Look at the title of this blog. At least one of these words is probably confusing to you, and there may be a chance that you are not seeing them at all. This could just as easily be a blog about something entirely unrelated. You may not even be seeing what you think you are seeing. Your imagination might be painting over what is real. If that is happening, don't panic. Chances are you are just sleepy.
Hypnagogia is a state in which a person is between being awake and asleep. It is the moment where what they are thinking about begins to become more important than what they are seeing. It is a moment of euphoria as the imagination takes over and guides the person to a point where his mind stops working altogether which will inevitably lead to dreaming during the course of one's sleep.
I have always seen this moment in the likeness of falling down a great tunnel. Your bed simply collapses under you and you fall to some other frequency within reality. You are still there in reality, but reality itself has fallen off your radar. You are traveling into the realm of dreams powered by an untethered imagination. Here, what you see is what you are thinking. Welcome to your subconscious.
Surrealism is the aspect of seeing something that conflicts with standard reality (reality as in when you are awake.) You see much of this when dreaming, but the part of you that can tell the difference is turned off. You are free of the forced oppression of the disbelief in impossible things. The impossible things make sense and you embrace them. This only lasts while you are asleep and for a short period after you wake up. You soon realize that what you saw and heard was only your imagination. This allows you to shrug it off.
You are sitting at your desk at work. Suddenly you look down and notice a pencil appears to be floating about half an inch off of your desk. It isn't doing anything else, but you do notice it. You lower your head down to the desk to make sure you are not going crazy. You aren't. The pencil is actually floating. You try and touch the pencil. A moment later, you are not sure if you tried or not. You try and remember if you did and cannot seem to recall.
You lean on your elbows and try to figure out what it happening. Are you awake? Have you lost your mind? The pen is still floating. But wait. Wasn't it a pencil? Actually, it may have been a pen all along. You never keep pencils at work anyways. You haven't used an actual pencil since school.
Suddenly you stand up and walk to the window behind you. You look out of the window and down to the ground level. It's bright out, but no one is walking and no one is driving. The streets are empty. You open the door to your office. The entire place is empty and the lights are off. Is the place closed? Why would they close so early?
You look back into your office at the window. It's nighttime outside. It makes sense. Why would it be bright out when the office is closed. It must have been night all along. You sit back down at the desk and see the marker that is still floating on the table. You try and touch it.
Surrealism is generally used to describe the concept of feeling like you are in a dream when you are actually awake. Odd things begin occurring that you cannot explain. The common reaction to this is to try and figure out exactly what is going on. People are both fascinated and frightened of the surreal. It generally means something is wrong but not obvious. Hypnogogia is the condition in which you slip into these odd frequencies and begin to experience what lies behind the reality that you are accustomed to.
When experiencing these things, you may feel confused, but don't dismiss it out of hand. Your brain may simply be having difficulty interpreting what it is seeing. It is trying to make sense of it. Take a deep breath. Calm down. Look at what you are seeing and attempt to interact with it based on instant judgement. Don't try and calculate it. Don't try and figure out its meaning. Operate entirely by the heart and make your way through the corridor. The truth is on the other side, and you will be better for having found it. It's time to believe.
Thank you for reading my blog! If you liked or hated it, you can still comment below, or you can email me at email@example.com. !sknahT
Every once in a while a fairy tale will pop up in song lyrics. They are often based on legends or stories. A very interesting band called Hazmat Modine came up with a song about an interesting Persian legend. Although it takes a couple liberties, I really want to focus on the lyrics of this song for the purpose of this particular blog.
Because of its brevity, I will be including the lyrics of the entire song below. I encourage you to read them carefully. A link to the actual song will be included at the bottom of this blog. And now, here is "Bahamut" by Hazmat Modine:
Well, Bohemoth calls us his own
While Bahamut wanders alone
They both go out to play
On that cold and rainy day
And Bohemoth sings us his song
While Bahamut wanders along
But in the glory of this spring
You can hear Bahamut sing
Are you as big as me?
