Once Upon a Time.

So, I started watching this show called “Once Upon a Time,” and I must say, it’s preventing me from writing because it is so easily to become absorbed in the show, to the point where I seem to fail to conjure up my own thoughts.  And so, in the middle of an episode, I’m taking a break to actually produce something.  The premise of the show thus far in my viewing is that it chronicles the events of a town where all the characters are from fairy tales, but by some curse, they’ve been transported to an alternate life, where they’ve all forgotten who they are.  There are elements of humor, morality, and romance in the show – making it essentially perfect, but that’s just me – but what I want to focus on is the aspect of fairy tales in modern times.

As I went to Michael’s yesterday, I noticed a stack of books while standing in line at the cash register.  The books were fairy tales, like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.  Having been working with kids at a tutoring center in IV, it came to my mind that there is a possibility that kids nowadays have no idea who Snow White or Sleeping Beauty are.  Now although I didn’t identify with the characters when I was a child, I found the stories an important part of my childhood, entertaining me and cultivating my imagination.  The dragons, dwarves, witches, and all of that helped to supply me with something to pass my time, eventually elevating my creativity in other areas of my life.  These stories have been the foundation from which my writing began; I still remember the first real composition that I tried to write.  It was a scary story about strange, nonsensical objects, and children who were frightened, and it told the tale of how the children would use ingenious and inventive methods to escape their present circumstances and overcome the evil.

Overcoming evil is something that fairy tales instilled in me.  In an age of electronics, everything seems to be neutral; after all, how can one really say that an iPad or an iPhone is fundamentally corrupt in its nature?  It is merely a device with which people stay in touch, entertain themselves, and connect to the world that is quickly growing around them.  This present world is where kids are growing up, and I can’t help but think that perhaps this is part of the reason why faith is on the decline, and reason is on the rise.  There is no longer a need for good to triumph over evil, the perspective of two warring forces grows more and more scant.  The only quest that exists now is to progress, and in that progress, there is neither a pure nor an impure way of conducting business.  The ends justify the means, more or less, and instead of believing in intangibles like true love’s perseverance or self sacrifice for what is right, we believe in things like having better technology within a confined amount of space, the ability to see on a screen what we could just as well see for ourselves in real life.  It’s almost like the fairy tales of my childhood are replaced by the stories of antediluvian technology as kids nowadays look onwards toward what the next big thing.

I was satisfied with the fairy tales that I heard, but more and more, it seems like we no longer encourage that satisfaction; indeed, there now seems to be a stigma against satisfaction with such things, labeling people who do enjoy simple things as “simple-minded.” And yet, in all this pursuit of progress, isn’t the end goal satisfaction with what we’ve accomplished?  So while being satisfied with the small things seems lazy or too easy, it makes me wonder if we even know what we want anymore out of our lives.  Simple-minded and simple are two very different things – simple-minded ends at “The End,” but simple appreciates what that end truly means to the story.

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