Tag Archives: fairy tales

Villains in our midst

Villains in our midst

One thing I’ve gathered from all the TV shows I’ve watched: movies, soaps, cartoons and all, is that at least in every story there must be antagonists and protagonists. Pick any Walt Disney favourite for instance…

Cinderella has her step mother and the two step sisters, who darken her days perpetually; Rapunzel has that witchy ‘mother’- the abductor who always claims to love and know what’s best for the golden haired maiden; in 101 Dalmatians there’s Cruella, who tries rounding up all the dotted hounds so she can make herself a fur coat from their beautiful white furs with strewn black spots…

In short, for the story’s protagonist to have that happily ever after, there must the grand fall of the antagonist; a very celebrated thing in most cases. These stories however, are not the kind I want to delve into today. I’m thinking more along the lines of the I-want-to-take-over-the-world kind of villains.

One thing I’m always wondering is why some people are so obsessed with ruling the world. This desire is apparently so strong that one would practically do anything to get hold of that power. The so called villains-of-the-piece will do everything from having the crown prince (ss) abducted in a usually half-baked attempt to sabotage their chances of inheriting the throne when the reigning king/queen dies, to assassinating all those who stand in their way. It’s never pretty, really.

Someone would be utterly mistaken to think this kind of scheming is only a fiction of scriptwriters’ imagination. These ploys are best seen in real life stories where for instance, someone wants to assume a certain political position and there are too many candidates running for the post; or in companies where one wants to sit at the helm and the seat’s already occupied.

Sometimes, one finds themselves starring at one of the most inconceivable machinations and it becomes even more complex to fathom how a person, deemed a saint in the making by all and sundry, turns out to be the villain.

During these past few weeks I’ve been made privy to one of the worst kinds of rumours; I only choose to call them that because even though bits of the story have been confirmed, some still remain unconfirmed and I know it’s only a matter of time before everything comes to light.

As it turns out, even the most unlikely of persons could turn out to be the villains. In this case, both the antagonist and protagonist are respected men of the cloth. The characters, who I will name A and B respectively, are caught up in a war-not a fist fight though.

The issue apparently is that A, who is B’s assistant, has been conspiring with some spiteful faithful to ‘dethrone’ B, who heads the parish. In his attempt to sink B, A together with his minions fabricated all sorts of allegations so B would be banished from the church.

As I’ve already pointed out, A wants to be the one heading the parish. The few faithful on the other hand, are displeased with B because he’s so strict and won’t let anyone embezzle church funds. Talk about suffering for doing the right thing. Some of the allegations I’ve heard raised against him are just downright false and I pray that with time every truth will be revealed.

This story has had me thinking a lot. First of all, one would imagine that anyone who has spent years in theology school, learning how to be a “fisher of men” would have the will power to restrain from tarnishing his fellow priest’s name.

I speak of will power because I know every human being is prone to sin ergo no one is perfect. However, one would imagine that the solemn vows made, to serve God above all else would strengthen one’s desire to do all that pleases Him; just like in marriages, what keeps a couple grounded are those vows taken: to love and cherish each other…for better or worse.

I feel we have become our own worst enemies. We persecute our fellow Christians (in light of the example above) and still lament how the world is filled with evil. Our systems on the other hand, are so corrupt that an aggrieved person can’t even seek justice; and so accustomed have we grown to that life of lies and defrauding that when a clean and pure heart tries to uproot that evil, nipping it from the bud, we turn against them.

We’ve been awfully enshrouded in darkness that we perceive the good guys as the bad guys and instead of plucking the wolves from our midst we sacrifice the innocent sheep. That’s the harsh reality of what the world has turned into; blameless victims rot behind bars while the actual culprits walk the streets in broad day light, carefree; without an ounce of guilt to cloud their seemingly bright days.

The passion of Christ springs to mind; the part where the Jews asked for Barabbas to be released from prison when he was actually guilty and for Jesus to be killed (Matthew 27: 17-26). We are those people. We asphyxiate truth and justice and eagerly embrace ally kinds of evil that a real Christian would frown upon.

