www.whyville.net Jan 16, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Magic. We all know it. It's the stuff of wands and witches and monsters and spells, the stuff of love and fairytales and fragile glass slippers, the stuff of wizards and rings and really cute midget dudes with huge blue eyes. It's impractical, unrealistic, nonexistent, incomprehensible, illogical, and we love it to death. Too bad it isn't real.

Or is it?

Whoa now, you say. Antier! We all know you're already off your rocker, but are you going to take the metaphorical hammer and finish the job by smashing it to bits? Are you going to tell us that magic exists?!

Well, ah, erm, actually . . . yes.

Now before you rush to give me a hammer and watch the show, take a moment and hear what I have to say.

First, as this is the land of questions, I will ask - what is magic? What do people define as magic? Ask that blonde bubblegum-blowing girl bouncing about with her friends and she might announce "love!" Go ask that emo hiding in the corner (at least you think it's an emo - you can't see more than a big mass of wild streaked black stuff which you assume is supposed to be hair) and he might tell you "It's all a big lie." Ask that round-faced girl going "456 to be my bf!" and you might get something like "EW I SAD BF AND UR A GRL!"

But as I am a wonderful, intelligent, beautiful, extraordinary, gracious, merciful, studious, wise, mature, and very kind person (to which I'm absolutely sure you all agree), I will spare you this brain-damaging task and get straight to the point (Actually it's a bit late for that, but I do enjoy seeing how long I can clack away at my keyboard before I hear "RAACHAAAEL ARE YOU IN BED???").

Magic is what we can't explain.

Yes, yes, it is that simple. And no, I can't explain my answer. . . . Wait . . .

Heh, okay, not serious. But honestly now, let us go back to say . . . the times of the prairie. Imagine two bony oxen towing a covered wagon through rough grassland, carrying girls sweating to death in their heavy clothing, and boys antsy from nothing to do, and all of them tired from the taste of dust in their mouths and lack of water and little sticky things that poke them through their socks.

Now, imagine, you drop into their laps, of all things - an iPod. They wouldn't know how to work it, of course, but imagine you were there to show them. Do you think they would believe it when your finger controlled the magically shining screen by lightly skimming over a circle beneath it? Do you think they would believe it when you plugged it in and put the earphones in their ears to listen to music that had nothing even close to it even vaguely existent in all of history (It had BETTER not be rap)? What do you think they'd call it, if you didn't explain to them that it was from the future? Do you think ol' weary Pa would analyze it and conclude it's a sophisticated piece of technology? Not a chance. No, no, they would more than likely call it magic. Magic, it is, this incredible little thing that creates strange music with no one there to sing it, and it shines on its own, and shows perfect words in its shining part, and you can change the words by just barely touching it! Isn't it incredible?

There we have it. Magic on the prairie.

No, no, you laugh - they were simply ignorant! They didn't know how iPods were made, they just think it's magic when really it all has a logical explanation.

Ahah. There we go. Logical explanation. iPods follow the laws of physics, and thus were possible on the prairie in just the same way they are possible now.

Now from this point most would take the shiny and sparkly technology and future and world peace path and explain that we can now invent anything! As much as that is tempting (to destroy), I shall instead direct you off towards the more narrow, overgrown hypothetical path with mice and spiderwebs and broken rocker bits.

If we can invent anything, anything is possible.

When I say anything, I mean anything. I mean throwing around bowling balls by thinking, I mean big cool looking towers with a shiny eye on top, I mean leopluradons, I mean resurrection, I mean flying without jetpacks, I mean growing mustaches overnight. That would be cool.

Now before you start mourning the death of my rocker, let me explain. Again.

These things are technically possible.

Hypothetically the physical attributes of any existent item can be changed in any manner, whether imaginable or not. Nothing is impossible. There are no unbreakable laws that state we can't transfer dirt to gold, or make people madly in love, or even part the Red Sea. The laws that we think are in place (for example, on the prairie, that light only came from fire or lightening, not strange smooth shiny objects) always have ways around them. The only limits are our imagination, our knowledge, and our abilities.

Now let me put emphasis on that. Our only limits are our imagination, our knowledge, and our abilities. Those are some pretty danged big limits. We don't know how to turn dirt into gold. Some say it's impossible - but keep in mind, nothing is impossible. We just don't know how to do it. We don't know how to resurrect a body. Even if we did know how, we'd just lack the capacity to do it. At one point we didn't know how to make little shiny things that played music - but now we do. Parting the Red Sea is most certainly physically possible - we just don't know how.

Yes, I did take a while getting to the point, didn't I? But my conclusion to all this is simple. Miracles can happen. Magic is most certainly probable. Parting the Red Sea is definitely possible. If anyone, anyone at all, knew how to do it, and had the power to do it, then it still stays well within the boundaries of logic. And then it wouldn't be magic anymore.

The concept seems simple, I do admit. But it is the foundation to a lot more thought.

Off to find my rocker,


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