Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: The Enchanted Forest

Throughout my journey into my vast collection of fairy tales, I often come across different types of forests. I am a bit fascinated by them. In many ways, they hold the same mystique as going into a building. I suppose it's the canopy that give it this feel. Yes, you can occasionally see the sky, but unless you are some sort of bird, you aren't escaping it. Similarly, you can look out of a window from within a building, but that doesn't mean it will open for you.

Forests are one of the ways people end up getting trapped in fairy tales. Many types of beasts and creatures can live there. Despite seeming very open, a person can very easily get lost, walking in complete circles while thinking they are going in a straight line. It's a wonderful trap.

Another interesting thing about forests is that they are forever primitive in nature. There is no way to modernize a forest. The moment people move into them, they cease to really be a forest at all. No, a forest is merely a collection of trees and grass overgrowing but for what pathways people have stomped into them over time, and if such a forest be afflicted by fairy magic, one may have a little bit of trouble escaping. Because the forest cannot be modernized, they exist as they have since the days fairies inhabited them in old stories and could likely still inhabit them now.

In classic fairy tales, the forest has always been a good staging ground for encounters. Since most fairies tend to be uncivilized by nature, they tend to prefer such areas the most. Little Red Riding Hood first meets the wolf in a forested area. Although it seemed like a friendly meeting, there was a sinister work in progress. The famed Rumpelstiltskin was a forest dweller as well.

I've seen many cases of an enchanted forest that simply sends people in circles so that they never find a way out. In some cases the trees will actually stand up and walk around, rearranging themselves to throw off the traveler. In the Disney movie Babes in Toyland, the trees out rightly would prevent the travelers from leaving through threat of violence. In the case of that movie, the characters knew what they were getting into, as the forest was plainly known as "The Forest of No Return." Quite a good movie, by the way! I'll review it sometime.

If you were to meet a talking animal near your home, you might ask it where it came from. There is a very high chance that it will lead you into the forest first, and from there it will take you either to its home or somewhere entirely out of this world. I've fantasized about this a little bit. Back when I was working on my book "A Wolf in my Bedroom," I had an original version where the wolf had a portal to his own world hidden within a nearby forest. I went in a different direction, but the idea is still very strong in my mind. I expect to do something with it at some point.

Next time you are walking about in the woods, think about it within the context of older, more fantastic, times. Consider that there might still be things out there somewhere. You may not be as alone as you think. By its very nature, the forest is a very large and living thing. It's brimming with life. Sometimes I wonder just what sorts of mysterious things might still be in there. Ancient... impossible things.

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, June 7, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Supraland [Video Game Review]

I'm a bit mixed on Supraland. I admire it for many of the things it accomplished. Yet there are problems with it that I could never shake. Even so, I choose to review it so that I can get my feelings out.

Supraland is a video game released in 2018. It is a first person game that combines elements of Zelda, Portal, and Metroidvania type gameplay. The basic idea of it is that you are a little toy figure, placed down into an elaborate sandbox by a human child. Here, all the other toy figures have life and go about their daily tasks with little to no awareness that they are living in a child's sandbox.

There are two colors of toy figures: blue and red. They have their own kingdoms and, for the most part, don't like each other very much. The moving force of the plot is that the Blue Kingdom turns off the Red Kingdom's water, and so you, being the prince of the Red King, have to travel over there and find out why they are doing it.

Getting there isn't so simple. The entire world is laid out like a puzzle. Just to get inside of the Blue Kingdom's walls you have to just about travel the entire sandbox world just to get what you need to break inside. Along the way, enemies spawn in at these points where crosses are posted like gravesites. Fighting is extremely frequent and often difficult and punishing if you are not very swift on your feet.

I was able to finish the game in about 30 hours. It was long and punishing. The ending was a bit confusing and seemed to have very strange religious undertones that I had difficulty understanding. My main problem with the game is that I can't figure out if they are making fun of Christianity or not. It doesn't come up very much, but when it does I always got uncomfortable. Even so, there are very interesting religious aspects to the game of which I did like.