Jesus said some pagans are better than believers, because –in my understanding- the latter are just impenitent reprobates hiding behind the Bible; and I couldn’t agree more.

Sadly, we fail to realize that God is ever just. He vindicates those who follow His ways and brings their foes to their knees, and what’s more, we can build or destroy with our words and deeds; the choice is ours. And as we know, each decision has a consequence.

 

Unhappily ever after…

cinderella

Cinderella lived happily ever after with the charming prince who wouldn’t rest until he found the maiden whose foot fit in the glass slipper. Sleeping beauty had a happily ever after with the handsome prince who wandered by and found the sleeping maiden, thus pressing his lips against her hand to wake her from a century’s slumber. Fairytales… the lies they fill children’s heads with…

I can only think of so many fairytales I read as a child that ended with, ‘and they lived happily ever after’. Then again, that’s why we call them fairytales; happily-ever-afters are only as real as fairies are. It hasn’t escaped me that I would be ruthlessly bursting the bubble of any kid, who stumbles on this post but sadly, I only speak what is true.

Almost all the fairy tales I read as a child, all the cartoons I watched/still watch, like a recent edition of Rapunzel (tangled) I watched lately where the girl with shiny metres of gold locks finds her happily-ever-after with the thug who saves her from the lone tower she had been imprisoned in by her witchy stepmother, led me to believe in a happily-ever-after.

Then later as I got into teenagehood I developed a strong liking for soap operas, which graduated into an addiction. These soaps revolve around love and deception as the main themes, and somehow almost all of them end with the main female and male protagonist together, in their own happily ever after.

As my sisters and I got glued to the TV, watching soap after soap, dad never understood why we wasted so much time following programmes, which in his opinion, enslaved us because when they started we had to drop whatever we were doing just so we could watch them. He just never did understand why, and after trying to explain it to him unsuccessfully we gave up trying.

The reason we spent so much watching them was because they gave us something to hold on to. Even when stuck in meaningless relationships with guys who weren’t willing to commit, the knights in shining armour from the numerous fairy tales we’d read and the Alejandros from Latino soaps kept us hopeful that the best was yet to come.

Regrettably, as I look at the life mom leads, I feel the little flame in me going out, and I’m not sure there’s much I can do to rekindle it. I look at her life and I see unhappily ever after. She spends sleepless nights, tossing and turning in bed because the man she chose to spend the rest of her life with, in what she hoped would be marital bliss is the same one who locks the light out of her life.

unhappily ever after

What does one do, when they wake up and realize everything they believed in was just a lie? When they realize that the person they hoped to enjoy a happily-ever-after with is the same one they can’t stand? When one realizes that a happily-ever-after is only a figment of the imagination concocted by creative writers, in a bid to spread optimism.

Valentine’s day is only a few days away and even though there’s a part of me-the child in me-that still believes in prince charming, fairies and pixie dust, I feel a happily-ever-after is like the sighting of a lake of water by a weary traveller walking under the blistering sun on stretching miles of bare, scorched ground; just a mirage in the desert.

Happily-ever-after could be real, but it’s a rare gem. How do I know that? Because I haven’t met anyone who lives happily-ever-after. Once that marriage band is slipped on the finger, people stop pretending and resume their real insufferable selves. They become everything one detests-in most cases. It’s like the ring snaps couples out of hypnosis; the promise of happily-ever-after, pulling them back out of their daydream, reminding them, that is when unhappily-ever-after begins.

In my opinion though, a happily-ever-after is not entirely impossible. I think of a personal resolution; if one wants something really bad, they will get it. There will be odds lined up, succeeding each other along the way, but if both partners crave a happily-ever-after, they will achieve it. Mom’s living her unhappily-ever-after, but from my own observation, if her prince-my father-tried just a little bit hard, they would find that coveted fairytale ending; the happily-ever-after.