Friday, April 8, 2011

Top 10 Ways To Not Teach Your Kids Magic

Top 10 Ways Not To Teach Your Kids Magic


  1. Do not tell your children to jump off the roof and fly. They will go splat. I don’t feel there’s any further explanation for this one. And don’t try to weasel your way out of this one by saying you’re teaching them to astrally fly. That’s just lying to your kids. So what are you? A liar or a kid splatterer?
  2. Do not allow them access to arcane books of magic unsupervised, especially around Halloween. In fact, go ahead and make that one all year. T hey will either summon up three ugly, yet musically gifted, witches or otherwise cause mayhem and havoc at their school. Either way, you’re the parent and that means you’ve got to be the one to get rid of the witches or the mantis demon or the plague of boils and toads. That kind of time is just too precious and is better spent watching whatever Kardashian is making a sex tape. We’re teaching our kids morals, after all.
  3. Do not take your children to a train station and tell them to run at the wall at full speed. I realize it might be hilarious to watch, but we should really refer back to point one here. There is no separate train station on the other side of the wall and they will not go to a special magic school. They will get a concussion, however, which is kind of like being at a magic school. They’ll see stars and feel like they’re flying.
  4. As fun as it might be, do not create a servitor spirit and place it in their teddy bear with the purpose of having the teddy bear teach your children magic. That kind of crap worked in the Last Mimzy, but will only serve to confuse and embarrass your children when they go to their first serious group rituals and place their teddy bear on the altar as a symbol of power. Inevitably, because nobody will understand the might power of the Teddy Bear spirit guide, they will create their own new branch of Paganism called ‘Teddybearism’ and they will be the first Teddites and then we will all be making fun of your children for believing in Teddy Bear magic. Until, of course, Llewellyn publishes their book, they become fabulously wealthy, and millions of people around the world begin espousing the truths of the ancient and powerful Teddy Ruxpin. (Really, isn’t anybody else creeped out that that thing could talk along with the movie? Servitor spirit if I ever saw one!)
  5. When you feel that your children are getting to that age where you want to teach them magic, do not sit your 4 year old down and begin by saying, “Ok, Bobby, you know how Timmy pushed you down at school yesterday? Well, we're going to give him boils and curse his family line for 7 generations. You down with that?” Really, you should teach them the basics first. You know, basic, 101 stuff, like summoning Cthulhu in the bathtub or making the head cheerleader’s hair fall out. Then you can teach them how to curse Timmy’s bully spawn for 7 generations. Priorities people!
  6. Do not teach them love spells. Ever. Unless you are one of the aunts from Practical Magic and you have your bottle of molasses ready to make things more interesting. Love spells are never as fun or as thrilling as the movies make them out to be. They will not create a love zombie out of Derek, the football god, with some angsty words and sexy paste. Unless your son or daughter is also a god of some type. Perhaps Loki. Is your child Loki? If so, please let me know where you live so that I may move to the other side of that hemisphere. Wait…what were we talking about? Oh, yeah. Your kid’s a fatty and none of the popular people will ever date them despite what magic spell they do. (Unless it’s that summoning Cthulhu in the bathtub trick. That might garner cool points, or, at least, dead popular kids in which case instant climbing of the social ladder. Score!)
  7. Do not, as a general rule, allow them to pull a sword - or any other implement - out of solid rock. Especially if a crazy old man in robes tells them to. Crazy old men are probably getting off on the phallic nature of the sword and that’s just an unpleasant thought. If your kid does pull a weapon out of stone then they will - and this is just science talking - have sex with their sister and make an illegitimate son that will eventually rise up and kill them. I mean, really. It’s basic math. Or science. Or something. Either way it will happen, so just don’t.
  8. Do not tell them every character they happen to read in a fictional story is real on the astral plane. Please? Let’s end that madness with this generation. Sorry…I’m projecting. But, really, if you do…I will make fun of them. And you. And 7 generations of your family line.
  9. If they can move things with their mind, do not let them. Seriously, I saw X-Men 3. I know what happens when telekinesis runs wild. Just be a good parent and talk to the school about placing them ahead a grade or 3. It worked for Matilda, it’ll work for your brat. They’re just bored, and idle kinesis is the devil’s kinesis I always say.
  10. Do not allow them to animate objects around the house for the purpose of daily chores. That instills weak character and poor personal accountability skills. Do you really think that when they grow up and go work at McDonald’s, do you think that Bob the manager is going to let them fry those French fries with a little flick and swish action? Absolutely not! He’s gotta really get in there and get those grease burns if he ever hopes to be promoted to cash register. It’s a long climb to the top of that fat food fast food chain, and your goiter isn’t the only one competing! What? You thought your kid could do better than Mickey D’s? Hey, you taught him not to do chores! Your kid’s failure is on you. Really, why didn’t you think about switching out those spells you taught him for, I dunno, prosperity magic or “get my shit done and not work at the McDonald’s drive-thru” magic. Bet you saved all that good stuff for yourself, huh? Selfish.

