Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Amusing Tale of Er and Onan

Briefly within the pages of Genesis, we have an interesting and very brief story about two men that God didn't like. He liked them so little that he killed them. This is not an unheard of act of God--the personal killing of individual men--but it is an exceptionally rare event.

The story is so short that it is possible to miss exactly why it happened, and in any case, there is no explanation of the actual mode of death utilized by God. So the imagination has a little fun with this one, if you think about it for more than a minute.

Er was mentioned first. He married Tamar, the daughter-in-law of Judah. That was the only intro I got before God decided he didn't like his face and smacked him right off the planet. Or maybe it was an anvil? The book doesn't say. Before, when God would personally kill people, the book would explain how. But apparently with individuals, nothing is forthcoming. Still... probably an anvil.

Tamar was now a widow without children. Judah asks Onan if he will have children with her. And then, once more, God decides he doesn't like Onan and another anvil comes down. Maybe two this time. Three? Either way, he was quite dead, and God was the culprit.

So what happened?

From what you can gather from the text, Tamar was an extremely beautiful woman. Onan wanted to keep her this way by executing a little maneuver at the near end of having sex with her. (He pulled out.) It is likely that Er did this first for the same reasons. Apparently these two don't understand the phrase, "Be fruitful and multiply," which were the ongoing orders direct from God at the time. This was a direct act against Him, and so God killed them.

The story gets a bit kinky from here on out. Tamar actually wants to get pregnant after all this, but she specifically wanted a child direct from the Judah line. She disguises herself as a prostitute and goads Judah to hire her services. I believe the payment was a goat. Seems about right, I guess.

He sleeps with her and she gets two children out of the deal: Perez and Zerath. She did get into trouble for prostitution and it was Judah who announced that she should be burned to death. She happens to slip him a few mementoes from the event, he realizes what really happened, and so removes her sentence. Talk about whoops.

But still, we all have to admit that the funniest part of this story was the fact that God just went and squished two fellows that he did not at all like. Few in history have ended up in that bucket. Just remember, when you are doing something that you know is evil, God has killed for such things before. And I still think it was an anvil. Maybe two. Three?

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Genesis [Book Review]

Here we have the very first book of the Holy Bible. I read the King James Version because I was having a lot of trouble finding a more modern version that I could vet as 100% trustworthy. I basically just defaulted back to the English translation that has been around the longest in the hopes that it would stand the test of time.

So, the book of Genesis serves mostly has a history lesson of the very first part of the beginning of time. It was supposed to have been written by Moses. In this case, the author skips over a lot of specific details of things and glosses over the fine details as a means to let you know how humans originally spread out across the world. I like to think of it as a written time-lapse. It details the progress from Adam to Joseph.

The author occasionally breaks away from the general history to tell more detailed stories at very specific epochal moments. The story of Adam and Eve was the first of these. Noah was another big one. But the story almost breaks away from history telling altogether with the advent of Abram, later known as Abraham. His lineage is given special attention, and it is the point at which Genesis becomes less of a history book and takes on more of a proper narrative.

As interesting as the Abraham and Isaac stories were, I really enjoyed the Joseph tale the most, and it seems that Moses did as well. It got the most detailed attention than anything else. The whole story of Joseph shows how God can manipulate a situation in order to make something very specific happen.

He allowed Joseph's brothers to be jealous of him, so that they would sell him into slavery. This led into a new chain of events that caused Joseph to become the second most powerful man in Egypt. Because Joseph had a gift for being able to interpret dreams, he was able to figure out that there was a horrible famine about to hit the country. Basically, because his brothers were jealous, the world was saved from a famine.

Notice how God did not just fix the situation instantly. He manipulated people so that things would work out in a much more interesting and narrative manner. Were his brothers really evil? Yes, they did a bad thing. They repented it it later. Heck, even Joseph wasn't all that mad at them, because he knew God had intended it that way. Their evil got used by God for the betterment of the land many years in the future. This is really quite extraordinary.

Naturally, I am not going to go over all the stories found within this very real and true fairy tale. But I do recommend it if you are willing to take it all within the context of it being a very simple and sometimes blandly written history book. If you are not interested in the lineage of the original humans, then it may come across as a bit dry.

But the real big thing that I really enjoyed about Genesis was how often God communicated with, manipulated, and acted harshly against humans within this story. The Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are two great examples of God pretty much just showing his might against evil humans.

But perhaps the most remarkable moment comes when Abraham got a visit by someone who seems to be a man but who is also God. Sorry, folks. God the Father is incapable of pushing himself into our world. He exists outside of our reality. But there is one aspect of himself that can exist with us. That would be his son, Jesus. Abraham met Jesus. Whether he met Jesus before or after the resurrection is unclear. There was no mentioning of nail holes in his hand, but if you understand how the Trinity works, Abraham met and broke bread with Jesus himself... and that is freaking amazing.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: God Was With Us

I thought I might just drop a little note here and let you all know that I have begun reading the Holy Bible from cover to cover for the first time in my life. I finally felt that I had achieved the necessary level of maturity to pour through it with a calm and curious mind. After all, the Bible is anything but children's literature. I will be posting reviews for each and every book in the ancient collection as I finish them. They are, after all, books.

As I have been traveling down the long road of Genesis, I did notice something quite fascinating. God seemed to have a line of perfect communication with people on Earth. He doesn't do that anymore. My interest is not in the fact that he actually did talk to us, but rather that there was quite a bit of evil despite this fact.

It goes a bit deeper then that. You see, many of the people who worshiped false gods seemed to act as if they knew of the monotheistic God's existence. They appeared only to act against Him as long as it suited there desires. If the presence of God became a burden to them, they would almost always acquiesce and temporarily bend to His will as a means to save themselves from the fully recognized greater power.

Why is this factoid important? It, in very basic terms, proves that proof and knowledge of God will not stop everyone from turning to evil. For this reason, I am fine that God chooses subtlety in this day and age. Those who seek Him will find Him, but having found Him, they still have to choose if they want to serve Him. There is no real point to God exposing Himself in form or in voice to us. We're still going to choose what we want, and there are many people on this planet that flatly do not want Him.

Before I end this blog, I want to give you a little food for thought. Sodom and Gomorrah is not the same as with Nineveh. If Jonah had been sent to Sodom and Gomorrah, telling them that God would have destroyed them for their sins, they would never have bothered with it. Some people would rather die than serve a God they despise. Those people made their decision. They went to the grave for it. The only regret they have can be found in that same grave and their eternal separation from the true joy found within God Himself. As for Nineveh, they tilted the wrong way, at first... and then tilted back. Sometimes people need to be told the truth to be set right. And with others... it just doesn't matter.

I'm looking forward to writing those reviews.

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

Monday, May 3, 2021

Fairy Tail Spotlight: Frankenstein [Book Review]

[Spoilers ahead for a classic piece of literature.]