Way too big to see
Bahamut he goes so slow
Too big a place to go
The entire known universe
Floats suspended in a thin silver bowl
Which rocks gently on the back
Of an immense blue-green tortuga
And the tortuga's scaly feet
Are firmly placed on the topmost
Of seven craggy mountains
Which arise from a vast and arid plain
Of drifting, fetid, yellow dust
And the plain is balanced precariously
On top of a small thin green acacia tree?
Which grows from the snout
Of a giant blood red ox
With 50 eyes that breathes flame
The color of the midnight sky
And the ox's hooves are firmly placed
On the single grain of sand
Which floats in the eye of Bahamut
Like a mote of dust
No one has ever seen Bahamut
Some think it's a fish
Some think it's a newt
All we know is that the lonely Bahamut
Floats endlessly through all time and all space
With all of us and everything
Floating in a single tear
Of his eye
Well, Bohemoth calls us his own
While Bahamut wanders alone
When they both go out to play
On that cold and rainy day
And Bohemoth sings us his song
While Bahamut wanders alone
But in the glory of their fall
You can hear Bahamut call
Are you as big as me?
Way too big to see
Bahamut he goes so slow
Too big a place to go
And now some commentary! This is a remarkably eccentric view of the concept of the universe and existence in general. But the story itself is one that is both touching and sad. Not necessarily for the poor humans in that situation. Actually they seem fine. It's Bahamut that has it hard!
The story told in these lyrics is really about the loneliest creature in existence. He is basically a giant fish that floats out in the cosmos and has no one to talk to for all of eternity. And when I say cosmos, I'm not really talking about space. Although the story does mention that he drifts about in space, I am not certain they are talking about outer space. It sounds more like "outer outer space." Space beyond space. The empty existence that exists outside of the universe of which contains the universe itself. And the only one who exists here is a lonely fish of which size is incomprehensible.
The song also opens the mind to the concept of how big is big and how small is small. Although the story seems to stop at Bahamut, it suggests that there could be an even bigger creature than even him. The problem is that, if there is such a creature, he is too big to have a relationship with the poor fish. And likewise, we can't communicate with him for the same reasons. He is simply too separated from anyone else by size. So he cries and exists in his sad state.
There is another character in the sung parts called Bohemeth. I did a little research on this one. He is sometimes simply a variant of Bahamut, but in this story, he is very likely the giant ox. There is a possibility that Bahamut can hear the song that Bohemeth is singing, but he very likely does not know exactly where it is coming from. This is also quite sad. Perhaps, he uses it as a strange lullaby to help him sleep.
I am willing to wager every last bit of myself to say that the events of this story is completely untrue. Nevertheless, it is a super cool story. It somehow manages to spark the imagination. As we hear the song, our minds travel to larger and larger places just so we can comprehend it. It is well written and fun, and Hazmat Modine's performance of it definitely gave much to its presentation. Imagination should have no bars in its attempt to create. It can take us to worlds that never existed. "Bahamut" is a good example of man's attempt to recreate the world through fiction on a brilliant scale.
[All definitions are taken from Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). Enjoy.]
1. A fay; an imaginary being or spirit, supposed to assume a human form, dance in meadows, steal infants and play a variety of pranks. [See Elf and Demon.]
2. An enchantress.
Fairy of the mine, an imaginary being supposed to inhabit mines, wandering about in the drifts and chambers, always employed in cutting ore, turning the windlass, etc., yet effecting nothing. The Germans believe in two species; one fierce and malevolent; the other gentle. [See Cobalt.]
Fairy ring or circle, a phenomenon observed in fields, vulgarly supposed to be caused by fairies in their dances. This circle is of two kinds; one about seven yards in diameter, containing a round bare path, a foot broad, with green grass in the middle; the other of different size, encompassed with grass.
1. Belonging to fairies; as fairy land
2. Given by fairies; as fairy money or favors.
Commentary: I noted that the original definition refers to the fairy as imaginary. There are many fairies who may be the product of the imagination. Even in the 1800's, people were still coming up with fictional stories about these creatures.
I also noticed that the dictionary connected fairies with elves and demons. Why? Because it is very likely true! Many fantasy stories about fairies were based on encounters with real beings.
