1/7/13

Confessions from a Dark Wood by Eric Raymond

 
In the best of fairy tales, the frogs become princes again and the wicked are punished. The bad things that have happened are undone and what has troubled us along the way teaches us. The ghosts go free, the princesses are married, and the kingdom is restored. The shoe cobbler does not remain the shoe cobbler. I see your ever and raise you an after. As it should be. We earned it. We showed up. The restoration of order is permanent.

Permanent, at least, until such time as the franchise storytellers decide a sequel would be too lucrative to pass up, and an executive someone writes a memo to a producer someone and wonders if a little ordinary magic might be cast, and they start sniffing around for that one new hot shot a couple of kingdoms over, the one who wrote that blockbuster last year? And yes, the evil dark lords were sealed in their crypts for all eternity, and yes, yes, but if you think about it, eternal peace was just implied wasn't it? And so the witch's agent gets the call, and the voice of the frog will probably beat the DUI, and if not, well, maybe the frog's brother shows up?

Pretty soon, the forces of evil get a second shot, and it works. The bards knew it would work, because they knew we were all a little sad when order was restored in the first place. A little bored to think about the prince and princess ruling the kingdom in perpetuity.

I think it was Joni Mitchell who rhymed "figure skater" and "coffee percolator" to more or less make this point.