Oh! What time has been wasted! I could have been doing something else! For what then could such time have been used, if I had not carelessly subjected myself to this misery? And by misery, you must understand that I was reading what many consider to be a classic book. But why should they do this, but only to give credence to what inspired later triumphs. But in this case, the inspiration falls terribly flat and ends with exactly what it sets out to portray... that being ample misery, of course.

The book is called "Frankenstein" or "The Modern Prometheus." It was written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818, later revised in 1831. Although my copy did not say which version I had, my research into the differences suggests that I came into possession of the original.

The story relates of one Victor Frankenstein who discovers the method of creating life. He does so, but in the attempt creates a monster. From what I read, I did not see Victor as doing anything other but attempting to push forward into the boundaries of human science. He had his heart in the right place. I never once faulted him for the attempt.

As it turns out the monster was very hideous to look upon. The monster shown in the original 1910 film is likely a decent representation of his ugliness but perhaps not his stature. I've included it in this blog as a reference. But back to the story: Frankenstein is utterly terrified of his creature's hideousness and he, for lack of a better term, flips the heck out.

Let me simplify this for you. This book is all about how the good intentions of Victor become his undoing. For a good 90% of this book, he is miserable and has absolutely no problems in telling the reader just how miserable he is. Every waking nightmare he has about that monster he created comes true. There are no surprises. His life becomes hell. He blames himself, but honestly I cannot help but blame only one person for the train wreck that is this book: Mary Shelley.

The problem with the author is that she has absolutely no clue what a man really is. Every male character in this book, including the monster himself, acts like a hysterical woman. Men constantly pass out. They get locked into seizures of fright and agony at the mere mention of anything negative. All the characters in this book are extremely impassioned, and it never lets up.

I cannot even begin to convey how often the author goes over and over about how miserable the characters are. Even when  nothing bad is happening, the idea that something bad could happen still lingers, nearly driving them mad. I felt like I was reading Hans Christian Andersen stories again, but at least they were not a novel in length. I had to endure this book for about three weeks.

Listen to me and understand what I say: The movies are better! In the book, there is no castle. There is no hydraulic lift. There was a storm, but it was only there to add to the depression! Frankenstein was never mad in the book. He was a soft-natured man who just wanted to be a boon to the world, and absolutely everything goes wrong and nobody wins!

If you want my advice--and I am happy to give it to you--go watch Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein." It is, in my humble opinion, the best version of the tale, despite leaning towards comedy. It takes virtually nothing from the book, and it is better for it.

Save thyself! I have been your guinea pig! I walked a hundred miles in Frankenstein's shoes! I have experienced the frantic and feverish thoughts of a hysterical mind trapped in a never ending nightmare that can only end with the sweet release that only death can bring! Don't walk the path that I have traveled for you! See the movies! Enjoy them! Let this classic fade away into the darkness, steeped in the viscous black melancholy where Victor and his Monster yet writhe!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: God Rested?

After creating the universe in six days, we all know that God apparently rested on the seventh. Now if God is an infinite being, why in the world would he need to do that? The whole idea of being an infinite being is that you are not plagued by the same entropy that we experience. So what gives?

Humans are constantly running low on energy. Whether it is a job or a hobby, we will soon run out of energy and need to build that energy back up. We do this in a number of ways. We eat. We take breaks. We sleep. But at the end of the day, all those things boil down to is one thing: rest. Humans need to rest. We need to rest because we live within a universe that is always sapping us out of our energies. Heck, even if we sit and do nothing all day, we'll still need that rest eventually.

But God is not here. He is outside our system of entropy. He is literally immortal and does not need to concern himself with the very concept of waning energies. If so, why in the world would he actually need to rest. I bet you think I have an answer already prepared, don't you?


The truth is that God did not actually need to rest. There was no need for it. His "rest" was merely to take a break and admire his creation. He just wanted to sit and look at it for a bit... and probably smile a little too. He is very much like the painter who spends day after day trying to get every detail correct, and when he finally finished, he just pulls up a chair, sits down, and just stares at what he has done.

God did not rest because he needed to rest. He rested because he wanted to. And amazingly what he did is entirely relatable. We can and should understand why he rested. What he did was more than just creating a standard day for us to go to church. He showed to us that we really are not all that different than he is. After all, we were made in his image. Next time you finish a project and you choose to just sit there, admiring it, understand that that was what God did when he created all of you. We are all human at the end of the day, only one of us happens to be immortal.

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: A Strange Spiritual Perspective on Columbo

I grew up watching a lot of detective shows. I enjoyed watching as the various and often flamboyant investigators would solve crimes and capture the perpetrators. Most of these programs would only show you so much of the criminal act so that the detective could figure out what actually happened over the episode. There was one exception to this though: Columbo.

Columbo did something a little different. They would first show the entire crime in full with absolutely all the context you would need to understand it. The titular Lieutenant Columbo often would not even show up until nearly half an hour into the show. We would them spend the rest of the feature length episode watching to see if he would be able to prove what we already know.

Columbo's flamboyancy came from the fact that he played the part of a doddering old gentleman who often seemed like he was not really made out to do this sort of work. It was a clever act he put on that was so convincing that it often fooled the audience itself. He did this so that the criminal would be lured into a false sense of security by, among other things, actually becoming surprisingly endearing to them. I'll get back to that in a bit.

But let's talk about the criminals of Columbo, for they are something I find perhaps the most fascinating of the entire show. As far as I know, they are all murderers, but there is something special about these particular individuals. There are three things that you must absolutely comprehend about the roster of villains in this series, and those three things are as follows:

1. They are supreme geniuses.

2. They are out right sociopaths.

3. The only man in the universe that can best them is Columbo. Period.

Number three is particularly interesting simply because, at the outset, it seems so unlikely. How can someone so big be bested by someone who seems so imperceptibly small. But therein lies some spiritual truths that must be understood.

The villains of Columbo have always come across to me as realistic demons. Not one of them ever seems like they are all that bothered by the murder they commit. They are usually calm and collected throughout. They have an uncanny understanding of the system they live in. They know how to play the game and convince others easily of their innocence. If something goes wrong, they adapt remarkably well. Anything and everything that could happen, they will be prepared for and they will get away with murder... if it were not for only one man.

Columbo is the unsuspecting demon hunter of the series. He would be a good example of what the real thing would be like. He slinks into their presence garnering only a little suspicion, and before they know it, they realize that they have been infiltrated. Yes, the demons are intelligent enough to know what Columbo is early on, but they have not quite realize the existent of his powers. And why would they? These creatures have never met anybody like him.

The fact that they have not met anything like Columbo before actually sparks their curiosity. They begin to want him closer for a while, if only to understand his strangeness. But this is always their mistake. Soon he has infiltrated their minds so heavily that they will soon want only to get rid of him, but by then it is too late. Columbo has learned the truth, and he will not stop until he has them dead to rights.

