Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Wednesday Whimsy: why I believe in Fairies

It has long struck me as odd that it is socially acceptable to believe in ghosts but considered a sign of utter madness to believe in fairies!

Of course it was not always so as a couple of girls in Cottingley showed - sensible grown men and women were taken in (maybe distracted by the day job of getting thousands of Frances and Elsie's neighbours blown to bits in Belgium) by their pictures of real live fairies!

It does however strike me that fairies are far more believable and understandable than ghosts - which makes absolutely no sense at all to me. At least I can see a route back to belief in the spirits of stone and tree and stream - things that may have no reality but which chime with our love of anthropomorphic representation. Indeed this humanising of the non-human seems a huge part of our modern culture perhaps suggesting that Paul Jennings was not so far off the mark with his spoof philosophy - resistentialism. "Les chose sont contra nous" - Jenning wrote: and do we not echo that every day in our talk of bugs and gremlins, fates and breakdown?

Surely these are modern day nature spirits - the 21st century fairies. Far more real than ghosts - merely things to scare or else reflecting a fearful realisation that our time on this earth is short and we have no idea what does or doesn't happen after.

So yes, I'm prepared to believe in fairies. But ghosts - no way, no such thing.

1 comment: said...

You do realise that Elsie and Frances both admitted they faked the photos with cardboard cut-outs, right?

Don't anthropomorphise computers; they don't like it.