Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Hero

I was having a conversation recently about the true definition of a hero. I think the word has been greatly diminished over history. This is not a good thing. I don't like platitudes. In fact, nobody likes platitudes. I'm not sure why we bother with them as much as we do.

Originally a hero was someone who was favored by the gods. Yes, we are going back to ancient polytheistic lore, but you can just as easily say favored by The God as well. If you do not want to believe in a god, then you can simply say a human greater than 99% of the people of Earth. Whatever the case, that person is better than you are. Get over it.

This ancient definition implies that the hero does not have to be good. He can be evil as well. He must simply stand above the general rabble. The modern interpretation explicitly requires the hero to be a paragon of justice and good will. It is extremely rare for modern works of fiction to promote evil heroes. In anti-hero stories, we may root for the main character, but we choose not to revere him. As to the latter, I'm unsure why.

One bold exception in modern fiction would be the video game series called "Fable." I am primarily speaking about the first game in the series, but the other ones kept up the same continuity. The first game, however, establishes clearly that a hero is merely someone who stands above the general sort of human in the world. Even if you choose to play an evil character, you are still revered and admired. Women will still fawn over you and men will respect you. You may form animus against the law abiding types, but that is neither here nor there. Paragon heroes have the same relationship against evil forces. This game got it right.

Being one favored by the gods would mean that they have acquired superhuman abilities while still being only human. What I mean by this is that they still can only do what any human can do, but they do it so well that literally no one can match their prowess. Not even a little. In military terms, the hero would be a one-man-army who could take out hundreds of the enemy all by himself. Audie Murphy is a great example of this.

Our modern interpretation of a hero is far less interesting. We have reduced the term to be used for anyone who struggles through a tough time. We give the name hero to cancer sufferers or people who die unceremoniously during a war. We literally just throw the word out as if it had little meaning. Originally the word was intended for 1% of the earth's population. Now we just call everybody a hero. The word is entirely inert at this point. It has no real meaning other than a person who tries.

This, my friends, is very silly.

The human race is a democratically inept entity. As a group, we are ridiculous dreamers who try to turn mere concepts into reality because it makes us feel better. As a species, we tend to rip our own guts out and rationalize why that makes us better people. How wonderful it is to have one great person to point at us and say, "Don't do that. You'll hurt yourself."

The human race needs leadership. And it isn't always the one you think it is. It isn't always going to be the one you choose. It could even be a villain that makes all the difference. My point is that the one in charge should be the embodiment of the ancient definition of a hero. They are the ones who move us and inspire us to fly forward into the future. Without heroes, we grow stagnant... and insane.

And if I might make something perfectly clear, the best hero of all is one who can live their entire life without making one single mistake. This man is the one who should be our king. Not president. King. His name is Jesus Christ. Although filled with compassion, he is not really all that kind. He tells it like it is and treats those who belittle his decisions with indifference. This man may have died, but he came right back, didn't he? Here is a fairy tale that speaks volumes of what a hero truly is. A man who could defy death even after dying. A king of kings. A hero of heroes. I would happily see him on the throne and spend my life in his service.

So, what did you think? Did you like my blog? Did you hate it? I want to hear what's on your mind. You can either comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Fairyland Detectives

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Fairy Tale Spotlight: Santa Clause

Naturally I had to do something for Christmas, and Santa Clause seemed like the perfect fairy tale character to tackle. I mean... I don't have another blog to do till after the big day. I do want to warn my readers that this is not going to be a very jolly blog, but rather it will be just as deep and speculative as all of them have been. The reason for this is that the character of Santa Clause has an interesting history.

The character of Santa Clause is steeped in real fairy tale lore. Basically he was a real man and not a good person at all. Santa Clause was originally a character from the Bible named Nimrod. He perpetuated a unGodly religion after the Great Flood. If you understand what that flood was for, you will see how incredibly stupid this action of his was.

It is entirely possible this Nimrod was a wizard. He certainly dressed like one. Apparently if you burn a certain log on a particular night, a tree would appear in your home which was a good sign from this man. We call this the Yule log now. The lights were also a part of his ceremonies.

Nimrod also married his own mother Semiramis, and when he died, she kept his legacy going. This has all the signs of an otherworldly creature such as a demon. He was a sociopath that did whatever he thought was necessary to complete his goals.

Now, here is a problem I have with the promotion of this lore. If you Google websites about the connection between Nimrod and Santa Clause, you will find a lot of people encouraging you to denounce Santa Clause for the evil person he truly is. They want you to take down your lights. They want you to remove your tree (because apparently it is whispering evil thoughts to you somehow). You must entirely reduce Christmas back to the birth of Christ and nothing else. I want to go on the record and say that these people are rubbish. They are about as stupid as Nimrod himself.

Yes, I believe Nimrod was real and that the Santa Clause push is likely some sort of evil revival of the man. The thing is that I don't really care. I don't think God does either. People sometimes get into this superstitious state whenever they find connections in things. They falsely suspect that they can be evil unknowingly. Santa Clause does not have to be Nimrod! He can be some fat fairy man that laughs and gives us presents! What the heck is wrong with that?!

When I walk around my block, I am privileged to see all these beautiful lights. It annoys me to think that some superstitious and falsely enlightened people out there can see these lights and be disgusted at what they truly represent. The way I see it: we took the lore of an evil entity and turned it into something beautiful and fun!

Not to mention, we have also a ton of fiction based on this character. There were two stories written by my favorite author L. Frank Baum. There are also a number of movies that hand out the legend in multiple ways. Santa Clause has always fascinated us and inspired us to come up with new stories. It has all the fairy tale aspects we can imagine. Let's name a few:

1. He lives in the North Pole with a number of elves. (Not quite walking distance.)
2. The elves make toys all year long to be given to children on Christmas. (Fay familiars.)
3. He has a flying sleigh pulled by reindeer. (How pagan is that?!)
4. Despite the fact that he is amazingly fat, he still drops down people's chimneys to deliver the presents. (Wizard anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with any of this. They are the building blocks of great fiction. Don't let any of it go to waste.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed it or otherwise, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Impossible Things

I'm just going to come out with it. Earlier this year, I came to the bizarre conclusion (whether I am right or wrong) that Anubis was real and was, in fact, an anthropomorphic canine. Now, I have not actually seen this with my eyes, and I don't have a very large bucket of proof to give you. Needless to say, I am not expecting anyone to believe me. Nevertheless, my belief in this phenomenon had a profound effect on how I view the world around me.