Because of my perceived spiritual perspective on this show, I have always considered Columbo to be the absolute king of the detective genre. There is not one episode that I did not find gloriously entertaining and powerful to watch. I'm not saying it is the only good detective show. Murder She Wrote is very good, and so is Monk. But I will never be able to shake the near flawless formula of Columbo. It reached a spiritual height that I may never see again in my lifetime. Bravo.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: What is Compassion?

I'll start this blog off with the Webster 1828 definition:


A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

Wow, that was some harsh stuff to read, yeah? I'm still bleeding a little after taking that rather excruciating definition into my head. Even so, it's not wrong. Compassion can often be spurred on by some very negative emotions. We see someone suffering and it causes an empathetic response where we momentarily feel their grief. These feelings cause us to act if there is compassion enough to prompt such an action.

If this definition is true, it is very difficult for us to feel good when acting with compassion. There is a general sense of dread that is shared with the one you are acting on behalf, and this dread often is felt personally as well. If you do not have this feeling then there may be other reasons why you are acting, and it may not be compassion at all. Some people act in this way simply to prop themselves up in the eyes of others. They are not really suffering all that much--just enough to create the necessary image.

Real compassion comes with a sort of dread of one's own sacrifice. We momentarily and sometimes permanently put our happiness away in the name of someone else. While not altogether a bad thing, it can have negative and often lone term consequences. For this reason, I recommend an attempt at self-awareness before engaging in compassion in a large way.

We cannot better help others if we sacrifice too much of ourselves to do it. Furthermore, it can ultimately be detrimental to the ones we are trying to help. Compassion should never be an impulse. It should be a strong and pure drive backed by reason. Jumping off of a cliff to save someone who is already falling will not benefit anyone. The one falling will only have the final moment knowing that someone else had to die too. The actual jump comes across as more of an act on principle with no real benefit but to follow one's own impulses to do it. In the end, everybody dies and the world is a poorer place for it.

Reason can help here. It can help you figure out when to act. Many people in this world is immature. They panic about frivolous things. The smallest negatives can seem like the greatest horrors, when in truth, they will most likely move past these trials with little to no lasting trauma. I've seen this countless times. In a country such as this, many people simply do not have any concept of what true suffering is. So for the compassionate person, it is important to differentiate between those with real suffering and those who are simply crybabies.

I am sorry to say but we are constantly surrounded by a torrent of silly people crying out for silly reasons. Reasons as simple as "Today is not like yesterday." Most of these problems are actually based on aspects of being an infant. Babies tend to freak out when things change or when they have to endure something new that they don't understand. More so, they think that things out of sight have permanently disappeared. Many adults unfortunately carry these sad aspects along with them in life, and it causes them no end of grief. They think they are in a lion's den, but the lion is just on TV.

If you are going to be a compassionate person, do so with maturity in mind. Don't let emotional impulses rule you. Let emotion be balanced by intellectual reason. It is the way we were meant to be. Once we obtain that maturity, we will be better suited to travel this strange and often terrifying journey called life.

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

Monday, April 19, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest [Video Game Review]

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is a game for the Super Nintendo by developer Square. It was released in North America in 1992. It is certainly not the worst Final Fantasy ever made, but it is far from the best. Nevertheless, I seem to have an urge to play this game about every 5 years. Maybe it's a sickness. I'm not sure.

The story of Mystic Quest is that an unassuming boy finds out that the crystals of the world have been stolen by monsters, and he has to go on an adventure, fight those monsters, and liberate the crystals to save the day. That's pretty much it! There's no real twists along the way, and you learn that entire story within the first 30 seconds of gameplay. The point of Mystic Quest is not to experience a great, ground-breaking story. Then what is the point? Well... strangely... it's to learn how to play Japanese RPGS.

I'm not joking.

Final Fantasy, Mystic Quest happened because the people at Square thought that Americans would not be capable of handling some of their newest Final Fantasy titles such as Final Fantasy 5 [an amazing game, by the way]. They built Mystic Quest from the ground up to be extremely simplified. There was never a point in the game where I did not felt like hand-holding was happening.

Enemies can be seen before you choose to fight them. Armor is auto-equipped, and you don't have any say on which armor you put on. It just picks whatever will make you the strongest. Your companions are almost always stronger than you, allowing you to level up more easily to be like them later on. Your HP is replaced with a friendly looking bar that drains, although you do have the option to see the numbers if you so dare. [I never did. I think the bar is pretty.]

If you die in battle, the game will ask you if you want to give up. If you say "no," the fight will start over as if nothing ever happened. It will let you try as many times as you want until you win. And it isn't that hard to win. It really isn't. Not really.

From concept to creation, Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest was made to introduce you to a very simplified JRPG world where all the basic elements exist, and all you have to do is walk the path they laid out for you. No need to explore. It will be obvious what to do.

But why have I played this thing so many times? Well, I do somehow find it just a little bit charming. For one thing, it has one heck of a great soundtrack. I mean... it's nothing by today's standards, but it still makes me smile. The characters you meet along the way are fun despite missing what is most likely a soul.

The way a lot of characters interact feels like they have performed every action in a play so many times over that they know how to do it fast. And so they push me around the board trying to get me on with my adventure so that I can beat my very first JRPG as quickly as possible. Everybody is in a rush! Full conversations last only a few seconds. "What do I need?" "You need to find the crystal of fire!" "Where is it?" "It's over there. You need this bomb! Here! Take it! Bye!" "Okay! I'm going!" BOOM!

I think, perhaps, I may find this rushy writing charming in a comedic way. I always giggle about how frantic and lifeless everyone is. It's like listening to a bunch of toys prattle at each other. There's a story there, and they perform it perfectly every time... but with the fast-forward button on.

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, otherwise known as Baby's First JRPG, is not a bad game. It isn't really a good game either. Do I recommend it? Nah. However, if you are interested in getting into JRPGs but don't understand how they work, this game does perform it's job well on that front. It is entirely designed to be an entry-level game. Just don't expect to get much out of the story... but maybe a few laughs and smiles. For me, I guess I find it relaxing. It's just something I can play every so many years to wind down. I guess that's what it is. It's relaxing. It's a game I play to relax. Sometimes we all need that, yeah?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Most Dangerous Game [Story Review]

[Spoilers for a famous classic short story.]

"The Most Dangerous Game" is a short story written by Richard Connell and published in 1924. Until about a year ago, I had never heard of this story, but I'm pretty sure I saw adaptations of it throughout my life. The basic concept has to do with the hunting of humans in place of animals. It's a terrifying concept and one that honestly appears to breach out of the realm of fantasy, placing it firmly as a serious possibility.