13 comments:

  1. This made my day. Thanks, Fire Lyte.

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  2. LOVE this!! I laughed till i cried!

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  3. It's unfortunate that you've taken one of the most disturbing and sad parts of pop culture magick movie "The Craft" and completely misrepresented it. Laura Lizzie, the popular girl in the film, does not call Rochelle, the African-American character, "black." She calls her a "negroid," a highly demeaning and racist term utilized to promote eugenics and mass genocide of people of African descent. That you would purposefully pervert this very real experience of racism faced by Blacks to add humor to a string of problematic and unfunny quips about ethnicity, body size, and social class is sad. Not radical, not adorable, not witty, but sad. What's even more sad is the way you'll turn around and victimize yourself in your next post.

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  4. Hmm... Well, I suppose I could victimize myself, but I don't feel the victim of anything as of late. Let's see...I had a crappy workout today and my cell service has been spotty, but I could attribute those things to a desire to be enjoying my day with gelato in one hand and a good book in the other instead of being in a gym or Mercury Retrograde.

    I mean, I could go on and on about how I was raised on a street where I was the only white guy and had a lot of black friends (but that doesn't excuse anything). I could talk about not wanting to say the word "negroid," because I really dislike racist terminology, so I avoid it (but that wouldn't appease your claims of misrepresenting the high art that was The Craft). I could talk about my struggles about being gay in a conservative Texas town (but that diverts the conversation from talk of race). But, really, that song has been played, and it's rather tiring to hear from the victimized gay guy.

    Tell you what, I don't know if you've read my blog, listened to my show, or read any of my articles, but if you have the misconception that I am trying to make a bad racist joke or to wipe away the negative truths of racism in this country, then you don't have a clue what I'm about. If you don't find my joke funny, well, it's a good thing I'm not a comedian.

    If you don't like my attempt at humor, click elsewhere. Or, get a sense of humor. Or, get over it. Either way, I'm not sad. I just had a fabulous sushi dinner and I have gelato in the freezer. I'm quite the opposite of sad.

    Love and Lyte,

    Fire Lyte

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  5. I've really got to agree with @centaurcunningman on this one. Regardless of intent or subjective sense of humor, the "...because she called you black" comment came across as insensitive and racist. Can't decide if I'm more surprised or offended, so I'm just going to go with disappointed.

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  6. Well, honestly, the whole thing kind of pisses one group or another off. Man, if this offends you then you should check out my post from last year about people that go to the gym in January! There was one show in particular in which I spoke rather harshly about religious conservatives that thought the Islamic community center in New York City was a mosque. I think I called them idiots. That should piss you off, too.

    If you are choosing to be offended, then go ahead. Or, just skip that number and go on to the next.

    FL

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  7. But, I am nothing if not willing to recant a statement that offends. Done and done.

    FL

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  8. Centaurcunningman and Evn - grow up. Really. This is beyond petty.

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  9. See I'm a little confused. . . It's not ok in any way shape or form for ANYone who is not black to make any reference to the color of their skin, but it's not only ok for black people to run around using the N word on top of that use words like cracker and honkey and expect no reprisal or accusations of racism. . . you get the point right? When are we going to come to grip with the fact that we are all human and the divinity LOVES great diversity?