I realized that, more often then not, people in this world have difficulty believing in anything but the official line of the year. If you see it on the news or if its touted by experts, those things are considered believable and everything else should be shunned as either the chaotic imagination of some writer or the ancient superstitions of a much more primitive people. But I am more than happy to accuse modern man of being the same as those in the past.

Imagine, if you will, if the TV came on and your lord Anubis appeared on the screen. It was not CGI. There was an actual live dog speaking to you on national television. And this is perfectly normal too. He did this occasionally so that his followers would understand where he is coming from. And perhaps you would like to know where he is coming from since he has the authority to end your life at a command. He is your better, after all.

What's all this about freedom and justice? What is a republic? What do we need representation for when we have a talking dog with the power of life and death to command us? You see, in this reality, Anubis does not seem like such an impossible thing. However, the concepts of which we take so seriously today might seem impossible to those worshiping the jackal.

Time has a tenancy to change opinions and society tends to flow wherever the wind takes it. We don't believe in talking canine abominations anymore. Why? Because we'd look pretty silly, wouldn't we? No one on TV ever talks about it unless it is in the context of a false mythology. Well, they are on TV so they MUST know what they are talking about. Anubis now falls under the classification of an impossible thing, and we are not encouraged to ever believe in something that is impossible. My only question is: why the hell not?

One of the biggest crippling drawbacks of humanity is that when anything wonderful or amazing happens, everyone always question its validity. Sometimes these happenings can entirely go unnoticed because of this tendency. Now, what if this impossible thing was bad and could be thwarted by a group effort?

"Oh, no!" says some fellow. "The king has grown a pair of red wings and doctors say two horns are on the way! We are ruled by the devil!"

"Oh, don't be silly," says an expert. "These things can be easily explained with science. Birth defects are common and unfortunate things that should not be belittled by superstitious drivel."

"Oh, yes. I see your point," says most everybody. "And I suppose those maladies could be helped with a bit of make-up in the right spots. Oh, how sorry we feel for him."

Honestly, I am more sorry for the people who just gave their souls up for an over-the-top representation of Beelzebub. Even so, if it had been Anubis walking around, people would compliment him on his costume. We, as a people, have difficulties believing in impossible things. We are, day by day, told of their nonexistence. We live our lives dreaming of them. However, we have come to the conclusion that they are nothing more than fantasy and fiction and believing in them would qualify us to be admitted.

As to the latter, I don't want you to believe that. Of course, you have the freedom to think what you want about anything. Nevertheless, I do not think much of a culture's future if they do not have the capability in believing in impossible things. You may find it surprising that this belief is actually the cornerstone of human progress. Let's go back in time.

It is the year 1145, an entirely obligatory number, mind you. You are with a friend on a clear night looking up at the moon. "Do you think we'll ever go up there?" asks your friend.

"How in the world would you?" you belligerently reply. "There is no ladder long enough. Many have tried and did not even get close. What a silly thing to ask."

"Guess I'm just an idiot," says your friend. And sadly, many might have thought him to be an idiot for asking.

Happily, we did go through a period in the 60's where we all went a bit loony and actually gave it a shot. Would you believe it? We actually walked on the moon.

"But no," says some fellow. "That was all shot on a stage, you see."

"Now wait one bloody second," says I. "We actually manage to believe in impossible things and then do the impossible, and you still found a way to turn it into rubbish?" Bet you didn't see that one coming.

My point in all this is that what we call impossible is often really just implausible. And implausible doesn't really mean anything at all until its been tried with enough gumption to see if it bears fruit. Every era has its own little box that everyone tries to put us in, and if we ever try to crawl out of it, everyone swarms against you to try and put you back in your place. What is so wrong about crawling out of that silly box? I mean look at it! It's bloody small! I can barely fit into it! Human beings were never meant to live in those things! What an awful thing to live in this world only to guided by the official line!

Thank you for reading my blog. What did you think? Liked it? Hated it? Wanted to print it out just so you could burn it? Whatever the case, you can still comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Peace.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Labby the Rat

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Star-Money

If someone were to ask me which set of fairy tales have inspired me the most, I would likely begin citing the works of L. Frank Baum (Oz) or Garry Kilworth (Welkin Weasels). However, a close third will always be the works of Grimm. There is a treasure trove of wonderful stories hidden in this massive collection. I have read all of them, and I think a good portion of these spotlights will cover them.

Sets of Grimm stories will often follow a certain pattern and relay to the reader a particular moral. Although a bit too long to be called fables, many of them still seem to feel like fables. "The Star-Money" is a good example of a fable-like Grimm story. It is still brief, taking up only about a page. (True fables usually only run a paragraph.)

Here is the synopsis:

A young girl who is not named in the story becomes an orphan after her mother and father die. She was not a wealthy girl and soon finds herself without a home or a bed to sleep on. Her only possessions are the clothes on her back and a bit of bread in hand. The story notes that the only reason she had bread was because someone, having pity on her, gave it to her. It is also noted that this girl is good and pious and, although forsaken by the world, goes forth into the open country trusting in God.

Along her journey, she comes across an poor man who is very hungry. Although hungry herself, she gives the man her bread and asks God to bless him. Further on, she encounters a child who has a cold. The girl gives the child her hood in hopes that it may benefit him. Not long after that, a similar event occurs with another child, and so the girl gives that one her frock.

The girl then enters into a dark forest as it becomes night. She encounters a third child who begs for a shirt. The problem here is that, if the girl gives up her shirt, she will be naked which is indecent behavior even for a beggar such as herself. However, she rationalizes that no one will see her with it being so dark and thusly parts with her shirt anyways.

At this point, the girl has nothing at all and is left naked in the middle of the night. Suddenly, some stars fall from the sky and land at her feet. She finds them and sees they have been transformed into pieces of money. A moment after she realizes this, she soon discovers that she is wearing a new shirt made of the finest linen. The girl takes up the money and is rich all the days of her life. So ends the tale.

This story somewhat reminds me of the book of Job from the Bible. The difference here is that the girl's problems seem circumstantial rather than purposely laid upon her. Nevertheless, her integrity as a human being is tested and ultimately she is proven an honorable person and thereafter rewarded for it.

Now, I have a few concerns that I want you to consider. You will noticed that she had an unusual number of encounters of people wishing to take some very precious items from her. The children all seemed to be begging, but the poor man seemed to passively catch the girl's attention. My suspicion is that the girl was visited by a supernatural entity (perhaps related to God) in the form of a child. This entity targeted the girl after she had a very real encounter with the poor man. This was to see how far she would go.