A spirit, or immaterial being, holding a middle place between men and the celestial deities of the Pagans. The ancients believed that there were good and evil demons, which had influence over the minds of men, and that these beings carried on an intercourse between men and gods, conveying the addresses of men to the gods, and divine benefits to men. Hence demons became the objects of worship. It was supposed also that human spirits, after their departure from the body, became demons, and that the souls of virtuous men, if highly purified, were exalted from demons into gods. The demons of the New Testament were supposed to be spiritual beings which vexed and tormented men. And in general , the word, in modern use, signifies an evil spirit or genius, which influences the conduct or directs the fortunes of mankind.
Commentary: A lot of interesting stuff here. For one, it is clear that Satan is not a demon. You may have already known that, but I wanted to simply confirm it. Demons seem to exist between the worlds of "gods" and men. This denotes that they simply don't belong anywhere. That is actually rather sad if you think on it.
The definition also suggests that it was believed that there were good and evil demons. Is this true? It's not impossible. The basic definition does not out-rightly claim demons to be evil. They are simply spirits caught between two worlds. Nevertheless, I wouldn't try and make friends with one. Play it safe. After all, the final part of the definition mentions the word "genius." Don't think for a moment you can outsmart one of these creatures.
1. In the Christian theology, an evil spirit or being; a fallen angel, expelled from heaven for rebellion against God; the chief of the apostate angels; the implacable enemy and tempter of the human race. In the New Testament, the word is frequently and erroneously used for demon.
2. A very wicked person, and in ludicrous language, an great evil. In profane language, it is an expletive expressing wonder, vexation, etc.
3. An idol, or false god. Leviticus 17:7. 2 Chronicles 11:15.
Commentary: A devil is actually a fallen angel. Satan would be included in this lot. These were the group of angels who turned against God. They are evil. They are also not demons, and this definition makes that clear. The 2nd and 3rd definition are common usage related and not really relevant to this discussion.
1. The art or science of putting into action the power of spirits; or the science of producing wonderful effects by the aid of superhuman beings, or of departed spirits; sorcery; enchantment. [This art or science is now discarded.]
2. The secret operations of natural causes.
Natural magic the application of natural causes to passive subjects, by which surprising effects are produced.magic, attributes to spirits a kind of dominion over the planets, and to the planets an influence over men.
Superstitious or geotic magic consists in the invocation of devils or demons, and supposes some tacit or express agreement between them and human beings.
Magic square, a square figure, formed by a series of numbers in mathematical proportion, so disposed in parallel and equal ranks, as that the sums of each row or line taken perpendicularly, horizontally, or diagonally, are equal.
Magic lantern, a dioptric machine invented by Kircher, which, by means of a map in a dark room, exhibits images of objects in their distinct colors and proportions, with the appearance of life itself.
Commentary: Did you see that? The art or science of superhuman beings. Were there beings who showed up one day and started to dazzle us with the impossible? There is also a little note left in brackets which suggests they have discontinued these practices... for some reason. Where did they go? Did they really cease practicing these arts, or did they simply hide these acts from the public?
The second definition states that magic is the secret operation of natural causes. This suggests that our own modern day technology is actually a form of magic. We are using the world around us to make amazing things happen. Is a smart phone magic? Take one back to 1828 and see what they think about it!
1. A woman who by compact with the devil, practices sorcery or enchantment.
2. A woman who is given to unlawful arts.
3. A winding sinuous bank.
To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.
I'll witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
Commentary: This old definition of "witch" clearly shows that she is a female and has formed a compact with the devil. The usage of the article "the" suggests that the devil in question is likely Satan himself rather than just some other fallen angel. Even if it is a secondary fallen angel, Satan is still probably the one with the final say and ultimately controls the witch in any situation.
Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? You can comment below or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Have you ever heard someone say that they are choosing not to believe in something? They may even give you a reason. "I don't believe in God because he has been responsible for the deaths of so many people." That's one I hear a lot. So they choose to believe in other things that fit a preferable view of the world around them. I want to present to you, within this blog, what is actually taking place when this happens.
