Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz

[Some spoilers included.]

This is actually a review of the book published in 1929. "Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz" is the 23rd book in the Oz series and it is also the most recent one that I have read. Not to brag, but I have actually read all 23 books up to this point, and I really do like them. I mean... sure... there are some duds in the bunch, but I am happy to say that this one was one of the better ones.

Now, if Jack Pumpkinhead sounds familiar, he was featured in the Disney film "Return to Oz." That was actually a very good representation of him. He is rather cobbled together with sticks with a pumpkinhead shoved onto a spike at his top. The poor fellow is barely put together well, and he does often fall to pieces when jostled too much.

By the 23rd book, he is no better constructed, but his personality has changed a bit. He tends to be more snarky when he talks. This is actually the fault of the author Ruth Plumly Thompson. Jack is not very smart. He comes across as a person with special needs. But when Ruth took over the character, she made him lean towards sarcasm. Granted that the sarcasm seemed based in ignorance, it still seemed off the beaten path of what L. Frank Baum had intended for the character.

Nevertheless, I love this book. Although rare, it was a boy traveling to Oz this time. His name was Peter, and he had been there before a couple books back. Ruth always respected boy protagonist and did not surround them with girly things. Generally Peter's plotlines had more to do with fighting and war-themed quests.

The villain in this story, Mogodore, was one of the few who actually managed to conquer the Emerald City in the series' history. It was up to Peter and Jack to save Oz from this man's treachery.

Along the way, Peter and Jack came across a couple of other fun characters. My favorite was Sniff the Iffin. Sniff was actually a griffin that got so scarred that he lost his "Gr" and so just became an Iffin. That pun was taken a bit further in that, because he was an Iffin, he would always ask, "What if this, and what if that?" And so he became something of a philosopher. I actually love this character. Like deeply. I deeply love him. He was such a sweetheart.

Another fun character was Belfaygor of Bourne who had accidently cursed himself so that his beard would never stop growing. It was so bad that if he would ever sleep within a room, the beard would fill the room overnight and suffocate him by morning. Throughout the story, he was constantly clipping at it nonstop. The characters charmingly found multiple uses for this beard such as making bridges and ladders out of it.

"Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz" is a solid Ruth Plumly Thompson Oz book. Despite Jack's unfortunate snark, he was still very entertaining. This goes down as one of my favorite Oz books, and it concludes wonderfully as well. If you are interested in reading it, a lot of the later Oz books are a bit difficult to come by. At this point, I would just find them anyway you can. Enjoy.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Car [1977 Film]

[Blog contains some spoilers.]

Here is a movie my fellow author Shawn O'Toole had been recommending that I watch for years. We finally did something of an unofficial trade the other day. I watched The Car while he watched The Peanut Butter Solution. It was all in good fun, mind you. But after finally seeing The Car for the first time, I actually felt bad that I had not seen it sooner. There are only a handful of movies I would give a perfect score to... and The Car is one of them.

The Car is a 1977 film about a driverless, demon-possessed car that is murdering people. When I first heard about it, I actually thought it was more of a 50's or 60's film that was created as horror fluff for drive-in movies. Boy was I wrong. Leave it to the 70's to make a silly idea awesome. I've seen it happen time and time again.

Every detail of this movie is taken so seriously that I had no choice but to do the same. The car itself was not just some random vehicle. They custom built the thing in order for it to seem familiar yet somehow alien. The idea was perhaps to let you know that this thing isn't normal. For example, the doors have no perceivable way to open them. The sides are pretty flush and smooth all the way across, almost giving the illusion that there aren't actually any doors there. The headlights seem particularly small surrounded by a huge bumper and a perfectly square grill. The effect makes it look like some sort of creature that's staring at you. The windows are tinted in red (although sometimes they looked gold to me.)

The car had it's own language. It had 2 main horn honks that it would do. It did a rapid fire "BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP!" when it was taunting its oppressors. Once it killed someone it had a sort of four-beep laugh, "BEEP - BEEP BEEP BEEP!" I know it seems silly but the effect was actually a bit terrifying.

The people of the town acted realistically to the strange phenomenon. Everyone was convinced that this was the act of some murderer who was driving the car. It wasn't true, of course. It was the car itself by dint of the thing that was possessing it that was doing it. One of the main points of the film was the concept of how difficult it is for people to believe in such things. It actually makes it hard to fight supernatural beings if you can't bring yourself to see what's right in front of you. This is a point I have brought up a few times in these blogs.

I also want to mention the fact that this car would become particularly aggressive towards those who insulted it. Yes, it would kill indiscriminately, but if you went out of your way to mock it, it would go out of its way to slaughter you. There was a sort of hatred there that was barely noticeable, but the subtlety of it made it seem real and powerful.

I don't really want to spoil anymore then that. I do, however, want to say that this movie was panned by critics for having a silly plot and bad acting. I completely disagree. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it a perfect movie. I rarely say this. Even my favorite movie of all time [The Black Hole] is still flawed. The Car was perfectly presented. The acting was phenomenal, even by today's standards. The characters felt real, and the car itself was perfectly terrifying for what it was. Highly recommend!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Personal Analysis of Prayer

I have never really been that into praying or prayer in general. I didn't have anything against it per se, but it was mainly because I didn't really understand why people did it or why they should do it. I did accept that it was something found within the Holy Bible, but I tend to research one thing while endlessly sparing another from my view.

Recent events in history have made me reconsider what prayer is, and I knew it was going to come with a determination on whether I would be doing it or not. I had to weigh a lot of things concerning the act. I don't like performing any sort of rite that I have not personally put a lot of thought into. I have to know what I am doing... or at the very least... think I know what I am doing. Whether right or wrong, I have to have personal confidence in myself before I preach and also practice what I am preaching.

My concern for prayer was that it seemed that many people prayed because they wanted something. Even if the prayer was supposedly selfless, it could still feel like some sort off divine virtue signaling. I used to know a guy who openly (verbally) blessed evil people because it made him feel better than the evil person. We may talk about the word "bless" later, but the point is that he wasn't really doing anything good for anybody but himself.

I am sorry to say that I have struggled with the very concept of prayer for nearly my entire life. The few times I remember praying, I did so to absolve myself of a sin I committed only moments before doing so. That doesn't seem right to me now. I don't want to pray simply because I feel like I should. If I am going to do it, it has to be for the right reasons. But to understand the right reasons, I need to know why we should pray at all.

Another problem with myself is that a number of times I prayed I did so extremely emotionally. I cried out to God as tears fell from my eyes. It felt like the right thing to do at the time, but I look back on it and it just doesn't seem like I was really doing anything other than venting my sorrows to God with a few requests thrown in. It may not have been to the degree of divine virtue signaling, but it also seemed to me to be a tad redundant. I could have just as easily screamed into a pillow. I'm not sure God really wants to hear me wail like that. I sure wouldn't.

