Brothers Grimm Redux: Frog Prince Analysis

Fooled the Young Princess
So I decided that I would read every Brothers Grimm story. Starting at the beginning, I read the Frog Prince or Iron Heinrich from my Bantam Classic purchased years ago at the used bookstore. The story was your typical fairy tale with a young beautiful princess whose the youngest of her family. She likes playing her golden ball which falls into the water. A frog says he'll get it for her but at a price. To say that Brothers Grimm runs like the Twilight Zone is an understatement. If anything, it's the other way around as fairy tales came before the Twilight Zone, quite literally almost 6000 years before. While reading the Frog Prince, I thought it would be interesting to see at which point the story truly got started. Was it when the ball fell into the water? The Frog makes a deal with her? The Frog shows up for dinner? Or when the Princess throws the Frog against the wall?

I, Pop Culture Fan.

I remember when I met an acquaintance at the Rideau Centre many years ago. He was a comic book fan whose interest bordered on obsession. I liked it him for it. I'm always happy to learn about people's passions. But when I asked him if we was going to Ottawa Comic-Con, he said he wasn't. It had become too commercial. It's not about comic books anymore. TV celebrities, he claimed, contaminated the event along with other non-comic book events. I agreed at the moment, but with some afterthoughts. It wasn't Comic-Con I thought about as much as comic books in general. Are comics of such a high quality that they couldn't share the same space as TV and films? Perhaps it's not what my acquaintance was getting at, but it made me thing about the literary quality of comic books. It can be quite high, but in some cases, it could definitely be better too.

Why Hollywood Movies Are the Same
But Different

I've always wondered why Hollywood movies seem the same. I'm not the only one who thinks this, I know, most people around me acknowledge that the stories from Hollywood are very much alike. But, at the same time, we choose to see them each year and love them. We talk about it. Write about it. We even cosplay about it. Just take a look at the trailer for Ridley Scott's, Alien Covenant. The film doesn't look much different than from any previous sci-fi thriller, but it's not the same either. There's enough new material to draw fans in by the millions. I think Hollywood has a winning formula of being the same, but different. And I think it has to do with mass psychology. We need it to be this way because we wouldn't enjoy it otherwise.

Do Stories Make Us Love War?

Story. What is it a good for? Apparently, it's good for a lot of things - especially war. Stories could very well make us love war because stories usually have a villain in it. That's why we're always at "war" with something like War on Drugs, War on Christmas or War on Sugar. So why is that the case? Remember D.A.R.P.A's storytelling theory which states how our brains can't help but visualize life in the form of stories? This thinking/perceiving mode means we'll always see an adversary of some kind waiting to get us. Every story has conflict, after all. Does this mean our story-brain dooms us to perpetual war with others? I think it does. As human beings, we're always telling the story of our lives as if something or someone is the enemy. Not good.

A Canadian Film Industry Resurgence

As Canadians, we have this myth of living in the shadows of the American Film Industry. We often lament that the total ticket sales for our films is just a fraction of the American market. This compels us to contemplate if not criticize our industry for not rivaling the American behemoth. To be sure, we don't want the same revenue as our cousins, we just want more Canadians to take notice of their own work. This anxiety leads to policies and clauses designed to protect Canadian content with quotas, only to feel a backlash from fellow Canadians claiming we're insecure artists looking for a handout. (Most European countries do the same to protect their work from American know-how.) But what if there was an answer that embraced the American market rather than competed with it? What if we could use the American system to sell Canadian work in Canada? And, what if we should do this because our decisions have lead to this point whether we like it or not?