|Items confiscated from a Fairy-American arrested for fixed-gear biking under the influence of gluten-free alcohol. Jaemin Riley, The Disassociated Press|
Our concept of fairies, like so many things deemed magical, has become warped and disfigured over time. The horrendous actions of fairies have been skewed by fiction writers of the past and present to conceal their true, fiendish nature. For example, Tinkaret, or Tinker Bell, the mad kidnapper of lost children; or Sióg na bhfiacla (original Gaelic), The Tooth Fairy, clepto connoisseur of human molars and bicuspids. These new characterizations were created primarily to ease the integration of dwarf folk into society after the great dwarf massacres of 1609, which is interesting because dwarves aren't necessarily magical and fairies aren't necessarily small. However, the kind portrayal has had more ill effects than good as many dwarves are forced to work demeaning holiday and birthday performance jobs. Recently, a resurgence in distrust and fear of the dwarfish folk has been fueled by Peter Dinklage's role in the television series “Game of Thrones.” Many dwarves have deemed his performance incredibly empowering. That will be the only mention of the series, hand to God.
Fairies, or “good people” as the Irish refer to them, originate from the Celtic Islands – Ireland primarily. The Irish call fairies the "good people" because they're absolutely terrified of pissing them off. Fairies are spiteful little monsters. According to Irish historical documents, fairies have been known to cripple, maim, and curse for the most insignificant of transgressions. They mock families who have lost infant children, they torture the elderly for watering their flowers too heavily, and they've even killed a few people. Fairies, the real ones, are no joke. Some believe that the confusingly adorable, sarcastic character of the Irish evolved from being forced to cope with the surreal circumstances of living every waking moment in fear of offending these action-figure-sized (though not necessarily) beings who exist beyond the realm of normal observation. Such a life would drive anyone to drink, and probably worse, but the Irish are a resilient and clever people.
In recent years, reports of fairy-caused chaos are scarce. Fairies have seemingly disappeared, and are known contemporarily as cute, miniature angels that make orphan dreams come true. Though, every so often you hear of an individual who has suffered stranger-than-fiction tragedies for no apparent reason - obvious fairy meddling (not debatable). According to some, the long time lack of fairy meddling is due to the majority of fairies attempting to assimilate into common society. I wouldn't claim to understand the how and why of it, but I suppose such is the nature of magic – unfathomable, and certainly unfalsifiable.
Before discussing fairy integration, some fairy characteristics:
C1. Fairies are extremely territorial. This includes music, culture, and geographical locations.
C2. Fairies enjoy mocking mortal culture, but one should never mock theirs - hypocrites.
C3. Fairies do not handle criticism well, i.e., “fairies are not wrong, ever.” - every fairy.
C4. Fairies dress funny. Funny hats, goofy shoes, fairies just look funny, which is why it is often difficult to take them seriously.
1958, Bobby Fischer wins the United States Chess Championship, and the robust melting pot that is the United States is beginning to find some semblance of harmony – a suitable environment for fairy integration ground zero. The first attempt, a child prodigy named Theodore Kaczynski, is accepted to Harvard at the age of 16. Ted excelled in the field of mathematics and would even go on to teach at the University of California, Berkeley. Ted, the first man-adapted fairy, was to be a success, but then things went terribly wrong. Like some inverted Frankensteinian experiment, Ted suddenly went rogue on society. Ted, or the "Unabomber" as he will be forever remembered, was eventually captured, and the inherent anti-social nature of fairies would eventually be numbed via better cultural acclimation programs, but the first fairy-humanity merging attempt was, by all accounts, a tremendous failure. Luckily, only a few people lost their lives. In response to these events, the Fairy Federal Emergency Management Agency (FFEMA), a secret sub-agency of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was created specifically to manage fairy-caused chaos. The agency consists of two middle-aged men who write a great deal of Tolkien fan fiction.
By the 1990's, fairies were starting to find their footing. The punk/grunge “scene” provided the perfect environment for new Fairy-American citizens to begin anew. Fairy-Americans found camaraderie and comfort in the new anti-establishment movement, and they've been here ever since.
Today, we know Fairy-Americans as Hipsters. Yep, that's where they came from, and all of that Kerouac, hip cat, jazzy bullshit had nothing to do with it. Are all hipsters assimilated magical creatures? Of course not. Some of them are just posers, or remnants from that great time in the 90's, but they all fit that fairy character mold pretty snugly. Though, if you're not sure if your company is fae or mortal, try the following: Abruptly interrupt the potential candidate dressed in a vintage care bear t-shirt, suspenders, lensless specs and a unicorn stickered fedora (C4) who is probably carrying most, if not all, of the items above, and is uninformatively discussing, a place/band/activity you've never heard of (C1) by asking, "What's so great about it?" When they mock you for not knowing, and begin their tired diatribe against mainstream culture (C2), calmly claim, "That is utter horse shit." Now, right before they snap back at you with rants concerning your ignorance and irrelevant allusions to works and authors they've read about on Wikipedia (C3), yell, "Fairies don't exist!" And slam your beverage down on a hard surface three times fast. They will either shrivel up and die, or wander off in a confused state of horror. Regardless, terrible conversation ended. Cheers.
Written by: Hunter Hirsch
Photograph by: Jaemin Riley