Now, I did figure some things out for myself... and I did pray recently. I did so in a very specific way, and I do want to explain it and why I did it. I want to explain it because I feel the need to publish my own personal findings on theological concepts on this blog when I find them out. But there is no escaping it: This blog is going to seem like I am being braggadocious about the fact that I pray at all. I shall politely ask you to attempt to look past that and simply read what I have to say. There may be some insight somewhere in this thing.

When I prayed recently, I did so in the stereotypical manner seen in paintings, drawings, and in some television shows. I knelt on the floor and pressed my hands together. I closed my eyes, bowed my head, and then I began to pray. There was a reason for me to adopt this position, but before I explain why, I need to give a personal opinion about prayer itself. That opinion is this: I think we can pray to God in any position we happen to be in. Ever since the curtain of the temple of ripped, we should have open communication to God. So if you are more the type who likes to God to him while making food or using the toilet, then I don't see how its necessarily invalidated.

So now back to the kneeling thing.

I am a bit overweight. It was not easy to kneel. Let's be honest. King Leonidas in the movie "300" was not just joking around. Kneeling is brutal on the knees especially when you are putting unnecessary weight on them. But this was the position I chose. I placed a pillow under my knees to help out with the pain [It did not really help at all.], and I leaned slightly over my bed as my hands were placed together. I also let my elbows rest upon the bed. This made the whole experience a bit easier to cope with.

I won't be telling you what I prayed about. That is between me and God. But I do want to explain why I chose this very common position. Before I made the decision, I considered this pose within my mind. I was showering actually. I was trying to figure out why that position was rather popularized in art and fiction. To paint the picture, I need you to use your imagination as I describe something.

Imagine a large room with many soldiers standing guard. At the back of the room is a very large throne. In this throne is essentially someone who rules over you... and you are standing before him. This ruler is supreme and can do whatever he wishes to you, but he has, for the time being, allowed you to do whatever you want while in his presence.

Now, you could just ask him for something. He'll let you do that, but let's do something a bit kinky first. We're going to kneel. We're going to kneel down onto our knees. And from there, we are going to press our hands together with our heads bowed. A funny thing happens when we do this thing. A spear lightly presses into our backs, a chain appears around our wrists keeping our hands together, and a little trickle of blood drips from our bowed head. "Why is that happening?" you may wonder. Well... it's not. As a matter of fact, you're perfectly free to stand up any time you choose.

I began to see that the very act of prayer can be a personal choice to subjugate oneself before someone greater than you. It is as if to say, "I am humbled in your presence. I am so far below you that I do not deserve the privilege that you have given me. I am but a man... and you are God." This position seems to symbolize ones true place in the universe in relation to God, and it is 100% optional. No pressure.

But I felt like I really did need to be humble if I was going to ask anything of God. And when I did ask something of him, I tried my best to be as intellectual as I could about it while still being a little bit spontaneous. I wanted to be calm. I wanted to be able to express myself so that I could understand what I was even doing.

Understand that I didn't kneel because it was painful. Honestly, it was painful because I eat too many sweets. I did it because I wanted to humble myself before God before I even began to make any sort of plea. And that is, in a nutshell, my insight into prayer. Yours may be different. I don't really know if I got it right. Either way, I have no regrets. After all... it was not for a lack of trying.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Peanut Butter Solution [1985 Film]

There are a number of scenes from movies that I remember as a kid, but some of them never had titles attached to them. For as long as I can remember, there was this odd scene about a child meeting a pair of ghosts. They explain to the kid that they can make as much noise as they want because nobody will hear them unless they are seen. They then proceeded to slam cabinet doors while the kid's eyes were closed, proving that they made no noise unless they were looked at while doing it.

As it turns out, the scene came from a 1985 Canadian film called "The Peanut Butter Solution." I recently found out what the name was and went out of my way to watch it... and I loved every single moment of it. Now, here is the weird thing: I actually had this movie spoiled for me before I saw it. When I found the listing for it, I started reading the synopsis which unfortunately spoiled the whole thing. Oddly, I still wanted to see it. The entire plot sounded so bizarre and mixed up that I was having trouble conceiving in my mind that such a movie could even play out properly.

The movie plays something like an odd fever dream. Lynchian at times, but sometimes it feels more like it just dips into the realm of fairy tale. It never quite sticks to reality but still clearly lives in reality. At the beginning we are introduced to the boy and his family. Their mother is far from home, and she is leaving the dad to take care of a boy and a very intelligent daughter. You can relate to this just fine, but the moment things change is when the boy visits a haunted house... and then all of his hair falls out. Nothing goes normal after that.

From there you have encounters with ghosts, an old man who kidnaps children, and a paintbrush that can paint portals to other places. The movie just goes all over the place, but it's good. It's genuinely good, and I can't really give you any reason not to watch it.

Even though I had it spoiled and still enjoyed it, I don't want to do the same thing to you. Just understand that this movie puts you on a journey that is very hard to forget. I kept a single scene in my head for over 30 years. That's saying something.

If you are interested in seeing "The Peanut Butter Solution," there is a very pixilated version available on YouTube; however, you can rent a high quality version on AmazonPrime for $1.99. Watch it from beginning to end. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Pocket Fairylands

What is a pocket fairyland? It refers to another place or even an entire world that exits in either a very small space or where the entrance to that world is found in what one would imagine to be a small contained space. The most obvious example of this would be Narnia, which, in one book, was found by entering into a wardrobe. Don't tell me that isn't awesome!

I've seen and read about multiple versions of this sort of phenomenon. My favorite is probably the Nutcracker stories which had the protagonist entering into the fairyland through a grandfather clock. Star Wars did something similar with Luke when he went into a cave and appeared to find another world inside of it, although he did not stay there very long.

I like this idea a lot. I enjoy the thought of looking at a cabinet in my kitchen and imagining that it leads somewhere fantastic somehow. I fiddled with the idea of it back when I was writing my book "A Wolf in My Bedroom." It was never implemented in the story, but I originally imagined that the wolf was from a fairyland that could be accessed by crawling through a log within a forest. Unsurprisingly, I ended up dropping the entire fairyland idea for that story in order to make it into more of a modern day interpretation of "Little Red Riding Hood."

The whole concept of pocket fairylands gives me a thrill. It seems to make a bit more sense then how Oz is explained. This world is merely on a different frequency. It is layered over or under the one we exist on. These entryways merely serve as a frequency changing portal between the two realms. You're still technically embodying the same space, but nobody would be able to see or interact with you but for those who are within the same realm.

Where it is true that these fairylands are not really pocket-sized, the idea of going into a small place and ending up in the very large place still seems to make the word make sense. It's also just a fun term to use, in my opinion. But think back to the many fairy tales you have read and seen. How many times have you encountered a pocket fairyland, and also have you imagined one for yourself? Let me know!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Where is Oz?

I'm happy to say that I am still reading the Oz books. I took a long break. I wasn't actually reading any books at all. But now that I have gotten back into the swing of things, I went back to the book I had left off on for over 2 years: "Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz." Good grief. Is that really the 23rd book in the series? How many puns does that add up to? Anyways, I'll write a review for it later. For now, I want to talk about something else.

