Book Review: NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE by Christine Wicker
(This one is subtitled A CURIOUS TALE OF HOW MAGIC IS TRANSFORMING AMERICA.)
Do you believe in magic? Most people do, even those who would claim they don’t. That sports star with his lucky jersey? He believes. The lady who hears about some possible good news but doesn’t want to talk about it before it’s guaranteed, because she’s afraid she’ll “jinx” it? She believes. Anyone who believes in a higher power or practices any kind of religious activity believes. They wouldn’t call it that. They’d use words like “divine intervention” or “spirit,” but these are all just words and they are interchangeable. Magic is alive and well in the modern world, as Ms. Wicker documents, again and again, all the while struggling with her own skepticism.
I have a healthy dose of skepticism, too. I tend to scoff, for example, at people who claim to be “Otherkin.” That guy who claims to be half dragon is nothing of the sort. Do a DNA test on him and the results will come back 100% human. But Wicker suggests, and she may well have a point, that the Otherkin dragon-man isn’t a dragon-man in the physical sense, but perhaps in the spiritual sense? Yes, it’s easy to roll the eyes. But is his faith really any different than mine, when I partake of Holy Communion at church, hoping to be united with Jesus Christ in the ritual? Both require belief in something not physical. Examine the Communion wafers and wine under a microscope and the results will show only flour and wine. They are not the Body and Blood of Jesus–not physically. But on a different level, a spiritual level? That’s a whole other matter. So who am I to say that our dragon-dude CAN’T be something more than what he appears–on a spiritual level that we can’t see or touch?
Ms. Wicker suggests that it is not so much WHAT a person believes as the fact that he believes, period. I can’t help thinking of those experiments in quantum physics, where an ion stream was documented as having changed direction simply because it was observed. If observation affects reality, might not belief?
Wicker, the skeptic, allowed a psychic “vampire” to feed on her. She experienced physical reactions. The power of suggestion? Maybe. Maybe not.
One thing of which I am certain is that magic is real, whatever its true nature. I feel sorry for the hardline skeptics who won’t believe in anything that can’t be proven in a laboratory. What a sad world they must live in. A hollow world. That they can take a walk in the wilderness, all alone, and not be able to sense the magic that is there, it’s tragic. I’m glad I don’t have that weakness, despite that thorn of skepticism I carry around in my side.
The book is great, by the way. You should buy it and read it.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!