The movie that peaked my interest into this story was called "Bloodlust!". I happened upon it on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I really liked the concept. The movie actually follows the plot of "The Most Dangerous Game" very closely with the added horror of the hunter making taxidermy tableaus of his hunted victims. Not a bad addition, if you ask me.

The story exposes a taboo that most people rarely consider, and that is that humans are not to be treated like animals. We may joke and play around with the idea, but, as a whole, we are much more comfortable having the control that being a human being offers us. In "The Most Dangerous Game," that control is snatched away, and you are forced into the role of a beast clamoring for survival. It is clear that we were never intended to be placed in this position.

The villain of the story was a Cossack named Zaroff. He had a giant of a servant called Ivan who was deaf and mute. Ivan reminded me a lot of the Igor type of character found in a lot of Mad Scientist stories. Zaroff was your standard sociopath, but he was a man true to his word.

Everything that Zaroff was had to do with the hunt. He never lied about the hunt. At no point in the story does he ever cheat. Some may think that using his hounds to assist him might be considered cheating, but the use of hounds in a hunt was perfectly acceptable at the time, and even considered sporting. I think my only problem with the adaptation "Bloodlust!" was that the Zaroff character did end up cheating when he saw that he was on the verge of losing. I figure the writers may have opted for that to go out of their way to make the villain as villainous as possible.

After reading "The Most Dangerous Game," I feel like Zaroff was a man of his word, although it was never really fully tested. I suppose the jury may still be out, but that's just how I feel. I saw him as a man who was true to himself. Evil... but true.

This story has been adapted more times than I am willing to bother listing them out. The adaptation list has it's own separate Wikipedia page, and I am fairly certain they missed a few things that I happened to know about. There are a heck of a lot of ways to experience this story.

As I hinted at towards the beginning of this blog, this story feels real because it seems plausible. The idea of elitist people hunting down human beings that are below them can and might have already occurred in some way or another throughout human history. It's not that farfetched! Along with the taboo, I think the plausibility of the story is what makes it so horrific.

"The Most Dangerous Game" comes highly recommended by me. It is well deserving of its classic status. It's very easy to find if you want to read it. Enjoy!

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

Monday, April 12, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Purple Prince of Oz [Book Review]

[Contains spoilers for a book nobody reads anymore.]

"The Purple Prince of Oz" [published in 1932] is the 26th book in L. Frank Baum's Oz series and the 12th written by author Ruth Plumy Thompson. Although the book does have some fine points, which I will mention, it ultimately falls short of the mark due to some unfortunate habits from the author.

The story follows the adventures of Randy the Gillkin, Kabumbo the Elegant Elephant of Oz, and Jinniky the Red Jinn of Ev on an adventure to save the kingdom of Pumperdink from an evil fairy who wanted to rule it and... just basically be mean to everyone.

Great start, but what happens once these characters begin their journey is pretty much where the book goes extremely stale. Let me tell you about Ruth. She likes to toss her characters into these random situations as they travel around Oz. In the past few books, she kept much of this to a minimum, but this book went a bit too far.

Ruth will chose some random theme and the then make a little pocket-sized kingdom based entirely around that one idea. For example, in "The Purple Prince of Oz" the characters come across a place where all the inhabitants are living torpedoes. And when they talk, they are loud and explosive and hurt the ears of the characters having to listen to them. They are forced to stay there as prisoners, having to put up with the difficulties of being there until they can find a way out.

All the random encounters in Ruth's books happen in this way, and they are never fun for either me or the characters. They are not done in a "horror" sort of way. They tend to be silly but in a manner that come across as annoying, and the majority of this book is unfortunately like this.

The bad portions cover about 75% of the book and then proceed in a fairly acceptable manner, and the entire book really isn't bad. The characters were well represented. Randy, a small Gillkin boy, comes across as calm and brave while still having this quirky childlike aspect to him. Kubumpo the Elegant Elephant is a returning and charming character who has a personality intended to be larger than life [including his ego.] Jinniky the Red Jinn has been briefly mentioned before, but you really get to know him here. He reminds me much of the genie from Disney's Aladdin.

One pleasant surprise [as well as my favorite part] was the introduction of Ozwoz the Wozard. Wizardry is illegal in Oz unless approved by Ozma or Glinda. Ozwoz felt he had found a loophole by calling his magic wozardry, thus allowing him to practice magic. What makes him so amazing is that he is a sociopath who has no qualms about killing people.

He created giant, gun-wielding soldiers and tried to get them to murder the main characters. The Red Jinn had to quickly use his own magic to put up a shield right before the soldiers blasted away with their rifles. It was such a big attack that the large ammunition would have destroyed them utterly, which was the point.

When Ozwoz realized that he had failed to kill them, he became fascinated with his intended victims and quickly wanted to become friends with them. He took them to his place and treated them to food and hospitality. Although rattled by his murderous tendency, the characters soon learned to like him for how charming he was. Ozwoz was easily the most interesting character in the story, but he was only there for a couple of chapters and never mentioned again.

"The Purple Prince of Oz" is not a recommended read. Although its overarching story was decent and the characters were fun, the amount of fluff in this particular book is just inexcusable. I'll be hoping for better in the next one.

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

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Road to Self-Awareness

What is meant by the term "self-awareness?" It seems rather self explanatory, doesn't it? To be aware of oneself. You know who you are. You are aware of what you are. It is perhaps a bit more than this though,

To be self-aware, you have to not only know of your strengths and weaknesses, but you must also acknowledge both. This applies especially to one's weaknesses. One cannot deal with his own weaknesses if he refuses to look at them. This is the particular part of self-awareness that most people struggle the most with. They do not like to see their own flaws.

One mistake commonly made is, when one finds out about their flaws, they will go out of their way to destroy them. They will stomp on their failings utterly. This tactic misses the point of self-awareness and can often lead to the production of new failings in the process. It must here be understood that the journey towards self-awareness comes with the understanding of why you are like you are.

Immaturity, and even prolonged immaturity, happens for a reason. Over time, some of those aspects can linger and become a part of who you are. You are not supposed to just wipe it out. You're only supposed to keep these negative aspects under control. People are made up of a lot of choices, interactions, and time. We're incredible amalgamations that are wonderfully complex. You have to accept everything about yourself without destroying it in the process, unless you want to lose touch with yourself all over again.

As an example, the more I look and listen to myself, I keep finding mistakes I have made in the past that have made me worse off then I was before. I struggle to keep those impulses under control and hammer in better habits and practices without ever dismissing either the positives or negatives that I have discovered. Self-awareness is, at its heart, a difficult balancing act.

The ultimate goal is so that the thoughts that you have are rife with sincerity. If you know yourself, then your own mind cannot work against you. People battle their minds for all of their lives. Most end up losing to it. There is a false notion that we shall always be the slaves of perception. But let me give you a bit of hope: If you can become only slightly self-aware, you will already see the world in a drastically different way. It starts with you though.