Where exactly is Oz in relation to the Earth we know? That is the question. It is a very pertinent question that I do have an answer to... sort of.

So if you look at the map of Earth, you will see all the continents and oceans, but what you will not see is the land of Oz, Ev, and all the other places written about by L. Frank Baum. But according to the lore as well as the lore of many fairylands like Oz, when you look up into the sky and see the moon, you are seeing the same moon in Oz that people in America or Europe see. Where is Oz then? It is located precisely on Planet Earth.

Now, if you were to see the map of Oz as well as the surrounding lands, you might think such a thing would be impossible. After all, we are assuming that Oz is merely uncharted. If it is merely uncharted, how could it possibly fit in the map we already have. Even by the early 1900s, the world map was pretty full up. It hasn't changed too much since then.

Well, when it comes to Oz, the whole idea of it is that it is perfectly hidden from the rest of the world. Therefore there would be no way it would end up on the map to begin with. Nobody found it, and those who ended up there were never sure exactly how they got there. But what about the map? How in the world could Oz fit anywhere in our already drawn up map? Simple answer: It does, but we just never drew it that way.

In reality, if we started to come across the magical fairyland of Oz, we would, for whatever reason, just miss it. We'd either turn around or just not see it outright. It's there. It takes up space, but we never see or find it. Oz is enchanted, you see. It's not something people are allowed to see. But if you were to find a way there, you'd still be somewhere on Earth. But where? Where on Earth?

Quick answer: America. USA to be precise.

Oz is most certainly located somewhere within the United States of America. It was intended from the beginning that Oz was a purely American fairy tale. It is something that belongs to us, and we should take that very seriously. Now, I cannot say what state Oz would be in. I know a lot of people might assume Kansas to be a major contender, but there is not enough evidence pointing towards that. Children from all over the US ended up in Oz, so there really is no telling where it could be.

Whatever the case, once you get to Oz, it is a very large and fascinating place to explore. And yes, I know it doesn't seem to fit within the confines of our map, but if it's really as hidden as the books suggest... how would we ever really know?

Of course, this is all speculation about a work of fiction. I hope you enjoyed it. But at the very least it will give you some insight into how fairylands can work, and the fairyland of Oz will always be one of the most fascinating. It is at its heart, a great, big, American adventure story set in our very own American fairyland. God bless L. Frank Baum for giving us this wonderful gift.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Point (1971 Film)

[This blog includes a lot of spoilers for this movie, but quite a bit of it is held back.]

Back when I was very young, most of the movies I watched were recorded onto BetaMax tapes from TV. They were almost always 70's films, and I would watch them over and over as I saw fit. Lately, I've been trying to rediscover these movies to see if they hold my attention to this day. Sometimes that is a difficult proposition since maturity can rather mess up the fascination we held as a child, but I am happy that the movie of this blog still managed to make me smile.

The Point is an animated movie made in 1971 about a city where everything had to have a point of some kind. Like... a physical point. Even their heads all had points on them. The story centers around the character Oblio who was born with a rounded head which made him different than anyone else in the city. This naturally turned a lot of heads and made him something of a spectacle.

What's interesting about this movie is it seems like it's about to get very political, and maybe that was the "point," but I find myself not really getting political vibes with this movie. As it turned out, everyone in the city liked Oblio and so just let him be who he was. Even so, Oblio would always wear a pointed cap, if anything just so he could fit in with everyone. Nobody was really bothered either way.

Still, there was a villain who did not like him and managed to convince the king that Oblio did not belong, and that there was a law that explicitly said that everyone should have a point. The king who really liked Oblio was conflicted over this but the phrase "The law is the law." kept being repeated to him, which led to the poor boy's banishment to a place called "The Pointless Forest."

At this point the fairy tale aspects of the movie really ramp up. It begins to feel a bit more like Oz here, and I was very pleased with what the boy found there. Without spoiling the whole experience, the boy ends up seeing a lot of strange thing which seem to be random and... pointless. But this boy... Let me tell you about this boy. Oblio has this curious way of examining the world.

Oblio is not really a very emotional boy. He is constantly trying to figure the puzzles out in this world. I was stunned with the conclusions that were coming to him as he was seeing, what looked to me, to be seemingly random nonsense within the Pointless Forest. It was at this point that I felt like I understood what he was doing. This little prodigy was high-priesting... and in a fairy environment no less.

I don't want to spoil the ending or the main encounters in the Pointless Forest. I actually do recommend the movie. They are all entertaining in their own way, and there are a lot of them. I do want to point out some other things though.

Oblio does have a canine companion: a pointy dog named Arrow. He is super cute and makes the film more charming. There are also a number of very strange musical segments where the film falls into some very surreal imagery... like Yellow Submarine surreal. I like them, but I don't fully understand them. Some of the images are a bit disturbing as well, but nothing too bad. It was the early 70's, man.

If you are interested in seeing this film, it is completely free on Amazon Prime Video, but you can also just pull the entire thing up on YouTube. It is about an hour long. The first part of the film feels like it is more for children, and it might be somewhat hard for you to watch. However when the kid hits the Pointless Forest, it gets extremely interesting. I consider this to be a good movie that doesn't try too hard to shove any "points" into your face too hard. And I love the main character for who he is. At the end of the day, he really was his own person, and that's why I have a lot of respect for little Oblio.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Animal Farm

"Animal Farm" is a novella written by George Orwell and published way back in 1945. It is an allegorical story reflecting the Russian Revolution of 1917, portrayed by the animals of a farm rebelling against the human farmer who ran it. Orwell originally pitched the story as "Animal Farm: A Fairy Story." I guess that makes this about as an appropriate book to review on this blog as ever.

I hate to be a downer, but this was a rough story to read. Then again... the Russian Revolution led to the dictatorship of Stalin. There was little chance that this story was going to be anything but depressing. I don't want to spoil the whole thing. I actually do recommend it. Socialist revolutions are just nasty things that only serve to inadvertently put corrupt people into power. This is a story about betrayal and broken dreams.

The story is mainly about how a pig named Napoleon manipulates the rest of the animals on a farm into becoming envious of their human owner. They rebel against the farmer and take over the farm. Everything after this is just a sad downward spiral of one terrible thing after another.

The worst thing about this book has to do with the poor ignorant animals who allow this pig to manipulate them. They put all of their hopes and dreams into him, and he proved that he never cared about them to begin with. It is a difficult story to soak up.

I agree with Orwell that it fits the criteria of a fairy story. This became very clear by the very end of it. There is something magical happening in this story with the talking animals. He made it clear that they were feral but somehow gained the ability to do human-like things. I've seen similar things occur in the Oz stories. I find the concept very entertaining.