Let us first look at what belief is as a concept while contrasting it with knowledge. Belief has always been a choice. It can be persuaded, but ultimately it has to do with if the person will believe what they have either seen or been told. Belief is entirely distinct from personal knowledge. It exists on a different plane entirely. You can know one thing but believe something else in a process known as self-deception. This can be done through a defensive action or by a deliberate one.
Now let us look at knowledge. Knowledge is a clear and certain perception of that which exists. It is based entirely on truth and fact. Conversely knowledge is not at all based on your perception of a falsehood. The latter is referred to as a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding is, by definition, a mistake in meaning. It happens when you see something but misinterpret what you see for something that is not really there. It does not create knowledge but a corruption of what is known. Knowledge is only that which we are aware of that is actually truth.
Since a belief is a choice, if one chooses to believe in something that is alternate to what is being presented, it begs the question if they actually knew the truth in the first place. Saying I am choosing to believe in something else is like saying, "I know that is true, but I am more comfortable in believing in something that is not true." This creates a forced misunderstanding that the human being will accept as knowledge. Another name for this would be an accepted corruption of the mind.
Remember my early example? "I don't believe in God because he has been responsible for the deaths of so many people." It is possible that the person saying this actually had no idea that God did that at all. Only hearing that God did it is not knowledge. It's merely unconfirmed information. But this still makes the act of choosing to believe otherwise very suspicious! If they don't actually know that God did those things, why are they bothering to choose an alternate belief. Why are they denying something that has not been confirmed as knowledge?
The answer could be that they are, for some reason, assuming that it is true. I mean... they may have been brought up and taught that everything said in Sunday School is true and simply became annoyed with it later in life. An assumption is a weird animal in and of itself. It is the act of supposing without proof--also known as a supposition. It is the act of treating an unconfirmed fact as if it were true knowledge. Differing from a misunderstanding, an assumption may actually be true. A misunderstanding is never true.
An assumption is stronger because it is commonly based on a serious amount of indoctrination. If the majority of the world seems to believe in God, then God may very well exist. Otherwise, why would so many people be inclined to do so? Clearly God must have left an impression. Either way, it is still a maybe. It is an assumption--one strong enough to act in place of knowledge. This leads the person who had become annoyed or offended by it to choose to believe otherwise. But therein lies an innate problem.
Choosing not to believe is basically admitting belief in the first place. The brain is a funny machine that tosses out garbage on a regular basis. It misses its own mistakes as a commonality. Choosing not to believe in something is not an action taken against an assumption or knowledge. It is an action against belief itself. You have to already believe in something for you to choose to turn your back to it. You can not look away from a rock that is not already there. Either the rock is there or you can assume it's there (if, I guess, you closed your eyes or something), but you have to believe in the rock before you can clearly state that, "I turned away from that rock!"
The perception that you are turning away from something that has absolutely no relationship to you is a pile is brain-generated garbage. Of course, this whole process seems to take place one subconscious layer down. It is dark enough that we sort of skip over it. We end up creating the rules of our reality which are really just fake. Doing all these things does not break the human mind. It just sort of lets the wackiness happen and moves on slightly more corrupted than before. We do this a lot sadly.
My advice is to be very clear what you choose to believe in. Don't be so quick to just paint a reality the way you want. Be open minded and ready to accept some truths that are not particularly comfortable. Knowing hard truths will not make you weaker. On the contrary, you will be more prepared to deal with life when it tosses you those curve balls. Simply be aware and ready for anything. And when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING!
Thank you for reading my blog. If you enjoyed it or even hated it, you can comment below, or you can email me at email@example.com. Thanks!
I originally got the idea to write "Fairyland Detectives" after reading "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" by Gary Wolf. I had already written a Fairyland story earlier and thought it would be fun to actually make a serious crime story set in a world that was imaginary. It was fun to write but the real challenge was making the cover.