Another theory is simply that the poor man and the three children were one and the same. If this is the case then I also suspect that the child's parents may have dropped dead from the same entity. This, of course, would put the morality of the entity into question. I greatly lean towards the former explanation of a chance encounter with a legitimate poor man.

The stars turning into money is fascinating. It is a very visible description. Anyone can imagine stars falling to one's feet and becoming money. There is also the grand moment of realizing she is dressed in fine clothing a moment after seeing the money. This is especially lovely because she realizes that her deeds have led to great reward. She basically got what she deserved which is something that does not often happen in a cynical world. Fairy tales often break the rules of cynicism and reward people for being genuinely good. And we can learn from this.

My greatest pleasure of this story is simply that she was ultimately taken care of for who she was and not what she was. Keep in mind that she was tested even though she was a beggar. This means that if she had failed the test, she would have been left a beggar and likely died as a result of it. Some may find that cruel, but being homeless and unloved does not make a person worthy of great things. A rich man can be just as good or evil as a homeless man. God would not have spared his judgement on the girl simply based on her social standing. Social standing is meaningless to God. He expects people to be good no matter who they are and "The Star-Money" is a good way of showing this truth.

On one final note, I believe the entity testing the girl was an angel. The angel was sent by God with specific instructions. The instructions were carried out simply and perfectly. But you may disagree. I'd like to hear what you think on the matter. I welcome discussion.

Thank you for reading my blog! Liked it? Hated it? You can tell me what you think in the comment section below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!


Live like a rat. Die like a rat.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Boy Bathing

What is a fable? A fable is a very brief tale which is used to make a point. These tales often include supernatural happenings, but not always. Nevertheless, we often place the word fable within the ranks of the fairy tale elite. And that is fine.

Surely the most important contribution to fables came from a mysterious man named Aesop. I say mysterious because there is very little we know about this person. He lived in the good old days of Ancient Greece in and around 600 B.C. It is entirely conceivable that the man never lived at all and that his stories are merely the works of a number of people who all shared a clever wit. Even so, he was accredited with all of these tales so that they might have a face behind them. These stories are popular to this day and surprisingly relevant.

I do intend to use these spotlights to cover a wide array of Aesop's Fables over time. I consider them to be important in the extreme as to their universal depictions of morality within the human condition. They are perfect examples of how nothing has really changed in all of history. Humans are humans and time has done nothing to improve or evolve us in any way. The more and more you look into Aesop, you will come to understand how true this really is.

Very well. Let us have a look at "The Boy Bathing." Because of the fable's brevity, I see no reason why I should not simply give you the direct text rather than merely summarizing it. The fable ran as follows:

A boy bathing in a river was in danger of being drowned. He called out to a passing traveler for help, but instead of holding out a helping hand, the man stood by unconcernedly, and scolded the boy for his imprudence. “Oh, sir!” cried the youth, “pray help me now and scold me afterwards.”

A moral is sometimes listed along with a fable. In the case of "The Boy Bathing," the moral is listed as "Counsel without help is useless." And so ends the fable.

"The Boy Bathing" is a story that is entirely grounded in reality, yet the circumstances seem greatly forced. The older gentleman really does seem fairly idiotic for making speeches while the boy is clearly in the process of drowning. This is what a fable does. It is a simple A + B = C structure. The drowning boy (representing A) is approached by an idiotic man (representing the B). They are forced together by authorial destiny to equal C (the moral.) Fables are, more often than not, extremely forced so that the point of it is as clear as possible. You must relate to it or else the fable has failed in its duty to convince you of anything.

This particular fable ridicules people who tend to argue more than assist. There are people out there who are very quick to speak but not act. Talking without actions is usually indicative of an out-of-control ego. One may consider himself wise and wish to assist others by correcting them. But they do this from atop of a rock where no man can join him. The others must stay below and be miserable while the man atop claims that it is simply unfortunate that they did not climb on top of their own rock. It would have benefited them to do so. Meanwhile, he is not making any effort to actually help them up onto his own rock.

Everyone has an opinion as well as the right to have one. But opinions, in truth, are very worthless things. Speaking them is also worthless. Action is the only things anyone can be truly accredited with. We can only judge a man by his actions. A man's wisdom is also suspect unless there are actions to back it up. There is nothing good about a man who talks and talks and does nothing at all to back those words up.

As to the boy in the story, he is portrayed, at first, as a wayward juvenile that got himself into a bad situation. To err is human, yes? The boy made a mistake and found himself in a terrible spot. He needed help. Perhaps he was ready to make amends for his foolishness, or perhaps not. Whatever the case, he needed help. What he did not need was a speech. When someone is desperate and raise their hand up to others, the correct response is to take their hand. If they continually find themselves in a  likewise predicament, it may perhaps be best to ignore them. Personal judgement is key in cases like these. We have to make them at the time they occur and not plan them out in one way or another. I have never advocated living life by a set of rules. Simply be who you are and act with the best of intentions. Personal intentions have nothing to do with rules.

There are people out there who spend their whole lives destroying themselves. Whether it be an innocent first time or a repetitious deliberate action, they do not need others scolding them. You either help them or leave them to their fate. The actions or lack there of is the only thing that matters. And that is really what I got from this story. In every way, the old man was in the wrong. He spoke out of ego purely. It was all about him. And that is why he was cast as the villain regardless of the unknown character of the boy.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it or hated it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Splash!

A Wolf in my Bedroom

Is he imaginary... or is he real?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Old Man Made Young Again

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I have read the complete works of Grimm. I found a grand majority of them fascinating. There are a lot of little gems therein, and I will likely be showcasing even the obscure ones during the run of this spotlight series. This week I would like for you to look at a humorous yet still grizzly fairy tale that involves some religious figures.

There are quite a number of Grimm tales that star both Jesus and St. Peter as main characters. These stories are non-canonical to the Bible and are written as anecdotal stories to teach people lessons about their place in the world. It seems to me that proper Christians have mixed feelings about stories like this. Some think that they reinforce the faith and others think that it is blasphemous to reduce these characters to the state of a fictional fairy tale. For me, I really don't mind it at all.

In any case, let's get to our story. In "The Old Man Made Young Again," the story begins by explaining that the world exists in a state where the Lord (probably meaning Jesus himself) and Saint Peter roam about the earth. The period this happens oddly seems to hint at a time before the days of Christ. However, it could just as well be during his lifetime. There are a lot of stories that seem to place Earth in a period where Jesus would just come down from Heaven and pop by to say hi. Nothing wrong with that.