Despite much of these fairy animal types being very amusing, for every enjoyable thing this story provides, it will pass along eight negatives to sully the good feelings. It is a heart breaking book, but one that I believe needs to be read. I do recommend it as a cleverly written cautionary tale. Things like this should never happen on Earth. We should do our very best to prevent it.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Rogue

So funny thing: I've recently gotten into lockpicking. I'm not the best at it, but I find myself getting more and more into it as the days go by. The very first time I picked open my first lock, there was a thrill to it. Honestly, when my first lock opened, I was not sure exactly what I did. That's usually how it goes. I figure out the technique later.

Of course, I am not advocating anything illegal here. It's just a little hobby of mine. If anything, I'd be able to get back into the house if I got locked out. But there really is a thrill to is, and I actually find the act of opening a lock the wrong way very relaxing. It's turned into a bit of a fidget thing with me.

There is something odd about opening a lock without a key. It feels like you are being incredibly sneaky. I think this is why rogues in stories are so fascinating. They seem to have a way of getting around without the usual authority to do so. They seem to function on their own authority. It's rather exciting.

We see these heroes or villains often wearing some sort of cloak. They might be more likely to wield a dagger rather than a sword. Naturally a rogue makes a good assassin. They have to pick your lock before they go in and kill you. There is also, of course, the thief. These are all mainstays in popular fiction.

One thing I have learned from studying lockpicking is that there is no lock that cannot be opened as long as you have the proper skill for it. Locks do vary in difficulty. It takes a combination of practice, skill, and the proper tools to get into the most difficult locks. I was surprised that between the few locks that I have, every one of them required a different type of pick and tension bar.

One downside for me is that learning how lockpicking works has ruined some of the silly lockpicking minigames in popular video games. I have to roll my eyes at them. They are ridiculous to all but the ignorant of real lockpicking. But I can still get a chuckle out of it regardless.

I would not call me an actual rogue. My skill level in such things are still lacking, and I doubt I'll ever really be that sneaky, but like I said... it's a hobby. It's just a little something I added to my life to make it more interesting... and then I thought I'd write a blog about it. That's all.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Cyrano de Bergerac (The 1950 Movie)

Old plays can be hard to read. Old English or English written in a poetic way can boggle the mind and make you wonder what on Earth you just read. I actually loved reading the Edmond Rostand play of "Cyrano de Bergerac." Even translated from French, it still had all that old English writing in it, and there were times that I got a little stumped on what exactly happened, but as a reader of the classics, I wasn't that bad off.

But if you have difficulties with that sort of writing, I might guide you over to the official movie made in 1950. Although filmed entirely in black and white, the movie follows the play very closely. They still opted entirely for the old English, but being able to see everything in action is a great help.

The movie allows you to see Cyrano for who he is. You can visually explore him for both his flamboyancies, his triumphs, and his weaknesses. It's all there, and very well displayed with movie magic. The language used in the film is still sometimes hard to understand, but the pantomime that goes along with it provides good context for it all. I would say that it is a good introduction into the play, but the reading of it is still highly recommended.

One of the reasons for the latter statement is that you will still get more fulfillment from reading his words. On the screen, much of what he says can be fleeting if you perchance blink or get slightly distracted at just the wrong moment. Although it is fun to see how cavalier he can be in person, there is a reason, a very personal reason, why he acts the way he does. And I personally believe that Cyrano is someone who should be heavily understood on a deep level if you are to properly appreciate him.

I see the 1950 movie as a compliment to the reading of the play. It will certainly place better context on the goings on of the story, but to understand Cyrano the best, you must read his words. You must come to understand that this man was entirely his own man... and there have been so very few men in history that can lay claim to that.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Irrational

What does being "rational" mean? I once heard a saying that went a little something like this: "What is real is rational, and what is rational is real." The idea of this suggests that any idea, concept, or thing can be expressed in in a rational way. One might also call this idealism.

I am often told that I must be rational in order to deal with the world around me. For a long time, I believed this. It was not because I particularly understood what rationalization was... but that I was thinking more about something along the lines of common sense.

To rationalize something is not using common sense though. Even the words don't really link together very well. Common sense refers more to something that has always been there. You know something is true because... you just do. It is something we all just figure out. But how is using common sense different than being rational?

Rationality is not all bad, but it does have one rather frightful flaw: It is almost always influenced by the culture. Rational thought can often override common sense for the sake of remaining sane in a world that will look poorly upon you for thinking otherwise. I've had these conflicting feelings before.

In all of us, there is a little voice inside of us that is trying to tell us to think about something unusual, look at something strange, or say something unconventional. But there is a very real rational side of our brains that fights against it. It will tell you that thinking, seeing, or saying certain things are a bad idea. These two sides have very different methods and behaviors in how they act upon us.

Common sense is a bit meek sadly. It tends to plead with its owner that it needs to deal with something in a particular way. It is a nervous sort that is constantly trying to get you to act in your best interest. Most people prefer common sense. It's much easier to get along with and allows us to actually breathe.

The rational mind is nothing like it's rival. It is very much in tune with social norms. It listens too much to what people say and think and worry that it will break social boundaries. It very much wants to know what is real, but it thinks that other people and the surrounding culture may know best. It's approach to convincing you is a bit more violent. It grabs you and shakes you around a lot until you just go with it. The rational mind is rather hard to ignore.

One thing that the rational mind really cannot stand is being ignored. To ignore the rational mind is to be irrational. Most societies consider irrational behavior to be in bad form... perhaps entirely uncivil. The rational mind does not want to be irrational. What would people think? In order to be rational, you must not be irrational. It's a bit of a self-fulfilling aspect, but it's just how it works.

Rationality is unfortunately not very good at identifying truth and facts. It sort of interprets everything through it's own lens, but it works pretty hard regardless. However, in order to see things without rational interpretation, one must be irrational. To be irrational might not be such a bad thing in all cases, but it can get scary.

While trying to exist in an irrational state, people will notice you more. They will lock on to the strange person who does not seem to be conforming to the herd. They will explain to you how things should be done and even how things should be thought, but an irrational person tends to think only in his own way.

Now, for the sake of argument, let's say that something truly remarkable happened in this world. I'm just throwing this out there: A man standing before you with eyes that glow in the dark. Spooky, yes? Now, this could be anything, and I'm not suggesting that a glowing-eyed man even exists. But perhaps, in this example, he claims he has proof of something that is of extreme supernatural importance.

Your rational mind will do everything in its power to explain what you are seeing away as some sort of trick. The effect of the glowing eyes is certainly cool to look at, and you may be impressed by his ability to act out his part. Ultimately, you will likely move on... just in case the man is a loony.

Your common sense is a bit more disturbed. You may find yourself frightened but still intrigued by what you are seeing and hearing. Now, you may still want to move away... or you might investigate further. The point is that this part of your mind is far more open to the idea that what you are seeing may be real. It is also open to the idea that it is fake, while the rational side has entirely thrown it away from the beginning.

Lastly, even as you read through this blog, I am sure both sides will be fighting over one another as it tries to figure out if it is true or not. I can't really help you one way or another. At the end of the day, you have to decide what sort of person you are going to be: a rational person... or an irrational one. For me, I choose the latter.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Phasmophobia [Early Access Video Game Review]

[Some spoilers, I guess.]