The conquering of one's self internally opens one up to the external. Your relationship to God and the universe shall be more clear. You'll be able to deal with things in a more sincere way and making decisions will be less trouble. The road is long and fraught with pitfalls, setbacks, and failures. It also never truly ends, but the rewards come often along the way. Because of this, I regret nothing.

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

Monday, April 5, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Was the Free Will of the Apostles Violated by God?

Humans are crazy, little, superstitious idiots when it comes down to it. We are ready to put the next supernatural god in charge if only they can prove that they are the real thing. And even so we may end up hating him, but at least we know he is real. Angels could come and show us great power, and we would try and worship them, even if that was not the angel's intention. We are silly creatures after all.

If God would give you ultimate proof of his existence, most of us would believe. Many of us would be jaded though. At the end of the day, we never really had a choice. We never really could choose one thing over another. The power of God is just so massive and great, who could dare stand up against it? But the thing is... God has not really bothered to do that. At least, He did not go so far as to make it blatantly obvious.

God chose the subtler solution. He left all the clues of his existence and expects us each individually to act as investigators. If we dig around enough, we may find God. If we don't bother to... we won't.

But then there was Jesus. He was a man, yet also God in a very real sense. He performed terrific miracles which were witnessed by 12 apostles who had no choice but to be smacked in the face by the very real fact that they were in the presence of their Lord. And here the question must be asked: Did God violate their free will? And once this is asked, you may wonder: What does free will have to do with any of this?

Free will was dealt with in the first part of this blog. Because how sticky human curiosity is, if you just give humans the proof, they have no choice but to accept it. They are given no chance to love it however. It's like being injected with the God drug. There was no choice in the matter. Free will was overridden. This is why God always seems just subtle enough to require actual effort on your part to figure out.

The apostles were not provided such subtlety. They saw Jesus for who and what he was. They could not deny it. Their free will was overridden and, frankly, it ruined their lives. Once presented with the complete truth, they spent the rest of their lives doing absolutely everything counter-culture, or rather in respect to God, so that the world basically flipped out and turned against these weirdos. When you come to realize that there is a true point to human existence, one tends to stand up to the slings and arrows of life and head to that ultimate goal... the house of God.

But knowing there is a God does not mean you'll accept it, but it will bring your ultimate choices to bare. In the case of Judas, he saw his relationship to God as a chance for power. The worst in him was brought entirely out into the open where he acted. He acted with all of his heart as he saw God and hated him. Judas would have been a fan of one of the Fallen Angels who claimed similar providence. The one true God was not the one he was looking for, and in his hatred, he acted against Him and shortly realized that his own existence had become absolutely pointless, and so he acted once more, ending his life. In the end, I don't think he really had much of a choice. The advent of God merely made him out to be who he always was. It might have been better if he had never been born at all.

But to the other apostles, they lost their free will. And here we might ask one more question: Is that a bad thing? No. It isn't. Number 1: God has license to do what he did. And 2: Most other people never really bothered to take notice. Even at the time, people just thought the remaining apostles were nuts. They went out of their way to destroy their lives because there really was no choice. They knew God was real. They knew Heaven was on the other side. They acted entirely on the truth and not by faith. No longer normal human men, but future citizens of Heaven.

But when God took away the free will of these few men, it served as only a subtle hint for the following generations of humanity. It was clearly enough to go on, but nobody was there. Nobody could see it. They had to research it and find out about the truth. People had to bother to find out about this amazing thing that happened. You have to bother.

Human beings were granted free will so that we could investigate these things and figure it all out for ourselves. You have to look before you find anything. If someone just tells you that God is real; that means nothing. Seek and you shall find. Do not seek, and you will find nothing, but you will also have no one else to blame but yourself.

The answers to God, the universe, and everything are out there. Get off your butt and look into it. You aren't an apostle; God's not going to just give it to you like he did them. And honestly, when you think about it, we're all better off that way.

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

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Cream [Short Film Review]

Anyone know a man by the name of David Firth? You may know him by his dark comedy series called Salad Fingers. But I am not here to talk about that. I recently viewed his 2016 film "Cream."

It's about 12 minutes long. I'll place a link to it below so you can watch it. I recommend you see it before you read further:

The first half of this film feels more like a comedy. The utterly freakish way that the humans are animated and the silly wit of the writing leads one to believe that this is just a throw-away visually shocking film. I almost stopped watching part way through it. But by the end of the film, you'll be well-aware of the point. And I guess there's the rub: there is a point.

The film is a strange-looking allegory about a very real thing. The titular Cream represents all the potential of human beings. It's actually a very optimistic viewpoint. David Firth, who is more known for writing dark topic animations, actually placed a lot of optimism in the hands of a good portion of human beings. But the darkness was still there, and it was the worst thing imaginable.

The film shows a minority of humans who did not like the idea of humans advancing infinitely forward. They go out of their way to ruin it for everyone so that they could retain the paltry power that they have. This... actually... happens. The movie is just being honest about something that does really happen in the world.

I am sure that can be a very frustrating pill to swallow for an artist. Can you imagine being a creator that is forced to conform to a society that he never signed up for? I can't speak for David Firth personally. I'm unaware of his beliefs spiritually or politically, but that does not make this animation any less relevant. Regardless of his intentions, he made a work that is true.

Not every human being cares to create. Some like being in a rut, even if it makes them miserable. But those who want to go out and be somebody shouldn't be forced to dance the dance of the lukewarm. We creators need room to breath. If given enough room, there is no limit to how far we can go. At the end of the day, we need the Cream from that short film. It's the freedom to grow and prosper, which is what we were meant to be doing for all of our existence.

"Cream" by David Firth. Highly recommended.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Frank Martin and the Fairies [Story Review]

I recently came across an Irish folk tale called "Frank Martin and the Fairies," written by William Carleton. It's a bit too lengthy to post in its entirety, and I won't really be spoiling any of the main plot points. I do want to talk about Frank though.

Frank Martin is a man who lived with fairies. He had the ability to see and hear them. He could touch them and talked to them. He communicated with them, and they could talk back. Despite this report, they would still do fairy things in fairy ways. They would play their own music and go about their business. Apparently they would all sleep in bed with him as well.

Frank was apparently impervious to their mischievousness because he was baptized as a child in a particular way that was adverse to the influence of fairies. His parents specifically asked for this sort of baptism. It may have been because they had had fairy problems themselves and could do nothing about it.

My main concern with the presentation of Frank Martin was that he was the type of person who would talk and talk and never shut up. If you would go into a conversation, he would dominate it and never hush for long periods on end. And the topic he liked talking about the most were of the fairies he lived with. This out-rightly came across as a mental disorder.