The guy on the right is yours truly. The one next to me is my friend Shawn O'Toole who is also an outstanding writer. (That is not a real beard by the way.) We actually did use a green screen for the shot and took our pictures separately. We are not actually standing next to one another. (The guns in both of our hands are actually the same gun.)
We gave the finished image to my friend and illustrator Coy Field II and he drew the background and made it look like we were standing around a bunch of cute, cartoony animals in a magical land. The final project is a surprisingly nice effect! It is one of my favorite covers of all of my books, and the story is a fun ride too. If you are a fan of the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," this is a great story to read, but be prepared for some hard knocks along the way.
Have you ever thought about what you should do if you were given proof of something supernatural? A lot of people think that all they need in this world is proof for them to believe in something. This is actually not as true as they would like to believe. Believing in the impossible is a lot harder than it used to be. The process of thought is also not in the order that most people think it is. I'll explain.
The common thought is that proof equals belief. The two concepts are often quarantined off from one another despite what we think. The actual fact is that the proof exists and we can either believe it or fail to do so on an individual basis. Just seeing proof of something amazing has no real bearing on your ability to believe.
Now why is it like that? When someone gives you a stick, don't you believe it's a stick? Did you need them to tell you it was a stick in order to believe it? No. You knew what a stick was, and so you simply believed it was a stick. But what about the supernatural? Why is that different? We know what the supernatural is (just like the stick). We see the phenomenons in fiction all the time. We hear about them really happening sometimes on TV (such as ghost sightings and the like). But if it actually happened to you, would it be enough to believe in it? Believe it or not, there is a good chance you will simply try to rationalize through it before jumping to a supernatural conclusion which you may not actually reach.
You may conclude that the reason you fail to believe is because of the rarity of these happenings. Sticks are everywhere while supernatural occurrences are extremely rare. But if I could simply ask a question: How do you even know that? How does anybody know that supernatural occurrences are rare? How much time have you spent on researching it? Seems to me that most people want to avoid dealing with the supernatural because they are worried how it will make them look. And if you aren't really searching, you probably shouldn't be considered an expert on the rarity of it.
So naturally when you encounter the real thing, you force yourself to contemplate the reality of it. But then something else happens to make it even worse. Everyone in the world has been telling you that such things are unreal! This narrative had been perpetuating ever since your parents told you that there was no Santa Clause. From that point on, nothing amazing was ever real! It created a sort of filter that would make you question everything that seemed out of place in your life. So when that moment finally comes when you are presented with the reality that there are amazing things out there... you step back... and you might not even accept it.
So proof has nothing to do with belief. Belief is something you must strive for. There was a time when supernatural things were common. They would surprise us but we would still deal with them according to who we were. Today we are simply unready for any of those things. They come and go and we often find ourselves under their thumbs without even knowing it.
In order for proof to have any meaning at all to you, your mind must be opened to things that are simply amazing. Go ahead. Let loose of your imagination. Keep a watchful eye and silently try and figure this world out. Look for proof and be ready to acknowledge it when it confronts you personally.
Otherwise... you can always play it safe and just live a normal life.
Thank you for reading my blog! If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Before I begin this spotlight, I want to start by pointing out that, for the last few weeks, I have been doing two Fairy Tale Spotlights a week. They generally get posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lots of really awesome stuff in these blogs. I know because I wrote them! And with that, let's begin!
Why make your own Satyr? Why not? Satyrs don't have to be the hedonistic creatures that they were in ancient mythology. But they could be just as well. They can be good or they can be villains. Today, I am going to help you make your own satyr which will fit right there into your imagination. You can do something with him or you can just let him sit there and get bored. Whatever you like!
The first thing you need to figure out is how much man and how much goat. A lot of the early statues and paintings show the satyr to have the torso of a man with a beard. Everything below is like the rear of a horse but with a small tail. But you can choose what you like. He could be simply an anthropomorphic goat with the oddly bent legs of an animal. Then again, he could have a man torso with floppy goat ears. What about a boy? He could look like a boy with goat ears and the cute, furry torso. Horns? He may have horns too! Long ones or curly ones, it doesn't really matter.