Every so often, you can spot the human child standing high above the sandbox, gazing down at you with an eerie domineering look. He isn't always there. There are just random moments I just looked up and saw him there. None of the other figures seems to be aware of him, although a religion did form around the idea of him. Those who were believers are shown to have halos above there heads.

The whole idea that this strange boy was able to give these toys life is utterly fascinating to me. But there is also a creep factor in that he is not really acting much like a child. It had to do with the way he just stares at you, acting more like an adult. That effect is probably the thing that drew me so hard to this game.

The thing that made me most uncomfortable was the character of Mr. Miracle which was sort of a take on Jesus. He looked like a toy but had a really odd looking face which seemed a bit more human that the others... but it was twisted and hideous.

If you are a fan of innovative fighting, puzzling, and platformer games, then I recommend Supraland for it's genuinely fun and challenging gameplay. It will take a lot of skill and mental abilities to push through it though. If you don't want a challenge, then skip by it. For me, it was really that human boy that did it for me. All the connotations surrounding that was what make this game wonderful. Still, you gotta wonder what they were thinking.

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, June 2, 2021

Fairy Tale Spotlight: Is God Primitive?

Whenever most people think of God, they usually think of him in context of the Bible. What is the state of things in the Bible? Well, for the most part, it seems like everyone is living in a primitive society. No cars. No airplanes. No electricity. Everyone is living off of the land. They all have cattle. Leprosy is a thing. Sand. There was a lot of sand. Sand everywhere.

The point is that most of the bible is incredibly primitive by dint of being set in a primitive time, and it is the basis of today's Christianity. Not to mention that most every time I hear people quote God or the Bible they obsessively add old English "thy's" and "thou's" to their language, even if they aren't directly quoting anything. It's gotten so bad that it's become a part of Christian culture.

There's some weird psychology that goes along with this that has even affected me. Because the religion seems primitive, it sometimes makes God feel primitive as well. But how can this be? Realistically, how could God be primitive? Yes, He's much older than dirt. He's one of the few people who can actually say that and mean it. But I don't understand how God can be primitive and remain that way throughout all of history. I don't buy it.

One problem with the idea of a primitive God is that we would be expected to be primitive as well in service to Him. Once more, how can this be? What sort of God would not want us to progress? I don't understand the whole mentality of this. Sometimes I look at people like the Amish, and I just cannot understand why they would put themselves through that sort of torture. How is remaining primitive a benefit to anyone?

I think perhaps the Amish believe that modern innovations lead to corruption. There is a modicum of truth to what they are saying, but the innovations themselves are not the source of evil. It is the humans utilizing it. In that light, the human race has always had evil no matter what tech level has been in place. This leads me to believe that the whole concept of a tech level to evil ratio to be a moot point. People and the individuals among them are either good or evil, period.

Another thing that seems apparent to me is that the resources to create such things as computer, cars, and airplanes were always available on this planet. They were here in staggering abundance. They had to be or else we would have never gotten to the point at which we finally arrived. If God intended us to remain primitive, He certainly planned everything with a ridiculous amount of redundant material. This of course leads me to assume that, even in primitive days, God was a modern thinker.

I am also reminded of that very interesting command "Be fruitful and multiply." "Fruitful" would be the operable word in this case. The word essentially means to be productive. Now, the primitive view of this word just means to keep harvesting more and more crops, but a more modern take would be to keep innovating. In and of itself, there is no evil in innovation. We can make lives easier on everyone through innovation. Evil people can still ruin it. An axe is just as good at chopping wood as it is in murdering someone.

But in summary, I should say that I think God is and has always been modern, perhaps far more than even we can understand in this day and age--ahead of our time, if you will. He must be. And to equalize Christianity with the primitive times in which the Bible was written does it an extreme disservice. He is not the God of the primitive; He is simply God. All that exists happened because he could imagine it. He is beyond all the things we use to hold ourselves back: culture, laws, language, accents, and levels of technology. None of these things could not even have happened if He did not exist first. Again, He is not the God of the primitive; He is only God. And we exist because of him. Please consider 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!