I am not insinuating that he was making the fairy stuff up due to this disorder. I am saying that his prolonged exposure to the fairies is what caused the disorder. I could plainly see that he had been engulfed by their influence to a point where it was likely all he thought about. He still held a job though, it seemed. He was a weaver by trade. Imagine, though, trying to work your craft while little people are running all around. Just try and imagine what that would be like.

I am convinced that the baptism worked; however, the mere exposure to these creatures would have still messed with his mind. As I read the story, I felt real sorry for him.

The thing I see in a lot of these Irish fairy tales is a lot of people trying to live their lives while dealing with the ever-present influence of fairy creatures. They accept that they are real, sure. But they can't just live their lives without having to put up with it. I wonder how many Frank Martins have existed in history. I wonder how many exist today.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Fairies

I found a rather upsetting poem by one William Allingham. It comes to us from a collection of Irish fairy stories. It rather sadly shows what sometimes happens to a culture that allows fairies to co-exist with them. I'll simply be letting you read through it. I think it speaks well for itself. However, I will say a few things first.

Many in Ireland believe their fairies to be fallen angels. I do too, although I also believe that their spawn are what we know as demons. These angels are every bit as powerful as they were when they were created by God, and they are a bit too much for a human to handle. The problem here is that they out rightly presented themselves to us and often for some very serious and self-serving reasons.

I already knew this had happened in the past. I knew about some demons from Japanese lore that were known to do this. It's horrible. Most people just don't want to deal with it, and I don't blame them. The incident explained in this poem is something we see in fairy tales across the world, and if we are to be wise, we should take it seriously.

I now present to you... "The Fairies" by William Allingham.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
He’s nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with the music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of fig-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

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Monday, March 22, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Alien: Isolation [Video Game Review]

I am personally a fan of the Alien movie series along with its many sequels and spinoffs. Although I somewhat ignore the Predator series. I don't have anything against them. My love of the Alien universe extends mainly through the main series of films which includes Prometheus and aspects of the Blade Runner series. I love them for their prominent portrayal of the human condition, showing both where we shine and where we ultimately fall short. I also like them for their dive into secondary and tertiary creation tiers which happens in the following way: God > Engineers > Humans > Androids.

In 2014, developer Creative Assembly and publisher Sega gave us another chapter of the Alien series in the form of Alien: Isolation. It followed the path of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, in her mission to find out what happened to her mother. During the 15+ hour campaign, I was subjected to not only an authentic Alien experience, but also one of the most polished games I have ever played in all of my life.

Love is something that can be either good or bad. It's basically a passion one has for a particular thing, or, in this case, a property. The developers of this game had a real and sincere love for the Alien franchise, especially for the first movie. They put absolutely everything they possibly could into making this the defining interactive Alien experience that outmatched every previous attempt made. And there have been some bold attempts made in the past. Despite its reasonable criticism, Alien: Colonial Marines was a fine game that did its best to capture the feel of the second movie (Aliens), and I enjoyed playing it. But it pales in comparison to the glory that is Alien: Isolation. The latter had what the former lacked, true love.

Every aspect of this game went out of their way to copy the style of a movie made in 1979. No effort was spared. Nothing was updated. You honestly feel like you are stuck in the world of the original Alien and constantly on the run from the Xenomorph itself. The developers used a lot of very interesting tactics to make the experience extremely nerve-wracking.

Firstly, there are a lot of actions in the game that takes time. Even saving your game takes about 5 seconds. During these 5 seconds, you can be killed, which rids you of the save. Secondly, various tasks you have to perform on the station puts you into an "animation lock" as some people call it. This means, when you choose to begin working at a station, you get locked into it for a time. During this time, as with the save stations, you can be attacked. Lastly, your best defense against the alien is your flamethrower. Aside from having very little fuel for it, the pilot light takes about 5 seconds to reignite after a reload. During this time, you can be attacked. Also... about these attacks: it's instant death.

Throughout the game you are constantly managing your ammo and resources. A lot of the time it is just better to hide, but towards the end of the game it makes it a bit easier to fight the things off. The game's intensity is well balanced, giving you lulls where you can breath. These are very important. Without them, the player might just give up.

The aliens were not the only problem. You also have to deal with killer androids throughout the game, and sometimes they are paired with the aliens. Although the androids cannot instantly kill you, they themselves are very hard to kill, and shooting them will alert the alien most times.

There is also the problem of other humans. Most of these humans are just scared. They are only trying to kill you because they don't understand what you're trying to do. The game will let you defend yourself, but if you kill an unarmed civilian, the game will end.

The last thing I want to mention is the alien itself. The loving programmers of this game provided it with a special AI that makes it so that the alien has to earn its kill. It is blind as to where the player is and has to use its senses to find you. It is also very intelligent and will change its tactics when it becomes aware of a common tactic used by the player. It will even become less frightened of the flamethrower if you overuse it, but it won't bum rush you if you hold that pilot light at it. Little details like this make it feel like you are actually going up against an intelligent being. It honestly feels like it's thinking, and you have to stay one step ahead of it for the entire experience.

Alien: Isolation is wonderful. It is one of the best games ever made. It is one of the very best experiences ever made as well. Imagine a world where every game was made with this sort of love. It almost seems surreal to think of what would happen if suddenly every creative entity out there was 100% a love affair between its creators and the final product. This game is a must play. I extend to it my highest recommendation. Play it.

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Finding Things Out for Yourself

I suppose everyone is looking for someone to tell them what the truth is. This often devolves into just believing the person who you agree with the most. However, when you do this, you are merely letting that person, of whom you have chosen, think for you. By your choice, they have chosen what you believe for you. I don't recommend doing this ever.

Unless you have a massive disorder that prevents you from thinking and learning on your own, you should have the mental capacity to make a surprising amount of discoveries on your own. It does take effort, but you will not regret the work you put into it.

This is not to say that listening to other people and what they have to say is wrong. You should listen to others. In fact, you should go a bit deeper. You should listen to them and try to understand where they are coming from. Try and figure out why they say the things they say. People are not just word and sentence factories. They speak from a point of view based on their own choices and experiences. (Mostly choices.)

The point here is that, at the end of the day, your choices are your own, and choosing simply to believe someone you like is foolhardy. The choice has to be made entirely by you for your own reasons that came from you and only you. Listening to others merely spark ideals and create bits of knowledge which you can use... but you should not own them in the same way as the people you were listening to. Even my own advice in this blog is not to be out rightly believed. You merely need to just hear what I have to say and go on your own personal journey to see if I am right. (Yes, this is a conundrum, but there is no way around it.)

I do meet a lot of "Yes, I agree with you!" from others, especially my friends. Certainly from the people who regularly reply to my blogs, who like my blogs, have been agreeing with me. I still extend to them the responsibility of making sure that their thoughts are their own. Now... don't be paranoid about it. People do line up from time to time. And if you consider me a good source of information and advice, then fine. But just make sure that you are agreeing with me for more than just the fact that you like me or my blog.