    This is really all silly and it's time to behave like we're grown up and out of kindergarten.

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  10. I can see both sides of the argument. I detest using racial slurs, even in an academic or intellectual debate. The words social context, and our immediate reactions to them, make use impossible even for the strongest supporter of equal rights. I would tend to side with Fire Lyte's original use, or lack there of. In a casual joke the term "negroid" elicits a visceral reaction that negates the original intent. If he had used the word some might have claimed he was promoting hate.
    Racism as portrayed in The Craft side plot is an extreme example. It would be hard to find people, outside of robe wearing card carrying members of the KKK, who would use blatantly offensive words like "Nigroid" and the more common "nigger" openly to degrade anyone. It would be far more likely the casual racist might use the term "Black" in an offensive manner, or simply to state the reasoning behind their behavior.
    The duel nature of potentially offensive material, offending the original parties by repeating offensive terms without context or debate, or offending a new party by replacing the offensive language with what is perceived to by a synonym , is impossible to successfully negotiate, even for the most talented of orators, and would best be side stepped, or avoided entirely when possible. The infamous ten foot pole rule...
    The replacement of offensive words is a long standing tradition in American Revisionist History, heck, look at the recent "updated" language of Huck Finn, or the book titled Nigger, for a detailed discussion on the topic of racism in language and how to reclaim replace or reuse these words. Replacing words is done to avoid in depth discussion on topics that would be distracting or uncomfortable for the presenter to delve into at the moment. Fire Lyte's topic was humor, directed at teaching children the mysteries of magic, and how to avoid horror movie moments, or... more likely, teacher conferences about how "Timmy" keeps making weird faces in class and chanting under his breath during pop quizzes.
    While, yes, replacing words is an easy way out, it is also, often, necessary. In the context of jokes, humor, the detail necessary to explain, defend, or disarm a given word is contrary to the needs of the medium. It was a smart choice to replace the word IMO.
    That being said, perhaps a riot that needs inciting is one concerning racism in neo-paganism... I would recommend finding a guest host for this particular show idea.
    One more point, I am almost positive that when I watched The Craft on television (I believe it was TNT) the word was replaced by the censors there as well.
    And one more point...
    Saying some one should grow up is an easy way out. It allows the speaker to successfully negate the very real emotions involved. Racism, for those who have been subject to, witness of, or party in, is very much a reality in the American Experience (I am just assuming, forgive me if I am wrong). I would equate racism with abuse. I doubt many people would turn to a battered woman and say, "Grow up." It is not her fault that she was struck, nor is it the fault, or lack of maturity on the part of the victim of racism. The verbal assault minorities have endured is just as harmful as the first few words out of an abusive partners mouth.
    Sorry for the extended reply...

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  11. Mrs. Oddly - who has said that' it's ok for black people to run around and use the N word and call white people honky and cracker? Who said that anyone who isn't black can't make reference to skin color? Who said that any of that? Any of it? Certainly not I.

    Yes, divinity loves great diversity. I don't get where me calling someone out for saying that "negroid" was as harmless a term as "black" means that I'm against diversity.

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  12. I didn't use that word, though. I used black - merely to reference the movie and situation and to avoid a conversation about race. This was never meant to be even remotely about race. It was meant as humor.

    If you had simply emailed me or even posted that you did not like my use of the word "black," then I would have taken the comment down anyways. You didn't have to angrily go on a rant on your blog and on mine about how I'm apparently some kind of racist. It doesn't add any kind of positivity to the discussion you're trying to have.

    Also, I find it exceptionally odd that you're very willing to boldly post your opinion of me for all to read, yet you are not willing to actually talk to me. I emailed you and left comments on your blog letting you know I would like the chance to speak with you off the record to help you get a better understanding of me as a person. You've not responded, yet you had the time to check this comment thread?

    So, are you just wanting your opinion of me to remain unchallenged? I am willing to give you an opportunity to speak to me, to talk this out and come away with a better mutual understanding of the other's views. I don't know why you wouldn't want to do that.

    Have it your way, however.

    FL

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