So, I have played Phasmophobia exactly one time, but I think I just about got the full experience in that time. I know how the game works and even want to continue playing it. It is, after all, very repetitive. After a few missions, you get to understanding what this game is all about and can freely describe it.

Phasmophobia is a online co-op game about identifying different kind of ghosts or entities which are haunting various homes or locations. It is most certainly inspired by all those ghost hunting TV shows I remember seeing many years ago. They may still be doing them, as I don't watch much TV these days.

So, you and three other friends can walk into a supposedly haunted house with a bunch of ghost detecting gear and attempt to figure out what sort of ghost is involved. When I say "ghost-hunting gear," I am actually talking about every day items. Not some sort of scifi stuff. We have things like temperature gages, infrared cameras, and radios. There's quite a bit more too. The game allows you to purchase an arsenal of stuff to get the job done, and everyone in the team can chip in on the equipment.

The first thing we would always do is look for sudden temperature changes. That usually signified which room was the ghosts favorite place. We would then use several tricks to see how the entity functions to attempt to figure out its type.

Probably the most terrifying but also surprising way you can figure this out is by... talking to it. No, I'm serious. You can talk to the ghost. Not by picking from a list of text or anything... by actually talking. The game uses voice recognition in order to understand what it is you are saying... and what you say actually does make a difference. The radio is used as a means for the ghost to talk back, and they will sometimes answer your very specific questions.

One example was when a friend of mine asked, "How old are you?" the ghost replied, "Old." There was another time where one female ghost, who we found was named Elizabeth, was being very shy. We were trying to get her to respond, but she did not like that we were all gathered there. My friend stood in the room alone and started to call her some very horrible things... things I cannot type in this family friendly blog. The tactic worked but in a terrifying way. Being mean to the ghost just pisses them off and makes them more active and aggressive, but it might be a good strategy if you are struggling to get it to respond.

You also have two different kinds of camera. One is just an infrared video camera used to look for willow wisps that cannot be seen by the naked eye. You place the camera down in a room you think is haunted and go back to the truck to monitor the location. It's quite an interesting way to get evidence on an entity. But then there's the picture camera. This is what you use to get the best evidence which can also get you a lot more money.

The hardest thing to take pictures of are the ghosts themselves. The reason for this is they don't tend to appear for very long, and if they do appear, it usually means you are in trouble. Like just looking at them can turn your arms and legs into jelly. I had moments where I couldn't even get the camera to snap because I had gone paralyzed. But if you can get that picture of the entity in person, it is one of the most satisfying things in the game.

The best picture I ever took of a ghost looked something like a shadow in the corner of a room. I did it by reflex. I felt like something was behind me... so I turned and snapped the camera, getting one of the best framed pictures of a ghost I was ever able to get in the game. And the thing about this particular ghost was that I and a friend have seen something very similar to this in real life.

In my friend's former home, we saw a similar looking entity standing in a corner. It must have been very shy because it would always poof when it realized it was noticed. I had an idea of how it looked. It was like a standing humanoid shadow that was not connected to the corner it was in. When I found this one creature in the game, I smiled because I felt like I was looking at it again. Such a perfect shot. I was real lucky to not only get it on camera, but for it to be so clear and well-framed.

I recommend Phasmophobia to anyone who want's to experience realistic ghost hunting in a video game. Remember that it is still in early access. That means it isn't finished yet. A lot of the character models are very janky and stiff looking. But the ghosts and the mechanics are pretty solid. It's entirely worth playing as is, and I am sure it will only get better as the developer continues working on it. Also, enjoy my photo of the shadow ghost!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Voyage to the Moon

Did you know that I stopped reading books for like 2 years? What happened was that I ended up getting kicked out of one job and into a much worse job. It sucked the life right out of me, and I did not have the drive to enjoy reading a good book. I now have a much better and far more relaxing job now, and that was when I decided it was time to go back to reading those wonderful classics that I love so much.

Well... I kind of had a false start by reading a book about an exorcist, but right after that I dived head first into Cyrano de Bergerac's classic... A Voyage to the Moon! This is widely considered the very first science fiction novel, although that might not be true. Either way, it was a book written in the 1600s about how Cyrano himself went to the moon.

If any of you don't know who Cyrano is, you might have heard of a particular stage play about a rather flamboyant man with a very long nose. That play was Cyrano de Bergerac, and that was the man who wrote and also starred in A Voyage to the Moon.

I heard a lot of people found this book very boring, and I do understand why. A lot of the enjoyment of this story requires a love of the main protagonist. Cyrano was counter-culture to the era in which he lived. In fact, it seems like he world have been counter-culture in any era. Even today, I think we would be rather annoyed with how non-conformist he was.

In the book, he had some extremely odd ideas about the universe he lived in. He saw the stars are simply other suns that perhaps had their own planets and moons. He thought about going to these places and had some very imaginative ways to make that idea a reality. He ended up making a machine propelled by fireworks that got him there in the book, but that was not his first attempt. I like the first attempt a bit more.

Cyrano took a number of glass bottles, filled them with water, and tied them to his body with strings. He then laid himself out on a sunny day within a town in France. The sun evaporated the water inside the bottles, but since those bottles were corked, the vapor could not escape. And so, the vapor then raised the up the bottles and Cyrano along with it, with the intention that they would carry him up to the moon. But they fell short of it and unfortunately dropped him down in Canada.

It makes no sense outside if cartoons, but it did require a lot of imagination to conjure. The very idea that he could even think in that way, in that time, was very enjoyable. The moon itself was, as you may expect, very strange. It was full of people who acted in their own way, with their own language, and with their bizarre little customs. The Garden of Eden was apparently there, and so was a collective of famous Biblical characters such as Elijah, Enoch, and a host of angels.

The bulk of the book has to do with the sad fact that Cyrano just doesn't fit in there. They don't understand him and constantly try and proclaim him to be a lot of things that make sense to them but not at all to Cyrano himself. They mistake him once for a female... and then some sort of bird. They also accuse him of being almost blasphemous when he claims that the moon circles around the Earth when they claim is it the opposite of that.

It seems to me that no matter where Cyrano went, he was never accepted for who he was. Everyone was constantly trying to make him sane. The books main antagonist was a psychologist that was simply trying to disprove everything Cyrano believed in... replacing it with some sort of safe ideal of cynicism. By the end of the book, I really felt for the poor guy.

But don't get me wrong, the book is still very amusing. There are a lot of comedic moments such as when Cyrano was late for dinner. When asked why he did not ask the people for the time, he said that he did but they all stubbed their noses up at him. It was explained that the people of the moon had very long noses for a reason. When they lifted up their faces, their nose would act as a sundial. They were merely attempting to answer his question.