Saint Peter notices a beggar man who is extremely old and ill. Peter has pity on this man and asks Jesus if there is anything he can do for him. Jesus, being the miracle worker that he was, takes him to a blacksmith and asks him to fire up the coals. The old man is then tossed into the flames were he seems to be perfectly fine. The man is then taken out and tossed into some water to cool. At that moment, we find that the old man is now a handsome young man. All his woes are ended, and so Saint Peter and Jesus exit the story.

Now, the blacksmith had watched Jesus very carefully and thought he could do the same. He had a very old and ugly mother-in-law that he thought he might be able to help out. When he promises he can do the same for her, she reluctantly agrees. So as he saw with Jesus, he fires up the furnace and promptly threw in his mother-in-law. As you may be expecting, it did not go well. She was screaming at the top of her lungs that she was burning up in terrible pain. Humorously, the only thing the blacksmith has as a comment at this juncture is, "I have not quite the right art."

Finally, he pulls her out of the flames and likewise tosses her into the water to be cooled. She is entirely burned and screaming in miserable pain but still somehow alive. The screaming draws in the blacksmith's wife and daughter-in-law who both happened to be pregnant. The moment they saw the horror that was the burned woman, they immediately go into labor and give birth to... and I am not joking here... apes. The two apes then run off to the forest to then give rise to a race of apes. And so ends the story.

I'll give you a moment to process that surprise ending.

Good? Let's continue.

The most obvious explanation to the story is that "we are not God and cannot do what God does." To some degree, this is not true. For myself, the real problem was the ego of the blacksmith which overrode his good sense. So sure was he that he could copy the actions of Jesus that he was willing to risk the life of his mother-in-law to do so.


He really... REALLY disliked his mother-in-law. ... With a passion.

The story also acts as a fanciful origin for a race of apes. You are welcome to form your own conclusions here. [Dangerous territory.] Nevertheless, it was a bit of a twist ending and was not really necessary to complete the story.

I do personally believe that human beings have the ability to do God's work. We can do miracles if we want to but not in the same manner as Jesus. He had a particular set of skills that he used, and we all personally have our own. Amazing things happen with humans all the time. We may not be turning water into wine, but we still went to the moon. The mistake made by the blacksmith was trying to be somebody that he was not. He wanted to steal what came naturally to Jesus. He should have stuck with blacksmithing.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you like it? Hated it? Either way, you can tell me what you think in the comment section below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Water-Nix

When we grow up into adulthood, some fairy tales seem odder than they did when we heard them as children. Children are marvelous when it comes to hearing fantastic or impossible things. However, sometimes impossible things are based on incidents that were indeed amazing. We can look at these cases and try and imagine what really happened. "The Water-Nix" contains situations that do not seem possible, but only in the modern day. First, let me spoil the story for you so you understand.

A brother and sister are out playing by a well. They both fall in and encounter a fairy creature called a water-nix. This creature is quite evil and forces the children to do hard labor for her with dull or broken implements--such as collecting water with a bucket that had a hole in it or cutting down a tree with a dull axe.

One day, the water-nix leave the children alone to go to church. The children take the opportunity to run away, but the nix figure this out and gives chase. This next part is where it gets weird. The girl tosses a brush behind her which turns into a hill with bristles on it. This gives the water-nix much trouble, but she inevitably manages crossing it. The boy then tosses a comb which transforms into a hill with 1000 x 1000 teeth that the nix will be forced to cross. With much trouble, she still manages it. Finally, the girl tosses her mirror which turns into a hill made of glass. It proves too slippery for the nix to cross.

The nix returns to her lair to get her axe and uses it to split the glass hill in two. However, by this time, the children are long gone. The water-nix is forced to return without her slaves. Thus ends the story.

There are a number of anomalies here which I need to cover. Here is a list:

1. What is a water-nix?
2. Why was the water-nix going to church?
3. How did the children come across the magical items? -or- How were they able to use them?
4. Is this story real?

Let us begin.

Question #1: What is a water-nix?
A water-nix is primarily something found in Germanic folklore. It is generally portrayed as a formless, shape-shifting creature that lives in the water. They are almost always female. The water-nix is a malicious spirit entity that tries to lure people--generally men--into the water to either drown them or make them into slaves. Depending on the region, they can also be referred to as a neck, nicor, nixie, or nokken. They are always evil and must be avoided at all costs.

Question #2: Why was the water-nix going to church?
Short answer is that I really have no idea. I was unable to uncover this information. However, I do have a good, old-fashioned guess for you. It may be a plot device used to demonstrate hypocrisy. I know of a number of people who loyally go to church despite the fact that they are terrible people everywhere else. Realistically, I am incredibly doubtful that a water-nix would ever actually go to church, what with them being somewhat busy trying to kill and enslave. Another educated guess would be that it was a placed within the story as a light joke. What do you think?

Question #3: How did the children come across the magical items? -or- How were they able to use them?
Go into your bathroom, grab your brush or comb, and toss it outside to see what happens. I bet you that 10 out of 10 times, it will just flop to the ground without incident. So what gives? There are a number of possibilities actually. One suggests that they were being helped. There very well could have been a section of this story that was unknown to the teller. A secondary fairy character could have met with these children and given them these magical objects or the ability to use them. When the children tell their story, this part was left out.

Another possibility is that the objects belonged to the water-nix herself. The children did not know they were magical and simply were tossing them at her to keep her away. The items--being that they belonged to a magical creature--responded in a magical way much to the chagrin of the water-nix. A major contributing factor to this theory is how the water-nix splits the glass hill with her own personal axe. This suggests she already had magical items in her possession.

A third possibility is that this took place in a time where magic was much more common. The children simply knew magic and were able to transform these implements in their escape. This would date the original events back by a very large degree.

Question #4: Is this story real?
There is enough information within the story so that we can believe in the possibility that it MIGHT have happened. It, at the very least, could be based on something that happened long ago. It does feel like pieces are missing though. The story seems extremely abridged. As time goes by, stories often lose a lot of detail and can become more fanciful than they really should be. So this story gets a maybe.

I really do wonder if there was a secondary fairy character that these children ran into during their imprisonment. Who was he? Why did he want to help them? Had he helped others before these children? We may never find out, but please remember that not all fairy entities are hostile. Some simply want to help out. Either way, these kids made a grand escape that is almost impossible to believe. Think about it.

What did you think of my blog? Loved it? Hated it? Either way, you can leave a comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: What Qualifies as a Fairy Tale?

Let's look at three books and see if we can decide whether or not they qualify as a fairy tale. Here is the list:

Bambi by Felix Salten - A realistic story about animals living in the forest from their personal perception/perspective. A translation of animal nature into terms we can understand... but still with talking animals.