The thing is that I do this personally. I do have a personal belief that a lot of fairy tales are based on ancient accounts of humans coming into contact with real fairies. The stories may either be a direct re-telling of the events or merely inspired by them in general. Either way, I believe that fairies were and are real and are likely encounters with what we know as Angels (fallen or otherwise) and demons. That is what I believe, but that doesn't mean you have to. But whatever you decide on, let it be based on your own personal research and not just because you either liked or disliked what I say here.

I have spent years of research and moments of deep thought trying to put a lot of things together before I started publishing my findings. I work most of my beliefs into my works of fiction. My Christian beliefs are published in "Our Divine Comedy" and "Our Divine Spinoff." Those works of literature are all mine. They are not based on anything anyone has told me. I vetted everything anyone ever suggested to me. So even if what I published is wrong [And they could be!] absolutely everything came from my own independent thought. They are mine, and I own license to every word I deliver to you.

In any case, I do hope you have been enjoying my blogs. I intend to continue writing them as well as my books. They come out a lot slower now, as I have a number of other projects I have been working on, but there are more still to come. Thank you all for reading my stuff. And remember, be wholly yourself in all things! You are the way you are for a reason. Never take that lightly!

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

Monday, March 15, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Absolute Temptation of Jesus Christ

I've talked about Jesus' temptation in the wilderness before, but I want to be a bit more clear about it. People don't seem to understand its ultimate relevance. The way most people perceive the Temptation comes across as more of a "Jesus Lite." Jesus is more than just a wishy washy person in our history. He is God, and the triumph he made in the wilderness is not only a singular victory, it is the very cornerstone of spiritual reality itself. If Jesus had not passed that test, nothing would have mattered, including the Crucifixion.

In order for someone to be tempted, they have to want the thing they are being tempted with. A person tempted with chocolate who does not like chocolate will easily pass the test.... but then he was never really tempted with anything. Many people I know, including family, believe that Jesus was incapable of wanting anything offered by the demons in the wilderness. If that is true, then he did NOTHING. All he did was go out into the wilderness and, like a robot, simply say no to everything offered. This alternate version of events makes Jesus out to be more of an automaton who can only do what God programmed him to do. This would not have been a victory for anybody.

These demons were offering Jesus a bounty of worldly things. Power. Money. Sex. As for the latter, the kinks and fetishes offered would have been extraordinary. I won't go into the specific details, but I'll simply hint that no perversion would have been off the table. The reason for the extreme nature of these temptations was because it was important that Jesus be tempted, not lightly, but absolutely. Every worldly vice would have been offered to him... and Jesus would have to desire those things in order for the temptation to be real. His ability to deny himself these sinful things that his human nature wanted so dearly would become his own personal and absolute triumph. Every sinful thing, big and small, he denied himself, and he did so of his own free will and despite a sincere yearning to indulge.

If Jesus had merely been a mindless automaton that could not be tempted by anything, then his choice to carry that cross and be crucified would have also been simply an act of mere programming and not based on a personal choice. The fact that Jesus chose to do these things through a sheer act of inner strength is paramount to my argument. Jesus did not just desire to sin a little... he wanted every type of sin, and he was tempted with that very thing... and he denied himself all of it for us. And his very act of denying himself those worldly things became the very standard by which we are expected to live... and will ultimately fail at... by varying degrees.

Jesus lived a completely sinless life... and then he chose to die for all us selfish ungrateful people who often don't accomplish 1% of what he did in his short life. We are constantly bombarded with the sinful things of this world, and we fall for those things over and over and over. And worst of all... we have the same choice he did. We could have all been like him... if we chose to be. But we never do. We never will. The only vestige of hope we have left is to look to the one man who passed every test with flying colors. We join him at the throne and stand with him. We do this because the Man deserves it. No one else does.

The temptation of Jesus Christ was absolute. Every sin imaginable was laid at his feet... and in the same way he chose to deny himself those sins... he also chose to give up his life. Wake up... and look to this Man... and know exactly who he is and what he has done. Amen.

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Do You Know Who God Is?

I'm going to go ahead and answer the question asked in the title of this blog: "No, you probably don't." Most people don't. Most people have never been properly told who he is or what he is like. They speak of this great being that can neither be reached, seen, or understood. They will tell you what he means and how we should behave when dealing with him, but aside from those things, they tell us nothing of this mysterious spook who apparently created the world.

God is real, but unless you actually bother to understand him, I really recommend you just stop. Seriously, don't even pray or anything. Most of the Christians of this world know the spiel about God the Father who gave his only Son to die for our sins. But just saying that sounds so vacant of anything meaningful.

Who even was God the Father? Do you even know? Have you bothered to seek him out outside of the do's and don'ts handed down by the local church? People today are so trapped by routines and dogma that they can't properly even understand who these two beings really were and are to this day.

Everybody who is bothering to be a Christian has to actually bother. They have to do more than to make the sign of the cross and say shockingly similar prays over and over again just to maintain what they believe is a faith. If Jesus is the Way, then you need to find out what that way is and why it was Him who became that Standard. Actually bother. Being a Christian is more than just joining a club, it's actually incorporating yourself into a real part of history. Not only history but the very fabric of creation itself.

Somewhere out there there is a real person with real feelings to whom we call God. He handed down a real person with real feelings in the form we call Jesus. Jesus was baptized by a third entity who was a real person with real feelings called the Holy Spirit. All this happened and is still happening. If all you can do is just play these little games, pray, go to church, and signal to one another that you are good, little Christians, then you know nothing. You never knew anything. You never bothered to know anything.

The answers are out there. They are clear for those who bother to look for them. If they had not been clear, Christianity would have died a long time ago. All these people are real, and you should seek them out. If you don't have enough gumption to bother, then I highly recommend you stop claiming to be a Christian. Christ died for you. If you can't even take five minutes to find out who He and his Father was and are, then you're just going in for the free ride to Heaven. News Flash: you aren't welcome there!

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

Monday, March 8, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Pirates in Oz [Book Review]

[Contains spoilers for a book nobody reads anymore.]

Book twenty-five! "Pirates in Oz" is the twenty-fifth book in the Oz series started by L. Frank Baum. It was written by Ruth Plumly Thompson, published in 1931, and I just finished reading it. Was it good? Weeeeell... It was okay.

"Pirates in Oz" is a mixed bag. It starts off showing where the Gnome King has been for the last few books. He had been turned into a mute by re-occurring Oz visitor, Peter of Philadelphia. I was happy to see him come back. He has always been a very entertaining villain. In very real terms, the Gnome King has always been the arch villain in the series. I may write a blog about him at a later time, but just know that I like him a lot.