This is the part where you simply decide what your satyr is going to look like. You don't have to go by any rules. The basics are simply that he be part human and part goat. How much or how little is up to you. The only real standard is that the bottom half generally ends in hooves.
Does your satyr like to play music? He may not. Not all satyrs in history played musical instruments. But if he does, what instrument is it? Traditionally, it is a set of pipes. However, it can be really anything you like. What abut a violin? A fiddle? I had one friend who went so far as to make him a DJ at a club. I'm not joking! If you don't want him to be musically inclined, don't worry. It's allowed.
So you got his looks down and you gave him an instrument he can play (maybe). Where is he right now? Is he in ancient Greece? Rome? Modern day? Your own world? Try to imagine the place he would be skipping around. It is not necessary that he stays there, but it is always good to have a starting place to help you visualize him. My friend with the DJ satyr had him in modern day and even dressed him in baggy clothing. I thought that was pretty clever! The sky is the limit with this one.
You need to give him a name. Single syllable names are much preferred but they can also be 2 or 3-syllable names. NO MORE! Try to come up with something simple that rolls right off of the tongue. Remember that satyrs are usually musical creatures. Their name needs to sound as pleasant as the music they perform. If this ends up being a bit too hard for you, try visiting this site right here: http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/satyr-faun-names.php#.WqgT4G3wbIU
Try to pick a simple one! Not everything the site suggests is very easy to pronounce.
The last and likely the most important part is to choose a personality for your satyr. His personality is based upon what is important to him. In this case, we have three traits to go by. They are as follows:
You can only pick one of these so I'll break them down for you.
These are the more free spirited and playful sorts of satyrs. You may wish to give them the title of "faun" if you wish. They skip around outside and play music. They are extremely friendly and nice to everyone they meet without being pushy. If your satyr is a sexually open character, as they usually tend to be in lore, they will be very flirty and open to it, but will allow the other to make the decision whether or not to proceed. The nature-loving satyr simply wants to be apart of nature and live among it as the other animals do. They are peaceful and friendly through and through.
Some satyrs are more opportunistic. They want to rise up and control their destinies. Marsya of Ancient Greek lore was like that. He was trying to make a name for himself (although it did not work out for him AT ALL!) A satyr seeking control will try to rise up in rank in whatever society he is. He could get into politics or join contests. The ultimate goal is to have power over others. If your satyr is a sexual active creature, he may attempt to own other people for those reasons. Nevertheless, he shall be a charming personality, not out right villainous on the surface. He will scheme his way to great heights by using his own clout to get there.
This represents the most selfish of all the types of satyrs. They literally live life for pleasure. They do so without anyone's interest in mind. Typically a villain, they will use others for their own pleasure and drop them when they grow bored. These satyrs are usually impoverished. They can even be the slaves of others. This is because they are not really opportunists. They are simply trying to seek pleasure in the easiest way possible--with as little work as necessary. These satyrs are extremely flirtatious and can be known to force themselves on others without consent.
Once you have chosen one of these three traits, you should have a good idea what your satyrs will look like and act like. From there, you should be able to come up with the rest. And this brings us to the final portion of this blog: The Assignment.
In the comment section below, I would like you to write as much about your satyr as you can. Describe him entirely based on the sections of this blog. Also remember to mention which of the three traits that was important to him. Those are very big in defining who he will inevitably become. Before I end this blog, here is a look at my own personal satyr that I have used in some of my books:
Name: Zekky (Diminutive version of the name Zek)
Appearance: He looks like a boy with goat ears and the lower half is completely animal-like with a little tail and hooves.
Instrument:A set of pipes with the power to rearrange landscapes as he plays them.
Setting: My own fictional world of Carnetheria.
Personality Trait: Nature
Further Exposition: Zekky was tossed out of his home of Fata Morgana by the one-and-only Pan for being too chaotic. He was also memory wiped as a result. He is extremely friendly to everyone and has a cute innocence about him. Zekky is really open to all possibilities and enjoys making friends on their terms. He lives for love and creation and can fall into a deep depression if such things are taken away from him. He is open sexually but only if someone approaches him. Although his friendly behavior can sometimes seem like flirting, he may not actually know he is doing it.