Watership Down by Richard Adams - An adventure/horror story about rabbits trying to move from a dangerous area to a safe haven at the top of a hill. Story is similar to Bambi with one exception. The story occasionally depicts supernatural occurrences and entities.

The Holy Bible - A book considered by Christians to be an account of things that really occurred. Nevertheless, it is filled to the brim with supernatural happenings that are almost beyond belief. The book also contains instances of talking animals as well as ethereal beings.

Let us begin.

The first thing I am going to do is give you the full definition direct from a dictionary. See below:

fairy tale
1. a story, usually for children, about elves, hobgoblins, dragons, fairies, or other magical creatures.
2. an incredible or misleading statement, account, or belief: His story of being a millionaire is just a fairy tale.

British Variation

fairy tale
1. a story about fairies or other mythical or magical beings, esp one of traditional origin told to children
2. a highly improbable account

Before I continue, we need to all agree that, as of the recent century, fairy tales are for more than just children. If I need to bring up "Lord of the Rings" I will, but I don't think I will. Onward.

Now, the first definition of both variations seems to imply that the presence of some sort of magical creature must occur in the story for it to be considered a fairy tale. The American definition bothers to list out examples where the British one does not. Either way, there is not much difference between them. On definition #1, we can rule out "Bambi" as there are no magical creature in it at all. However, "Watership Down" and "The Holy Bible" appear to have more than enough to qualify.

The second definition seems more of an expressional use of the term, but let us look at it anyways. Definition #2 seems to imply that the statement made is a false one. Are fairy tales false? The American definition (#2) seems to push for a misleading account where the British definition (#2) uses the words "highly improbable" which means it still could be true. I almost feel like it is warning me against believing it. So this leaves me with the question: Does it have to be fiction in order for it to be a fairy tale? If so, then Christians would not be very comfortable calling "The Holy Bible" a fairy tale.

It seems to me that there is an overwhelming belief that if something is a fairy tale then it must be a work of fiction. But we tell stories all the time about amazing things. We have had heroes in our past that did amazing things and books were written about them. We look up to them and imagine what it would be like to be so great. What if fairies and magic were real? Would writing about them disqualify them simply on the grounds that they are fairy tales?

If "The Holy Bible" is true then it is clearly a true fairy tale. Nothing about either of the first definitions state that the story had to be a work of fiction. Therefore my own personal conclusion is that both "Watership Down" and "The Holy Bible" are both bonafide fairy tales whether or not either one of them is true or false because they meet the definition.

Now, I am going to do something a little wonky. I am also going to say that "Bambi" is a fairy tale too. I had a conversation with a few people about this recently. I had them all vote on it, and it all tallied to about 50/50. I think this happened because, despite the fact the animals are simply being translated, the fact that we see them speaking to one another seems like magic to us. They also seem more like people when we present them doing it. It is a stretch, and I am aware that many will disagree (as in my little voting session). I would, however, encourage people to not always be so "legal" when it comes to dictionary definitions.

Imagination is a funny, quirky thing. It is generally unrestrained by legalities and politics. It sort of just goes off on its own and does whatever it wants. When you read "Bambi" and hear those animals talk, you are letting go of everything real in the world and exchanging it for something impossible. And if the impossible can inspire your imagination, think about the possibilities that may come from those impossible things. Fairy tales, real or not, are powerful things in our universe. And as we read and create new ones, the true definition of a fairy tale may broaden ever so slightly in the direction of infinity. Never misjudge the power of human imagination.

Did you enjoy this blog? Hate it? Either way, you can leave a comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Cheers.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Adventures of Pinocchio

I recently finished reading "The Adventures of Pinocchio" by Carlo Collodi. I wanted to have a chat about some aspects of this book but I have to warn you that this will spoil some parts of it. That said, let's begin.

Before I had read this book, my only experience with the Pinocchio story was from the famous Disney film from 1940. I figured the book would have differences, but I never expected how different it was actual going to be. It took me some time to realize that Mister Collodi was something of a humorist. He had a silly wit that he could not help sprinkling into his story. It took me time to get used to it. Once I had, I found the book to be quite fun.

Even though there were some fanciful aspects to the movie, the book was entirely removed from reality altogether. Despite it being set in Italy, it was as if Italy was a fairyland. Animals could talk. Fairies lived among the people. There was a gorilla working as the city magistrate. None of this was considered weird by anyone. Some of these aspects were included in the film, but everything seemed a bit more grounded.

Pinocchio was alive without the need of having a fairy do it for him. In fact, all marionettes lived. Pinocchio's problem was that he was a spoiled brat of a boy even before he was carved into his puppet form. The story was intended to keep children from misbehaving. This Italian fairyland had a set of rules in it that rewarded or punished boys for their deeds.

One of the most famous punishments that befell Pinocchio was what happened when he told a lie. His nose would grow longer and longer until it was completely impossible to move around with it. Apparently Mister Collodi was obsessed with noses. I read that he talked about noses in many of his books and newspaper articles. This trope of a growing nose has been used in popular media ever since.

Remember Jiminy Cricket from the movie? Yes, there was a talking cricket in the story--a wise and ancient philosopher apparently. Pinocchio kills him early in in the story because he did not want to listen to him. The cricket appears rarely after that incident as a ghost. It was an interesting edit on behalf of Disney to keep him alive as well as making him a staple role.

The donkey transformation scene. You remember Pleasure Island from the movie, right? It was called The Land of Toys in the book. Throughout the story, Pinocchio was warned that children who do not go to school and study will grow up to become asses. This suggests that the land of play that Pinocchio ends up going to was not really enchanted. It was simply a distraction used to turn the stupid boys into donkeys to be sold into slavery. The movie suggested that there was a special magical element to Pleasure Island which caused it. I actually like both versions.

Carlo Collodi likely wanted to teach boys to be good and learn from the story, but I also suspect that he was trying to have a lot of fun when he wrote it. There were some comments he made on record that suggest this. I too am intrigued by a place on Earth that is also a fairyland. It sounds quite fun.

This fairyland is not a safe one however. A number of the characters die. Even Pinocchio comes extremely close to death many times before the story ends. After Pinocchio was turned into a donkey, someone tried to drown him so that his hide could be removed. His best friend Lamp-Wick, who also turned into a donkey, actually did die. Two robbers tried to hang Pinocchio from a tree by his neck. He was rescued shortly before he was choked out. A crazy man living in a cave actually tried to eat him.