Speaking of Peter, he returns in this one making this like the third Oz book in a row that seems to be intended for a male audience. Ruth always brought him in when the story seemed to be going in more of a masculine trend. In this case... pirates.

The pirate of the hour is none other than Samuel Salt. He's a sort of nerdy fellow that tries really hard to act the part of a pirate captain. In truth, he is sort of a silly fellow who likes collecting various types of specimens such as different sorts of shells. The only reason Sam Salt was a pirate captain was because he was a really good navigator. His crew were the real deal and placed him in that position, although they betray him later.

Sam easily gets the MVP award for the book for seriously being fun and entertaining. He would constantly practice being a big, bad pirate, but a lot of his attempts to be boisterous, rude, and crude would come across a bit flat. It was, however, discovered that the best way to get his violent side to come out was to drop a book on his head when he least expected it. At this point, Sam Salt would unload a slew of censored swear words that startled everyone that was near him. It really brought out the pirate in him. I always enjoyed how he would say, "Shiver my liver!" when he was confronted by something he didn't expect.

There was also King Ato and his pet bird Roger who was a "Read Bird." It is what it sounds like. Roger likes to read books. He was a very charming character! He came across as a very friendly sort of cartoon bird that was a good sidekick to this odd king who ends up the ship's cook. There isn't much to say for Ato other than he is a king who was abandoned by his people.

Despite the fact that the Gnome King is busily trying to conquer Oz again, the book barely talks about it. In fact, for much of the story, there doesn't seem to be much of a plot. It's just Captain Salt, Peter, King Ato, and Roger out at sea, trying to be pirates. It's more of a directionless journey for the fun of it. Only at the very end of the book do the character discover what the Gnome King is doing and put a stop to it.

Baum did a similar format for story called "Road to Oz." That one also just felt like meandering. Both books, for the most part, just feels like slice of life in motion. I liked it, but if I had to pick one between the two, I'd say that "Road to Oz" is superior.

Another thing you might find interesting about "Pirates in Oz" is that is almost entirely takes place outside of Oz. The Oz universe extends far outside of Oz proper. It makes sense. There are no large bodies of water within Oz, but there is the Nonestic Ocean which is ripe for sailing. Despite not being in Oz, the Nonestic Ocean is still within "Fairyland." It is still possible to have strange and wonderful encounters while sailing through these waters.

I recommend "Pirates in Oz" but only if you don't mind the way the story meanders about somewhat randomly. I love the characters, and Samuel Salt is the best. Another decent Oz book from Ruth Plumly Thompson.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Squirm [Movie Review]

[Some spoilers included. It's mostly opinions though.]

Squirm is a movie released in 1976. The genre here is something I have seen done many times, but not always well: swarm horror. The idea of a swarm horror is you take something that is small and normally not a problem and then have them swarm the characters of the film with such great numbers that it makes them more dangerous than they normally would be. In this case the swarm is... worms.

The problem with a lot of swarm films is that the swarm itself tends to be rather soulless and uninteresting. Say, if a small town is being terrorized by a big, angry bear, there tends to be a bit more impact behind the singular creature, even if it is just an animal. But swarms tend to be less compelling and mindless.

That problem doesn't necessarily mean that the swarm movie is going to be trash. Where a swarm lacks impact, the human characters are fully capable of picking up the slack. This was the case with Squirm. It was the humanity of the film that held my interest. and in some cases, a stark lack of humanity became the true horror of the film.

The film takes place in Fly Creek, Georgia, a fictional town that is about as rural as you can imagine. Everyone here is simple and mind their own business. The protagonist, Mick, is from the polar opposite of this place, New York City. He also comes across as the most "alive," if that makes sense.

Everyone in this town already feels dead... on the inside. They are just going from day to day, not really trying to be anything more than what they are. So when there ends up being a worm swarm crawling up from the ground beneath their feet, nobody seems to have the ability to accept or even acknowledge it. Mick seems to be the only person able to "see" what's happening and acts as a sort of lifeline to all these zombie-like people.

And the latter point is really where the horror of this movie happens. As weird as the worm situation is, there is something wrong with the inhabitants of Fly Creek! I'm not even sure if the makers of the film had that in mind. I was more interested in the people than I was in the worm swarm.

Even the sheriff was trapped within his own mind. He could not see what was happening right in front of him. He was more worried that Mick was causing trouble because of how he was acting. It was entirely reactionary. He wasn't even using any of his intelligence.

If you decide to watch Squirm, pay very close attention to the people in this film. They are what make the movie work. The swarm of worms are only made interesting by their interactions with the main character set. It was a fascinating movie about the pitiful mental condition of many humans, and I do recommend it for the horror that that portrays.

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Monday, March 1, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Doom Zero [Video Game Review]

You all remember I'm a Doom fan right? I recently got to play a brand new canon classic Doom episode called Doom Zero. It was released in 2019 and entirely the work of a fellow named Christopher Golden. The reason I mention that is because most classic Doom maps are made by a collective of people. These levels were only made by one person, so he can sign his name off on the entire episode and call it a day.

Doom Zero is intended to be the new third episode of Final Doom, released back in 1996. It is also considered a prequel to the new 2016 incarnation of Doom. This game works perfectly on the old engine and can even run on DOS. I personally played it using GZ-Doom, and it ran perfectly.

I had a blast. This was some of the best level design I have ever seen come out of a game this old. The tricks and traps of this game were sneaky and enjoyable all over. I think that, if I had to make a complaint, some of the maps were a bit too big and too confusing to work out. I still did it, but I had to spend a lot of time running around in areas that had no enemies (because I killed them already) trying to figure out where to go next. This didn't happen that much though.

Doom Zero also introduces a new enemy called the "Alpha Soul." They float around like the Lost Souls, however they employ more of a rapid fire attack using the big plasma balls that the Cacodemons use. They are pretty weak, but in large swarms, they can create a "bullet hell" situation. I loved them, and I wish they had been around longer.

Apparently the Alpha Souls were the original versions of the Lost Souls before they evolved into the final product. The two are different enough to make them distinct. One dashes at you, and the other has a nasty projectile attack. I think they work well together.

The way the episode ends is clever. The fact that it leads into more of a modern game was a brilliant idea. It's like going from a pixilated game into a beautiful one. Nice touch. I almost want to play the final level and then top it off with the first level of Doom 2016.

But I think the best thing I can take away from this is that I just played a canonized episode made for a nearly 30-year-old game. That is brilliant! I know of no other game that has kept its support for so long. I love how Doom has continued to survive throughout the ages. Even newcomers have joined in on the fun. Doom just won't die, and I hope it lives forever!

Doom Zero is worth your time. It is one of the highest recommendations you will ever get from me. There's no excuse not to play it. It's free. It will run on anybody's computer. (Heck, it will run on a computer from the 90's!) Load this one up and prepare to have a blast!

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