Previously on the Rise of Nothing: Comic book characters have been dismayed and terrified by the ominous rise of blank space at the base of each panel! Progressive solutions have been advanced. Examples are the mandating of Nothing Awareness Education in schools, and the institution of a Global Tax to Combat Nothing. Unfortunately, a unified response to the crisis has been questioned by a comic book character calling herself Logic Girl. Slant 24-7, a talk show worked furiously to undo the damage wrought by naysayers. The hope is to bring the comic book public back on board with the progressive agenda. Then a curve ball threw a monkey wrench into the apple cart and turned the comic book upside down! Jimmy McRich, founder of Rent-the-Gospel Ministries and newly minted billionaire, announced the imminent end of the comic book. According to McRich, the comic book creator had informed him that the end of the comic book was two pages away (meaning the page above is the last page). To calm the comic book public, Slant 24-7 has reminded all listeners of the voice of science. Science proved conclusively that there is NO comic book creator! Everything you see is a result of a blind accident and chance acting in conjunction with immeasurable amounts of time.
In today's comic page, talk show host, Ken Dahl, opines that happy endings only occur in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, not in comic books. Actually, Ken Dahl, nursery rhymes often don't have happy endings. "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after." Happy ending I ask you? "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again." Just because they have cheery rhyme patterns, that doesn't mean happy endings.
This leads to the deeper question, do happy endings occur in life? Methinks happy endings do occur but not in the trite and contrived manner of Hollywood and Disney movies which often have the redemption arc flipped upside down. When Hollywood ventures into the fairytale genre, it seems to be hellbent on educating in the art of cynicism. The witches are good and monarchs bad (Maleficent). The dragons are noble and the humans beastly ( How to train your Dragon, etc). Invariably the prince is an anti-hero (Frozen, etc). So the happy ending is reached by plot twists that contort the old fairy tale wisdom out of shape. The characters succeed by ditching the wisdom of the past and embracing an inner me or a newly minted knowledge of what is good and what is evil. The cynicism of past knowledge opens us up to a bright future, a new Disneyland with an indeterminate best-before-date. Remember, cynicism saves (although not always at the box office).
In the original fairy tales, there are happy endings, but the main characters have to pass through a gauntlet of troubles that severely tests resolve, authenticity, adherence to noble principles, or faith in a spiritual reality.
"Cinderella walked on broken glass. Sleeping Beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast. Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life. Snow White barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears, because love, means facing your biggest fears! "
Somehow those fairy tales seem more true to life than Hollywood movies.
Often In fairy tales, life, and comic books, characters must decide whether to place their faith in a God of happy endings or a god of an easy life. It is kind of like the choice between Mr. or Miss Right as opposed to Mr. or Miss Right-Now. One choice has a waiting period but is worth it. The latter choice has a 3 to 5-second waiting period. It is also worth the wait. Cynicism urges us to live only for the present moment because happy endings and Miss Right don't really exist. Do they really exist?
As I continue to author The Rise of Nothing with some assistance from my kids, I fully intend to work it through to a happy ending. Happy endings are more real. However, I don't want a happy ending that is just parachuted in at the last minute and my faithful readers (right now about 20) will ask where did this come from? The redemption arc for the comic book characters gets steeper with each new page, and I don't fully know how the story is going to end. I wish I was more like the Creator of the comic book we are living in now. God somehow does seem to pull out happy endings from hopeless situations. An 80-year-old murderer and fugitive from the law, is living a hand-to-mouth existence in the desert. He becomes Moses, the liberator of his enslaved countrymen. An infertile couple is well past 90 and both have compromised marital fidelity by gifting their spouse to another. Abraham gives Sarah over to the Pharaoh and Abimelech, Sarah passes on Abraham to Hagar. Yet they both become honest as husband and wife with the birth of Isaac. God continuously manages to write straight on crooked lines.
I think God is doing the same today as He did yesterday, only He doesn't get any media coverage. The media has a knack for being wrong though. As a rule of thumb, if the mainstream media is saying something is happening, your best guess is the exact opposite. Hunter Biden's laptop was Russian disinformation put out just before the last U.S. election? The Covid 19 virus came from a Wuhan wet market, definitely not from the U.S.-funded lab in the same city? No more banks are going to fail? It seems like the prevailing narrative has a slow leak and the tire will go flat without constantly being pumped up. On occasion, you can hear the air coming out. For example, if you had your ear to the ground listening to the mainstream media for the next tidbit of truth, you'd think that Dylan Mulvaney is a modern American Joan of Ark, revered by the peasant and noble alike. You'd think that it would be a slam dunk for an American hero to get Americans to drink more beer from an already popular brand, especially since the American hero has even been interviewed and praised by the president on TV. Oscar Wilde said, "Work is the curse of the drinking classes". For many the curse has been lifted, time to buy more beer right? What happened? I'm not really sure but it seems that the beer company is furiously backpedaling, firing its marketing directors, and in recent ads, Dylan Mulvaney has been replaced by a Clydesdale.
That's not to imagine that those speaking truth to power are getting away with it. Stalin had shipped off many to the Gulag Archipelago and today we have many modern mini-Stalins who act similarly, canceling truth-tellers willy-nilly, left and right, up and down and sideways. But it does seem that God comforts those who suffer for the truth. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was an atheist when he was sentenced to eight years in a prison camp for criticizing Joseph Stalin in a private letter. In the prison camp, he met God again, almost like God was a fellow prisoner. Makes you wonder.
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