I do recommend A Voyage to the Moon, but I must warn you that this book is really intended for fans of the man who wrote it. There is a lot of long-winded dialog which is really just Cyrano trying to make his arguments and contrast them with his own devil's advocate. That is the core nature of the book. He simply used the moon to make it happen. If you are interested in this man, this book will give you insight into who he was, and why he was such an uncommon person in this world.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Superliminal [Game Review]

[Some spoilers included.]

There were two puzzle games that I had been looking forward to all year. The first was Manifold Garden, of which I have already reviewed. The second was Superliminal. This was certainly a much shorter game, ranking in at a little over 2 hours, but the impact of it made it all just so worth it in the end.

The concept of Superliminal is that you have signed up to be placed in a state of lucid dreaming where you still have control. Dream mechanics are heavily in play during your experience. Although there are quite a few non-euclidean elements, as found in Manifold Garden, the main concept is the idea that perception is reality.

Now... in real life, perception is certainly not reality... but it can be in a dream. Something that seems far away can, in a dream, just be very small. Likewise something that's very close to your face might actually be very large. A room full of tables and chairs might just be a painting on the wall when you get a bit too close to it to break the illusion. In the latter, that was a case where perception was perhaps not reality but the polar opposite. The game messes with you in that manner as well.

With these concept in mind, you have to go room to room and solve puzzles based entirely on dream logic. It requires you to think in irrational ways to solve puzzles. When people get stuck in this game, it is often because they have trouble breaking free of what they understand about the real world. To beat this game, you have to give most of that up, or you'll just end up in a room that doesn't seem to go anywhere.

That almost happened to me a few times. I remember being trapped in and endlessly looping room with white walls with windows in them on two sides. I really could not figure out how to get out of there. What I ended up finding out was that the room did not actually have walls. What I thought was a wall was actually just the white space beyond it. The windows were just free hanging there in space. I was simply able to just walk past them and out into the open, escaping the trap. But the point is that the rational side of my brain had convinced me that there was a wall there.

Another really odd experience had to do with portals. Some objects have doors attached to them. By using the perspective mechanic, you can make these doors as big or small as you want. If you make the door extremely huge, you'll come out on the other side as a very tiny person. This confused me for a bit. There was one part where I messed up so many times that I actually ended up about the size of an ant, which made walking around a giant room take forever. I did finally figure out the solution though.

The point of the game was ultimately delivered, and indeed it was profound. The game actually encourages this sort of thinking even outside of dreams. It wants you to try real hard and see the problems you have in life from different angles and perspectives. What most people do when they have a problem is that they try as hard as they can to not deal with it as much as they can... and the way that they deal with it tends to be a very repetitive paltry effort that ultimately doesn't do anything at all.

If we actually bother to see things with our eyes open, we may be surprised to see what is actually there and find new ways to deal with things in ways that we never knew was possible. But you have to bother. You have to actually care and bother to see what's there. There are always more solutions than what you initially think. You have to, first, fight back against your brain's overly rational influences, and then from there, you can perhaps see the problem from different angles. Life is hard. Life will always be hard. But there is a lot more to it then meets the eye, and as we have seen inside of dreams, we have the ability to see beyond what only appears to be the obvious.

I whole-heartedly recommend Superliminal. Even at 2 hours, it is worth the $20 asking price. Enjoy.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Free Thinking vs. High-Priesting

The reason I call what I do "high-priesting" is really for lack of a better term. I have tried to figure out a better term for it, but I have been a bit lost as to what that term should be. Personally, I am not well satisfied with calling it high-priesting. I think it sounds silly. It's a bit like the hip new word "adulting" which is used to help make snowflake millennials feel special when they actually act like adults. That's why I always cringe a little when I use the term high-priesting.

But sadly, there doesn't seem to be a better term for it yet. I did, for a while, consider using the term "free thinking." Is that not what I am doing? Am I not thinking for myself? Have I not cast aside the opinions of others and formed my own? Well... yes. I am thinking for myself. But does that mean that is a better term to use?

I'm not too sure of it. A high priest is a bit more than just a free thinker (although he certainly is.) He is also open minded. Nothing is off the table for a high priest. He sees the world for what it is (even if what he sees is inconvenient) and acts according to his best interest based on that data. A high priest is not offended by anything and merely accepts what he sees, with all of his senses combined, as what there is for him to deal with. He has a better idea of what is true and completely puts away silly notions of self-diluting perspectives.

A free thinker does think for himself, but that doesn't mean he cannot limit himself to certain possibilities. A skeptic is only as good as what he allows himself to believe. If you place limits on your own imagination, that's still free thinking, but it falls short of high-priesting. You cannot simply be in control, but you must be open to every possibility in all cases and eternally. There must be no concept or ideal that can be placed to the side. Anything is possible until it is proven to be impossible or otherwise, and even then it could end up true later.

I look at the world carefully. I do not wish to see things; I merely just try and see what is there. Even as a skeptic, I am open to things of a supernatural nature being involved. I always will be. Many times I have discounted the supernatural, but there have also been times where I have seen it in play. And as I see these things, I calmly wait for further correlation before I can take any action for it, if I choose to take any action at all.

High-Priesting is a practice that opens you up to the world which is far more vast than you might expect. As with most practices, it can be used for good or for evil. But it can also simply be used as a means of understanding the world around you. Live with your eyes open, and act upon what you see based on who you chose to be. That is high-priesting.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Hello Neighbor (Game Review)

[Major spoilers. Do not read this blog if you want to avoid having much of the game spoiled.]

According to my Steam account, I have played the 2017 game Hello Neighbor for 13 hours. It took me 13 hours to beat it, yet I think I bought it almost a year ago. The reason this happened is because I kept running away from this game. It may go down as one of the strangest and most disturbing experiences I have ever suffered through in a video game.

Hello Neighbor was developed by a group called Dynamic Pixels. I have a feeling that I would probably get along with them, as they seem to think in a sort of out-of-the-box sort of way. I lay claim to such a way of thinking also. The very basic idea of this game is that you are a boy who witnesses the neighbor across the street seemingly kidnapping a screaming boy and stuffing him behind a doorway. And that's it. That's the whole premises from the beginning, and really you don't need anymore than that.

You see... curiosity can be a terrible thing. No matter how hard you try and avoid it, it can continue to peck at you until you do something about it. In truth, the easier solution would be to just not play the game. After all, the idea of breaking into a scary man's house might have been a bit too much to ask of people in real life. But this is a game, I figured. I can safely try and figure out what actually was happening. And for 13 hours of playing this game, I regretted every moment of it... while finding myself simultaneously enthralled by it.

The first thing you find out about this strange man across the street is that he is more than willing to put you in the same place he put that boy. He's not nice, and he is certainly not safe. He's also one of those extremely paranoid types. His entire house is organized like a complicated puzzle... and I mean REALLY complicated. No, I'm serious here. His house looks normal from the outside, but that is extremely misleading. The inside of his house is like a Rubric's Cube with extra sides and corners.

