Ever since Once Upon a Time began hitting the air-waves, there has been a nigh-limitless amount of witches, pagans, and magicians who apparently have nothing better to use to convey their messages.
As a result, this meme keeps making the rounds:
Inevitably, the tag is always added: All Magic comes with a price, Dearie! An unfortunately phrase that the character of Rumpelstiltskin makes to characters in what I consider one of the most tiresome shows to ever captivate adult and child audiences. But I hate Disney, and so of course, I also hate that show. Honestly? The only good part of the show was that character in the first season. The rest of it was a Neil Gaiman-esque magic is real! But no one believes in it! type schtick.
Aaron Leitch, a fellow I actually respect, is the latest in the line of witches, pagans, and magicians to rely on this meme to convey the message.
But you know what? It's also crap. His post is great, and so are Jason Miller and Morgan Eckstein's responses.
It is the meme that is crap. And here's why:
It is true, there is no such thing as a free lunch. (And yes, I know where that idiom comes from.) But Aaron has probably not given his first-born son to Moloch, or a tricksy fairy. And the notion of cost is weighted far differently. The 'sacrifice' or 'price' of magick comes at the cost of time:
- Time spent learning how to practice magick.
- Time spent discovering the path of least resistence when it comes to thaumaturgical goals.
- Time spent discovering that one's desires, and one's needs, are two separate things.
There are other, potentially 'spiritual', costs but getting into them would be tiresome. It comes down to this: none of you smug folks posting that stupid-ass meme have thrown your first-born child down as a down payment for anything, and utilizing a fictional character who demands just that to justify your no free lunch discourse is crap.
Find a better way of saying it. Or at the very least, find a better character to represent the idea. I don't even care if you use another Once Upon a Time character to illustrate it. But for the love of any god ever: STOP.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
That is all.