Let me know what you come up with!
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will try out the assignment in the comment section below! You can also email me at email@example.com. Thanks!
Something I hear a lot whenever someone says something outside of the norm is a remark concerning a tin foil hat. The term refers to a make-shift headpiece made out of tin foil which, when worn, prevents the wearer from having his thoughts heard by someone who means him harm. It is also generally assumed that the person wearing the hat thinks he knows something that those against him don't want him to know--such as a government conspiracy.
The term is believed to originate from a 1909 non-fiction publication called "Atomic Consciousness." A self-proclaimed "seer" named John Palfrey mentioned it as an ineffective method of preventing what he called "telepathic impactive impingement." From here, it was used in a number of other publications and media as a sort of joke. Fiction often used the tin foil hat to present characters who were extremely paranoid of thought readings. They were almost never to be taken seriously.
Today, the phrase "tin foil hat conspiracy" is tossed around at anyone who seems, to the accuser, to be spouting off about claims that are beyond belief. It is important that the persons usually accused of this are not actually wearing tin foil hats at all. However, the phrase produces a picture in the mind of that person wearing it anyways. Add a photograph to the mix, and it is very easy to believe that the person being accused is a bonafide nutcase.
The thing is... he actually may be a nutcase. But what if he is right? And really, what was his crime--taking a controversial perspective and boldly announcing it? It seems to me that the term can quite easily be used as a matter of simple propaganda meant to destroy the credibility of someone who is becoming a problem. The question is: How attentive are you to the world around you? Do you believe everything you hear from strangers on TV, or are you willing to figure things out yourself?
A lot of the things I go into in these blogs are a bit out there. Although I talk a lot about fairy tales that are very well documented, I usually add little extras which suggest that these tales may be based on facts. And furthermore, they may still have a basis in our modern day world. These things are a bit out of the normal narrative you hear from day to day. I may even be wrong. I know I may be wrong and I will accept that if proven wrong. Yet I intend to keep saying these things until proven otherwise for the simple fact that I just want people to open their minds to possibilities--even so-called impossible ones.
I've never been attacked directly. Nobody has yet claimed that I am wearing a tin foil hat. This is probably due to the fact that I am not all that known yet. I will say this, however: The claim is meant to defame someone. There has never been a time that it was used that it was not meant to discredit an individual. It is an unfriendly act.
You are a human being. You have your own mind and heart. You have the ability to think for yourself and figure out the puzzles of the world entirely by yourself. You also have the God-given privilege to be both right and wrong. You may find that what I say is correct, or you may find that I am entirely mistaken. The point is that it be you who is doing it and not simply going by what others are saying.
Be your own person please. Be one man or one woman. Do not simply mix into the fold and become the thrall of someone else with power. I cannot stress this enough. Whether you believe me or not, simply be yourself and choose for yourself. You have your own mind and your own choices. If your choices are your own, then I, T.K. Wade, accept those choices with honor.
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Let's go back to Kenneth Grahame one more time. It has been a while since I read his book "Dream Days." So much of the story has slipped my memory. I do, however, remember the gist. It exclusively features an aspect of childhood that seems to be getting lost in our society--a playful imagination.
"Dream Days" is the sequel to "The Golden Age" and merely continues in the same way. It chronicles Kenneth and his siblings as they do nothing more than wander about outdoors and have adventures which entirely happen inside of their minds. Because the author goes out of his way to take them seriously, these adventures seem almost real to the reader. I say "almost" because you are still very much aware that they are simply pretending. The author does not in any way make it seem like they are doing anything less.
Kenneth makes sure you understand that these pretend games, although fake on the surface, are very important to the child. While they are going out into the outdoors and fighting off mythological beasts, bears, and Indians, the hope for success is still within their hearts. They work together and use the world around them as a stage to perform their play--a play that must end respectfully well. The imagination of these children are fueling these adventures.