So the very action of getting into this door where this kid was placed requires that you unravel the complex puzzle that is his house, while simultaneously avoiding capture. No, wait. It gets worse. There are red herrings everywhere. There are complex puzzles that only lead to absolutely nothing. There were times I put every bit of effort I had into unlocking a room, only to find that I was going the wrong way. The longer you play this game, the more you run across that problem.

So... there is a sort of comfort this game gives you when things get scary. All you have to do is run back across the street to your own house. The neighbor will not follow you there. There were some points I got just so frustrated with him that I would stop trying to solve the puzzle and would just do mean things to him. I didn't feel bad at it at the time. I already assumed that he was a bad person. And I always could go back to my house and be safe.

But then I got captured. He got me. He put me in a room in his basement with pictures of a sunny day in a set of fake windows. And there I would be forever if I did not escape. Upon getting out of the basement, I looked up to my horror and saw that he had rebuilt the fences of his house to be insanely high. The gate was locked. His house had also been rebuilt to have a ton of insane additions. I now had to solve a new puzzle... but without a home I could go to for safety. It was horrible and depressing. I stopped playing the game for a couple of months.

When I came back, I realized that the puzzles were just too complicated for me. I began to look up guides. A lot of these puzzles are solved through entirely unintuitive means. I think this was by design. They went out of their way to punish players for being smart. Smart people find red herrings.

It took me a long time but I was able to get free of the house, but not after being grabbed by him over and over. The whole thing of it was traumatic to both me and the main character. Apparently he really was kidnapped and kept in a basement for a long time. And that brings us to the final 2 acts of the game.

The final two acts are actually a dream. It's the main character trying to cope with having been kidnapped by his own neighbor. But here's the funny thing about that: This whole game feels like a dream. Whenever you see text, it looks readable at a glance... but it's actually gibberish. The style of everything looks like it came from a Doctor Seuss illustration. Everything is so weird and surreal.

So if those last 2 acts are only a dream, the first two acts are visions of a memory... a sort of waking nightmare. And in that final dream... that's when everything just gets out of control. I now have my house again as a safety zone, but the neighbor's place is just an absolute mess of architecture. It doesn't even make sense. It was hell. Even with a guide, it was hell.

There were no easy solutions to any of the puzzles, and half of my successes led nowhere really. It was a depressing and unrewarding experience that often left me frustrated and even bored. Countless times, I just shut the game off and went on to something else... but I always came back. Why? Because I wanted the truth... and the closer I got to the truth... I began to realize that this man who kidnapped me... might not be as bad as I first thought.

Now don't get me wrong. The game does not explain itself at all. It always falls back on subtlety. You will not learn any clear answers in this game... but I definitely got the idea that this man experienced a terrible tragedy which left him broken and paranoid about existence on this planet Earth. And unfortunately... I dug a hole where I didn't belong. I went where no child should ever tread. I traveled into the heart of madness and got stuck.

The answers I seek are in the prequel. I haven't bought it. I don't know if I ever will. I guess, like I said in the beginning, the best way to play this game... is to just put the controller down and move on to something else. It's not because Hello Neighbor is a particularly bad game, although some might say its design leaves something to be desired. But I never felt like the game was being especially dishonest with me. I was just in a place that I didn't belong, and I probably would have known that... if I hadn't been a stupid and nosey little kid.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Duck Pimples

I've known for a while now that, hands down, my absolute favorite Donald Duck cartoon has to be Duck Pimples (1945). I don't know if you knew this, but I am a lifelong fan of Donald Duck. He is my favorite Disney character. Still is. I own just about all of his cartoons on DVD, and there is quite a lot there. But I only gave my heart to one.

Duck Pimples does not take long to do what it sets out to do. The opening is simple. Donald is just listening to some radio dramas, but no matter what channel he picks, they all seem to be horror- or thriller-based. People being murdered mostly.

Shortly after this opening is portrayed, the cartoon gets more and more surreal with every second. The things happening in the dramas begin to take physical form. There is no explanation why this is happening, and I think the cartoon really benefits from this. I never really wanted to know why fantasy was bleeding into reality. It was just so much fun to see it happen.

In many ways, this episode feels like what it would be like if David Lynch made a Donald Duck cartoon with Tex Avery as the animator. Neither of those people actually worked on this, but that's just how I feel. And I suppose one could just call the entire cartoon a dream or the product of his overworked imagination, but there is nothing in the cartoon that suggest either of these are true.

At no point is Donald Duck shown going to sleep or waking up. A creepy voice at the end seems to suggest that it may be his imagination, and Donald tries his hardest to believe that. It's clear, however, that he's only attempting to rationalize it away as he slowly goes insane. And insanity seems to be the main point of this cartoon. If I were to judge Donald entirely by his actions and adventures in this cartoon, I would think that maybe he really was losing his mind and suffering the pangs of his own hallucinations.

But then maybe he didn't go insane. Maybe he was being plagued by demonic forces that wanted to vex him with these insane visions to the point where he really does lose his mind. Whatever the case, it is clear that Donald went through something, and after about eight minutes of some of the best sight gags I have ever seen in a cartoon, I'd say it was worth the trip.

Check out Duck Pimples any way you can. It's worth your time and effort and will only kill eight minutes. It is and always will be my favorite Donald Duck cartoon.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!

Monday, November 2, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Manifold Garden

Manifold Garden is an indie video game by William Chyr Studio that came out about a week ago in October 2020. I had been sort of watching it for a couple of years and was pretty much ready to sink my teeth into it the day it was released. It is a first person puzzle game based around the idea of fractals and Non-Euclidean geometry. I eat this sort of stuff up.

The game doesn't really have a story or plot, although my own mind was coming up with its own story as I played it. You are dropped into a massive universe based around ideas and physics that shouldn't really exist in the real world. You have stairs going the wrong way or even sideways sometimes. In most areas, the world appears to repeat into infinity.

You are given the much needed ability to switch which way gravity falls whenever you come across a wall. Much of the world looks a lot like a M.C. Escher painting, so that ability makes it possible to actually circumvent the insane environments.

The repeating aspect of the game is actually because the game has fractals in mind. Explained far too simply, a fractal is an object or image that is repeated on itself infinitely. Where what this game has is perhaps not exactly a fractal world, it gets pretty close to the idea. It forces you to think of those copies out in the distance as the same as where you're standing. And likewise, if I fall in their direction, I am actually just falling to where I was.

The basic premise of the game seems one of renewal and the ridding of corruptions. Along the way, the game taught me a few tricks, and I have to continually play by its rules. Like most of these first person puzzlers, it mostly is about the manipulation of cube-shaped blocks, but it is done in such a solid way. I was never bothered by how it, like everyone else, borrows from Portal.

It takes a lot of imagination to understand this game. Without it, you are liable to get confused or even bored. M.C. Escher created paintings that made no sense, but when you look at them... you still want to go there and explore the strange worlds he made. We can see ourselves walking those impossible stairways and roaming the halls, but in reality it would be impossible. Manifold Garden makes it possible because the people made it had the imagination to make it that way.