There was also a scene where Pinocchio was forced to act as a farmer's dog. He even had to live in a doghouse and eat off the ground. Even though Pinocchio was a marionette, this was very demeaning to him. He may not have been human, but his mind was that of a regular boy. This was a traumatic thing to happen.

Despite his trials, he finally did learn his lesson and began to care about others. This earned him the right to be a real boy finally and it is assumed he remained a good person till the end of his days. But the way the book does it is a bit different than the movie. In the book, Pinocchio becomes a real boy, but the marionette remains. It ceases to move because it is missing its soul. This may suggest that the boy was real all along and was simply existing in a different state for a time until he could come of age. Either way, it is not well explained. Disney simplified it by metamorphosing the puppet into a flesh and blood boy by the fairy herself.

I really enjoyed reading Pinocchio. It is perhaps a bit much for a child. Not really too violent for them, but the reading comprehension might be a problem. It is a very wordy book and also fairly lengthy. It is really a classic that has never truly gone away. It was a pleasure to read and I entirely recommend it.

Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Further Discussion)

The previous blog led to some very interesting discussion between me and my friends. This may have happened because I am currently working on a novel which features my own version of the famed Piper. I want to address some of the things mentioned in these comments and further the discussion of this fascinating fairy tale.

My friend Donald White, a brilliant writer in his own right, made the following comment:

"This is very much a story about two wrongs not making a right. The people were indifferent to the piper, so he takes their children. No matter how wonderful the place is that he takes them, it still makes him nothing more than a kidnapper."

Donald's statement is not wrong. From his personal human perspective, he cast judgement on the piper out-rightly without a second thought. Most people on planet earth would do the same. I am sure the people of Hamelin did likewise because they saw that the Piper had committed a more egregious crime then the one they had inflicted upon him. (A mass kidnapping in comparison to a breach of verbal contract. No contest. The kidnapping of children is worse.) By the laws of this world, Donald was correct in his opinion.

However, there is a chance that the Pied Piper was not human at all. He could be a demon or some sort of human hybrid. If this is true, that human morality, laws, and everything he consider normal do not apply to his way of thinking.  He very well could have been doing something just and believe in it as greatly as we believe in our own ways. What he is doing may still be adverse to our society and may even require us to intervene; however, that does not exactly put the Piper in the wrong. I will concede to Don if the Piper is indeed human.

My friend, Chris Buffuloe, commented thusly:

"I've only heard of the story through children's cartoons, so the crippled child who did not get to go was surprising and sad. Fascinating that the Piper's motive is vengeance but he still seems to care for the innocent children, he never really gave them a choice in the matter either. Love the mysterious quality of it all, and a lesson to be learned; If a person with talents does you a great service don't turn your back on them when the bill arrives."

Chris did not know about the crippled boy who did not make it into the magical land. This may be because many adaptations of the story drop this because it seems cruel from an authorial perspective to do that to the child. It was a bit like slapping Tiny Tim in the face rather than giving him a giant turkey at the end of "A Christmas Carol." I do not have a problem with the ending change of these adaptations. Both versions work perfectly. But then Chris goes on to assume that the children, although cared for, do not get a choice. The answer seems to lie in the cripple child himself.

The only two to come away from the Pied Piper's influence was a single rat and a crippled child. In both instances, they forever go through life telling the world of the amazing music of this wonderful man, the Pied Piper. The rat tells his rodent brethren that he was so in love with the melody that he simply could not help it. And the boy goes on to explain how wonderful all those sights were within the mountain before it closed on him. He did not seem to hate the Pied Piper for it. To him, it was an unfortunate accident.

The boy's account is very sincere and does not sound like brain washing. This very well could denote that his efforts to follow the Pied Piper was his own choice rather than the hypnosis of a magical instrument. The sight he saw within the mountain furthered his conviction. He saw the Pied Piper as an actor of good in the world and dearly wished he could have hobbled faster so that he could have lived with him forever. If this is true, then Chris' assumption that the children had no choice is dispelled.

My other author friend, Shawn O'Toole, made the following comment:

"The Piper was a demon holding to the mathematical "morality" of cause and effect: "tit for tat" if you will. He initiated a cause but was not reciprocated with the appropriate effect. True to his angelic heritage he crunched the numbers for the appropriate result. His attitude towards the children was consistent with math. They were a future variable SUBTRACTED from the original equation that through [sic] things out of balance. ALSO: angels and demons alike are emotional but unabashed in acting according to those emotions. His concern for the children was that they were unrealized potential. Children are ALWAYS viewed as "potential" by angels and their offspring."

Shawn right-off claims that the Pied Piper is a demon. Demons are a lot like animals but simply more complex and intelligent. They work off of programming. Every action has a reaction depending on what is important to that particular demon. If this is true, then the Pied Pipers reaction to not being paid his dues was a righteous retaliation from his point of view. "No money? Then you don't get to keep your children."

Shawn also mentions that the demon would only see the children as unrealized potential which would fit solidly into his claim that their growth as human beings would be stunted by their parent's own personal inefficiencies. The demon would dislike wasted potential and so make sure that the children are taken out of their hands. "Mathematical morality." He crunched the numbers and made a call. And he had the power and ability to do it too.

I really appreciate all the comments I got for the previous blog. I hope you enjoyed this one as well. "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" is one of the most startling legends on planet Earth, and it deserves a hefty discussion. I am glad I could help out with it a little.

Have another opinion? You can comment below or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Once again, thanks!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Here is one that many of you have heard of. "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" is a story that has its origins in the Middle Ages. It is centered around a real location located in Lower Saxony, Germany. By the way, that's cool. That is REALLY cool. An actual fairy tale that has a location in a real place on the map! This is one of the reasons I love human imagination so much.

This story is one of the most dramatic and fascinating tales I have ever come across. Although there are many versions of this story, the one I purchased was by a 19th century author Robert Browning. In this story, you have a man who is particularly good with a flue, a set of pipes, or really any other small wind instrument. He finds a town called Hamelin in which is having an awful problem with rats.

Oh, and by the way: This rat problem is quite possibly the worst you can imagine. There are rats in literally everything. People cannot even take a bath without the vermin swimming around with them. They jump into their soup even as they eat. Everyone time a door is opened, the little things scurry out. It is an absolute disaster which likely spells the end of their society if it cannot be stopped somehow,

The Pied Piper (the word "pied" denoting that he comes wearing colorful clothing) steps in and claims he can literally "play" the rats away. The claim is ridiculous. No one really takes it seriously; however, the mayor is so desperate that he promises to pay the Piper a very large sum of money to do as he suggests.