Now as to the present, I have no problems with things like smart phones and video games in and of themselves, but I do think that much of that imaginative play that children need so much is taken away when parents allow them to indulge in them. Take Kenneth Grahame as a perfect example of a child who was allowed to explore the confines of his head out in the open. He grew up to express those wild imaginings on paper in one of the most eloquent ways ever. I wager that "The Wind in the Willows" would have never happened if his parents had given him a smart phone to thumb around with for all of his early years. (Of course, they did not have such things back then, but you should take my meaning.)
It seems to be that children are not allowed to play as they should. They are coddled mercilessly and kept away from as much adventure as possible. This cannot be good for them. Imagination is the prime fuel for what makes a human being do the amazing things they do in life. If you keep them locked away, they will live a locked away life. That is a tragedy in the making.
Now, one chapter before the end of "Dream Days," we find young Kenneth and his sister Charlotte chasing a lizard down a road. While wondering if it may just be a baby dragon, they run into a circus-man who seems willing to join with them in the speculation. This leads to a story which has commonly been separated from this book called "The Reluctant Dragon."
This is one of my favorite fairy tales and one of the big reasons I have recommended "Dream Days" as a good read. The story is about a town which is very upset about a dragon just moving into the area. They call upon St. George to slay him. A boy decides to go see this dragon and ask him what he thinks of it, but he finds that the dragon is entirely uninterested in doing battle. In fact, the personality of this dragon is such that he likes things like tea, poetry, and enjoying the peacefulness of nature. He refuses to do any fighting which, hilariously, upsets the boy. Why? Because he wanted to see a fight.
In fact, the entire townspeople, as frightened as they are, want to see a fight. There hasn't been a dragon there in a long time, and they all have grown bored. It all sort of turns into a PR nightmare when you have a knight who claims to be ready to slay a dragon and a dragon who will not even show up to be slain. But the boy, not to have his great fairy tale battle taken away from him, starts negotiations between the prissy dragon and St. George. They talk about various ways they might fake the battle, at the very least to please the crowds of bored civilians.
The whole things just disturbs the peace-loving dragon. He keeps trying to distract them with tea and poetry, but they won't have it. Finally, it is decided that the dragon will be stabbed in a place that will not kill him. They will put together a fake battle that will end in his death, or so it will seem. However, the dragon is so many years out of practice, he can barely choke up a flame! Nevertheless, when the time comes, he gets it right and the crowd ends up very pleased. Afterwards, the dragon is made an honorary citizen after St. George claims to have reformed him.
Did you know that the Disney movie for this book was surprisingly close to the original story?! I even consider it somewhat of an improvement, and I say that while noting that the original story was really perfect in itself. Disney capitalized on the personalities of all the characters and simply went all in with their portrayal. They were hilarious in cartoon motion! It is very difficult to not laugh hard while watching it. The dragon also finally gets to recite a poem. "Ode to an Upside-Down Cake" was hilarious!
Sweet little upside-down cake,
Cares and woes, you've got'em.
Poor little upside-down cake,
Your top is on your bottom.
Alas, little upside-down cake,
Your troubles never stop.
Because, little upside-down cake,
Your bottom's on your top!
Dear God. Even reading it, I just about lose it.
The point of the story was really that human beings do not enjoy existing in a state of boredom. We live for greater things than just the daily grind. The moment anything amazing or even terrible happens, it draws our attention like a fly to honey. And I gotta say, it's pretty pitiful that we are not all doing great things every day of our lives.
We all have talents and we want to use them. But the world pushes most people back by a class system. It is very hard to get noticed and placed in your desired career. But I don't want you to become cynical and empty of hope. Look at what the dragon was doing.
The dragon was doing exactly what he wanted despite what the world was trying to tell him to do. (Interestingly, they were telling him that he should be killed.) He did not care what anyone thought. He just came out into the open, made tea, wrote poetry, and perfectly enjoyed himself. He never put on airs. He was what he was and did not mind saying so. In a world that tried to tear him down, he stayed true to himself. The dragon in this story should be your role model--as silly as he is. And believe me when I say that there is nothing wrong with being silly. Being silly is strictly a human thing, and it makes us all the more worthwhile.
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