Manifold Garden is solid and polished. I encountered no bugs along the way. I was thrilled by its presentation and enjoyed solving all of the puzzles to the very ending. I recommend this game wholeheartedly.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: God

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to the origins of God or a god. Among atheists, there seems to be a trend to say "How can we possibly know that a god exists?" and then leave the question there without bothering any further. Even if any amount of evidence is given, they will always fall back on "How do you know?"

It isn't easy to prove the existence of God because he exists outside of time and space. We often times point towards strange happenings as well as the advent of Jesus to provide evidence, but it is true that actually showing God himself can fall deeply into the realm of the extremely difficult if not impossible.

In order to explain God, we have to explain him in ways we are familiar with. I often times see him playing golf in a fashion more similar to polo. Does that mean he plays golf at all? No. It's more of my brain trying to process something that's presently inconceivable. Remember... we are trying to explain someone who created something that did not previously exist. He isn't here. He was never here. He's stuck in a room inconceivably larger than our universe.

Let's say you want to make a little creation for yourself. You take a box and fill it with all the things you think should be in that creation. The only problem is... you can't fit in the box. You can still change things as you wish. You can move things around... or destroy them. You can take a bucket of water and dump the contents into the box, creating your own Great Flood. None of these things will ultimately effect you though.

False gods are interesting too. God can place little animal figures within the box that the people inside there may choose to worship. These little gods can represent different things such as fertility, war, love, the color blue. It really doesn't matter what they represent, but the one thing they never seem to represent is anything having to do with God. They always represent things that already naturally exist within the box. For this reason, they are false because they exist within the box already. They are themselves created beings. Worshiping a false god is a bit like sending prayers to a pencil in the hopes that it will do the job of a pencil, and if it ever runs out of lead, it must be upset with you or something.

Since God is 100% removed from the box, he is technically in charge of everything to do with it. And since he is entirely uncontested in every decision he makes concerning the box, he is righteous for every action he takes. He creates every standard for all things that is... concerning the box and only the box. Everything outside the box has absolutely nothing to do with you, and so you don't really need to worry about that... at least right now.

Seems a little oppressive, yeah? Well, it's not as bad as it sounds. For one, it seems that there has been a hand extended out to us. I don't blame God for sending his Son to us. I've created a number of worlds myself that... I feel very close to. I've seen people and places that are dear to me. I know of characters that I want to be happy and succeed at their dreams. It's not difficult to understand an artist falling in love with his art. Sometimes you just want to just let them go and watch them do whatever it is they want to do.

Oh... and there is nothing wrong with trying to figure God out. In fact... you should. You should try to understand him. You may never completely get there, but there isn't anything wrong with looking up into that blue sky and wondering why it turned out so beautiful... and why we think it's beautiful at all.

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Monday, October 26, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Blood and Honey

I love being wrong. I really do. Although I was not entirely wrong in this case, but I was a bit, slightly wrong, I suppose. But let me explain myself. I have put forth that there is no good Christian entertainment out there. This is almost entirely true. It's a good 99% true. But there are exceptions, I am happy to say. And when something is done right, it deserves praise.

I'd like to get a small thing out of the way though. I do want to say that the animated children's film for Pilgrim's Progress (1978) is quite good. There are perhaps a few nitpicks I have with it. Some of the female voice actresses came across as remarkably flat, but all in all, it was a very good film and worth seeing.

Now on to the one I really want to talk about.

Blood and Honey is a Christian TV series from 1991. I watched it quite a bit as a child. It came on PBS at the time, and I remember going out of my way to watch it absolutely every chance I got. I recently reconnected with it and found myself having those same pangs of entertainment and joy as I went through each episode. My adrenalin couldn't keep up with what this show was throwing at me. What I mean to say was... my blood always feels like it's rushing while I watch it. I'm serious. The show gives me a thrill.

But what exactly is Blood and Honey? What is this masterful work of Christian art that captured the attention of someone who prefers Satanic films to Christian ones? It must be pretty impressive, right? Probably a top notch budget? Good acting? Authentic set design? None of those things, although the last one is debatable.

Blood and Honey is technically considered a Christian documentary series, but I never really feel like I'm watching a documentary. Let me explain: In every episode of Blood and Honey, a rather notable actor named Tony Robinson walks about the modern day Holy Lands and explains what exactly happened in the Bible as if it was happening right then and there. It sometimes feels as if the things that happened in Biblical history was happening right at this moment... or, at the very least, the 90's.

And I just cannot emphasize enough how wonderful Mister Robinson's telling of these stories is. He's so dang blasted into it! He moves about energetically, waving his arms, yelling out the lines of these Biblical characters as if he was borrowing their spirits. Every emotion is plastered on his face so vividly that I find myself rather enthralled by his performance.

By the end of an episode, I am almost surprised that all I saw was a guy walking around yelling at me for 15 minutes. That's all it is! Of course, they still do some interesting camera work. When he plays multiple people, the camera will cut around to him standing in different places. I can't help but think that this was meant to be both amusing and interesting at the same time. He does it so well. Tony was just amazing.

Blood and Honey is remarkably hard to find nowadays. There are a few episodes available on YouTube, but most of them are improperly titled. I stumbled over them by chance, and I am so happy to be able to soak these in again. I'll provide you with a link down below to make it easy on you. Well worth your time.

Blood and Honey is apparently owned by a big group called CTVC. The conglomerate owns a number of TV stations in the UK (such as BBC), a number of them with a focus on Christian entertainment. After researching them a bit, I do not recommend pursuing them at all. They have pretty much gone in the direction as every other company has. Blood and Honey is the only good thing to ever happen there, and you should stick with this. Watch them wherever you can find them.

Here is a YouTube link to a bunch that I found: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLamA8dtwR5WY7hrW1qMi20vQuQOMNyzHQ

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Our Divine Spinoff (The Book!)

I have finally gotten around to publishing my book "Our Divine Spinoff" which is, of course, the spinoff to "Our Divine Comedy." It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. It, once again, includes countless illustrations by the great artist Chris Buffaloe.

I consider this to be my second Christian literature book. It is certainly a very strange one, as Christian books go. In this book, I make very weird claims. I talk about how Samson was an Angelic/Human hybrid, how Job was tortured because of a bet God made with Lucifer, and also a strange story about a talking dog named Christopher who actually met Jesus in person.

If you are a offended by these things, I really do not recommend reading it. In fact, I do not recommend books in general to people who are offended by anything. Books are full of potentially offensive things. Why even this blog might be offending you right now. In which case, you really should stop reading all together. You might try locking yourself in a room with no words. That should prove somewhat beneficial.

But if you are a person who is not easily offended, you are certainly welcome to pop over to Amazon and pick up a copy. It sells for $13.33 on paperback and for $3.33 on Kindle. Have a link on me: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KR119MW

Enjoy!

Thank you for reading my blog! Did you enjoy it? Either way, you can comment below, or you can email me at tkwadeauthor@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.tkwade.com. Check out my books! Thanks!