a companion attraction, The Procreation Museum (motto: “Prepare to be Relieved!”).

    I’d itemise some of the many wonders that this museum will include were this not a family-friendly blog…

  7. In my enthusiasm for your wonderful venture, my html has again gone all wonky! Apologies!

    [*Voice from above*] Quite understandable.

  8. I think this is a much better story than the one AIGers like!

  9. Thank you, O [*Voice from Above*].

    And although it does not need correction by Thy Miraculous Powers, I must note here that I also screwed up the marketing tagline for the proposed Procreation Museum, which of course should be: “Prepare to Conceive!”

  10. Some Natives of England have little reverence for fungi and refer to them as “(excrement) of toads”.

  11. jimroberts reveals that

    Some Natives of England have little reverence for fungi and refer to them as “(excrement) of toads”.

    Infidels! We bold Missionaries of Answers in Genitals warn them that they’ll be sorry when Fungus Man, who is the True Mushiah, returns and casts them into the Fiery Risotto of Eternal Damnation!

  12. Megalonyx warns: “they’ll be sorry when Fungus Man, who is the True Mushiah, returns and casts them into the Fiery Risotto of Eternal Damnation!

    According to inscriptions found carved into the ice blocks of ancient igloos, that’s not how Fungus Man deals with unbelievers. He withholds enlightenment, so they can never find their way to the wondrous land of female genitalia.

  13. @ our Curmudgeon: Ah, I was consulting the Old Fungament, in which Fungus Man is more wrathful and jealous than his portrayal in the New, as recorded on the igloo ice blocks you mention.

    I confess I am still a neophyte in the worship of Fungus Man and continue to learn, even as I fanatically spread the spores of His TRVTH.

    For instance, I did not know until this very hour that the parts of a fungus include the hymenium (gills or lamellae), a volva (not to be confused with a make of Swedish car, and certainly not to be confused with anything else!), and even an annulus (or ‘ring’). You cannot tell me there are not significant but encrytped messages in this remarkable code!

  14. Olivia remarks that the Curmudgeon has not yet achieved enlightenment, and his attempts at satori were hampered by the fact that he still thinks it is a Japanese whisky…

  15. We also learn from Millman’s blog that Santa Claus is a Fungus Man too!