And would you believe it! The Pied Piper does it! He strikes up a tune and hypnotizes the rats to skip away out of the town. In the Browning version, he sends them all out into a river--the Weser River to be precise--to be drowned. Only one rat seems to have the will to break his hypnosis at the last moment, and he escapes with his life as well as a very fanciful story of what it as like to be hypnotized by such a beautiful melody.

The town is ecstatic that their rat problem is finally gone. They hold a celebration and everything. However, when the Pied Piper comes to be paid his dues, they mock him. After all, all he did was play music. It seems to them that he should have worked harder for the payment promised. In most versions, the Piper either gets paid nothing or something small like only one coin.

The Pied Piper becomes vengeful against the people of Hamelin for not keeping their promise. He sees them as vile and deceitful people. His perspective is that the poor, innocent children living there should not grow up and be the same as those who are raising them. And so, he plays a new tune that draws every single child out of Hamelin. The Piper takes them to a mountain that opens up into a wonderful world filled with toys and candy. All of the children disappear into this place except for one crippled boy who could not make it in time. Similar to the one rat who lived, this boy too came back with wonderful stories of the music and what he saw within the mountain before it closed. And so the story ends.

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" is a story that directly attacks the indifference of society. This man--however magical--comes with a skill and uses it to help others. They mock him despite being saved by him, and do not give him what he was promised... and honestly what he deserved. If this story is based on a real event--and I think that it is--I suspect that this person may not have been entirely human... if at all.

The Pied Piper has the personality of a sociopath. He made his decision to steal away the children without a second thought. He did not brood on it for any time at all. His vengeful nature seems very cruel. However, he acts in the best interest of the children. I want to say he is either an angel or a demon, but I cannot decide which. And there is a big reason why. The crippled boy.

It has always seemed to me that the crippled boy who was not allowed to enter remained so that he could tell Hamelin of what truly happened to the other children. But he was forsaken himself. Another possibility is that the Piper was simply not aware of him, but that is a little hard to believe. The man was obviously a magical adept. He never comes across as a man who could make such a mistake. Still, I would love to hear your opinion on the matter.

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" will go down in history as one of the most dramatic narratives about indifferent and cruel societies. Its controversy remains to this day. Many can still not accept what the Piper did with those children as a good thing. Perhaps, it was not good. You can decide for yourself.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have an opinion about this, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Three Sons

I ran into this one quite often. Three sons of a poor man are sent out to accomplish a great act. This often had to do with appeasing a princess in some way so that they could be married and naturally inherit the kingdom. The task they are given is often a puzzle, riddle, and sometimes even a quest of some sort. The personality of the three brothers, where they sometimes vary, are usually pretty similar between each story.

Son number one has a tendency to be brash. In the puzzle, he will be proven too stupid for it. For a riddle, he will often simply guess without giving it much thought. On a quest, he will take actions that harm innocents or use poor judgement that may cost him his life.

The second son is lazier than the first. In a puzzle, he will spend too much time on it and ultimately give up. He may out rightly get the riddle wrong or pass at the attempt. On a quest, he shall prove the coward. In short, he was not a boy made for greatness.

The emphasis of the story always falls on the third and final son. Son number three is often considered the least likely choice even by his own father. Often, he is called stupid and told that he should not even bother. Nevertheless, he tries. This boy is the meek and thoughtful one. He is curious by nature, and although he may be stupid, he sees the world in his own way. Somehow, that gives him an advantage. In a puzzle, he will cheat in a way that is seen as acceptable by his judges. In a riddle, he will either answer correctly or give a better answer than was expected. On a quest, he shall be more clever than bold.

Needless to say, this boy is a long shot, but he is always the one who wins the contest. This fairy tale trope is positively ancient and even has a counterpart in the Bible. What is it about the small and meek that seem destined to inherit the treasures of the Earth? We always assume that people of great power and influence are the ones who come out on top, but our legends seem to point in another direction.

We don't really live in a world where son number three has inherited the Earth. And what do we get for it? It seems rather corrupt, doesn't it? It seems to me that brash, selfish, and lazy does not do this world any good at all. Why not give kind and meek a whirl? See what happens. After all, our legends and fairy tales seem to think that it's a better idea.

Thank you for reading my blog. Liked it? Hated it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Mountain Made of Glass

I suppose you may be curious about the title. This week's blog is about impossible things that sometimes happen in fairy tales. The reference of a mountain made of glass comes from a Grimm story called "Old Rinkrank." Without getting too much into the body of the story, it all starts off with a king who was very protective of his daughter. He makes a mountain made of glass and challenges anyone who would dare to climb it to the top. If anyone can do it, they will have his daughter's hand in marriage.

Here is my question: How did the king make the glass mountain? We often assume that these stories take place in a more primitive era. But if you think about it, making a glass mountain would be hard even in the modern era. Surely, some sort of magic was employed. I think the thing that always strikes the reader the hardest is how casually it is mentioned: "...he caused a glass mountain to be made..."

Impossible things happen a lot on old fairy tales. These great acts are not always explained, and it leaves the reader to simply accept them at face value, but we still raise our eyebrows in extreme skepticism.

Another example of impossible things was in one of my favorite Grimm tales, "The Juniper Tree." Without spoiling the surrounding story, there is a scene where a small bird effortlessly picks up a millstone and flies around with it. Up to the point this happens, everything seemed fairly based in reality. Without any real explanation how, the bird suddenly gets super strength. Once again, magic influence is assumed, but the story never concretely explains itself.

Is the glass mountain and millstone carrying bird the result of bad writing, or is there something more to this? It depends on if you have the ability to imagine a world where amazing things happened regularly. But could this world have also been closer to the present day? Imagine if it was, and then post apocalypse, the humans of this planet had to explain these things as best they could. I am sure a lot of things would not make sense to us now, but what else are they going to do? Legends tend to devolve into very odd things over time.

I am not saying these events took place. I even suggest that these very well could have simply been lazy authors trying to tell a quick story. But I also believe that this world was once a much more fantastic place to live in. Always try and have an open mind about these things. Impossible things may only be impossible if you are so quickly ready to dismiss them.

Did you enjoy my blog? Whether or not you did, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Kiss

I don't think I need to explain to you the very personal nature of a kiss between a man and a woman. This blog is really about the prince/maiden mechanic that is generally employed within old and even new fairy tales. So Romeo and Juliet don't really belong here.

Kisses in fairy tales do not often happen simply because someone is in love. Those petty kisses are simply assumed. When a kiss actually occurs in narrative, it is a demonstration of a pure heart over a cursed one. It is a matter of great import when these kisses occur.

There are a number of fairy tales out there that either end in kisses or specifically strive for them. The common reason is a need for spiritual cleansing, and it is almost always on behalf of a female. The woman is either cursed or made unclean in some way. She seeks or is in need of one with a pure heart to cure her of these woes. Often the man in question ends up being a prince, but the latter is not always the case. In some cases, the prince has brothers who do not live up to the qualifications of the one true prince who is pure-hearted enough to cleanse the woman of her taint.

Although it is not necessary for the prince to love the woman, it is almost always a trope that he does. For this reason, it is usually referred to as a "Kiss of True Love." This sometimes removes the pure-hearted aspect and trades it for a new concept--that being the power of love. It's all very girly and fun, but I am more interested in the purity of the heart rather than just simple love. Love can be an awfully selfish thing sometimes. I'm not too sure how it would be very good at cleansing the blight of a cursed female.

The kissing scene in fairy tales are more loved in modern times then I believe they were in days of old. Many fairy tale adaptations include them where the originals seemed to be lacking. This is not a bad thing at all. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" in its original version did not have a kiss in it at all. The later editions, as well as the Disney movie, actually fixed a very poorly written scene by adding the now famous kiss to it. These scenes are often very moving and add a lot to it with the male/female dynamic playing very strong to the reader or viewer. Relationships are important. And let's all just be honest and admit that a kiss is far more dramatic than an apple piece flying out of Snow White's mouth when her coffin falls over. I mean really.

Probably the greatest example of a well-accomplished kissing scene was in "Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" which we now commonly just shorten to "Sleeping Beauty." In this scenario, you have a beautiful woman who was cursed to sleep for many years. A prince finds her and instantly falls in love with her beauty. He is compelled to kiss her, and all at once, the curse is removed. This is likely the most profound example, and it is often copied over into other stories whether the originals have them or not.

When it is done right, the famous kiss is intended to be a purifier. It is the male and female dynamic in full display and magically so. Yes, the man is the purifier. Where I am sure there might be a political motive to have the woman be the one to save the man, this always hits me as a forced narrative. The exception, I guess, would be the "Frog Prince," but this story has the woman humbling herself in order to save a cursed man. It is really the same thing at the end of the day--not to mention that story in its original form did not even end with her kissing anybody. Fairy tales as old as time have shown man to be the great purifier of women. It is a beautiful thing not to be sullied in the slightest. It is a brimming example of true love and an honest relationship in motion.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you like or hate what you read here? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Smooch!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Bluebeard

The following blog contains multiple spoilers for multiple franchises. You have now been warned.

There have been many variations made of this frightening story throughout history. I wager that it is one of the oldest, being that there is a note of truth that runs through it. This is one of those stories that feels real regardless of its magical aspect. I have read a number of these variations and they do not move too far away from one another.

Bluebeard is a man--or at least he looks like a man--who is very fond of women. He falls in love and wants dearly to spend the rest of his life with each woman he has a crush on. The man is extremely charming and kind, and woman cannot help but fall for him. Bluebeard is remarkably loyal too. He will never, ever fail to love and honor his dear wife. This is a fact, and it is very important to note that this aspect of Bluebeard is caused by a very severe mental corruption. You see, he expects the same in return.

Once he is married, he always gives the new wife a tour of his very lavish estate. And I must be clear that this mansion of his is wonderful. The woman will live in luxury for all of her days. He will give her anything and everything she desires. She is enthralled by her new life and looks forward to many good days. In the middle of the tour, she is shown the door of some old room and told that she must never ever enter into it. She will not even be allowed to take a peek inside. It should remain locked for eternity, and she is never to unlock it.

Despite the latter, he will give her a key to the door before leaving on a long trip. Once again, she is allowed to go anywhere she wants, but she is not allowed to open that one door. As you might expect, the curiosity gets the best of her. She looks inside--thinking that there will be no harm in having a peek.

The inside of this mysterious room varies from version to version, but the basics of it is that it contains the bloodied--often beheaded--remains of the former wife. We're talking bathtubs filled with blood that never ever dries up. It is a cesspool of chaos and gore in this room. A true horror. In her fright, the woman always drops the key into the liquid blood. She attempts to wash it, but the key was enchanted. It cannot be cleaned.

When Bluebeard returns, she is asked to return the house keys. She comes up with a few delaying tactics but eventually gives up the bloody keys. This, of course, is a death sentence. The woman is taken to that room to receive a similar fate. Bluebeard does not kill her angrily. It's more of a disappointment to him. He takes care of the deed and moves on to the next woman and likewise tests her loyalty. Often the story ends when one woman can signal someone to come to her rescue, usually at the very last second. Thusly, we have the Bluebeard formula.

People like Bluebeard have existed since the beginning of time. Fiction has reproduced him more times than are countable. We are aware of him, but more often than not, we'd like to pretend he doesn't exist. He is a frightening example of sociopathy, paranoia, and obsession. He is alive and real to this very day. He is a living demon who cannot be turned right or left in the course of his life. The strange thing is... he will be forever loyal to you if you are loyal to him. He will be the world's best husband to the perfect girl. He will not cheat. He will never, ever cheat.

In the hit TV show "Gotham," Bluebeard was wonderfully represented by a character named Jason Skolimski (also known as The Ogre.) This man was a sociopath that met up with women and expected perfect loyalty from them. If they failed at this--even slightly--he would take them to a special bondage chamber where he would torture them until finally killing them. The chamber, of course, is similar to the hidden room of Bluebeard's mansion. You still get the idea that he would be the perfect husband if the woman played entirely by his rules.

In the video game "Outlast: Whistleblower," we found a particularly terrifying version of Bluebeard in the way of a man named Eddie Gluskin. Eddie was not as subtle as many Bluebeards were often shown. He was a psychopath who saw everyone as women who were disloyal to him. He would capture men and women and talk to them in a pleasant voice about how women need to know their place in a relationship... right before he would cut holes into them. His realm was one not dissimilar to the gory room that you were not supposed to enter. The difference was that it was everywhere rather than locked away. He still enjoyed storing the bodies away as Bluebeard did.

Bluebeard is one of the oldest horror stories ever written. It is very likely based on real events. It resonates with us very harshly even to this day. Beware of monsters that look like handsome men!

Thank you for reading this scary blog of mine. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. Don't go in!

From Gotham: Jason Skolimski (The Ogre)

From Outlast: Eddie Gluskin