getting what you deserve and other spells

i assume that most people know the meaning of the word ‘deserve’. if you asked the average punter on the street, their definition would be something along the lines of ‘getting what you should have, having what you should get’. nobody needs a dq blizzard, but after a hot sweaty day in the office, gorgeous, you deserve one. one could also assume that most people hold some concept of how the idea of deserve works; how it shapes the world around them. contrasting legal and political systems differ in how they define what citizens deserve. both the marxist paradise and the american dream could be conceived as promises to ensure what you deserve. one system promised to give to each according to their needs, and take according to their abilities. in practice, a great deal of the time seemed to be spent lining up for baked goods. the other system, i believe, promised cristal and bentleys to anyone who ’embraced the hustle’. in practice, these luxuries were only affordable as baby names. successful group dynamics depend upon a shared definition of deserve. if is a strong scienfictious fact that the most entitled people are the least annoying to converse with at a party. a problem’s importance is directly proportional to the level one can pout about it in front of near strangers; its just math. more individually, our core personal beliefs revolve around the center spoke of deserve. from infancy, like some perpetual i-just-shot-frank-in-the-stomach tony montana, we are surrounded with daily affirmations that ‘the world is ours’. these various manifestations of the concept of deserve are interesting enough to examine on their own. though more interesting is how the use of the word deserve, whether implied or explicit, serves to frame the questions we ask of ourselves and society.

i assume that most people reading this dont believe in magic. yet i also assume that when i say the word ‘magic’ most people know exactly what i mean. the word brings to mind images of wizened wizards, dragons, crafty imps, and princesses with both bleached blond hair and the uncanny ability to inspire men. the last image, perhaps works only for those with premium cable. its strange that even though we know magic doesnt exist, we still know what magic is. we most likely even have an idea about how it is supposed to work, its mechanics. for instance, magic requires certain paraphernalia such as wand, a book of spells, various amphibian appendages, a cauldron or sizable pot. get a good boil going, say some vaguely latin incantations and, voila, bobs your uncle. for most of us, in fact, that would really be the only way bob could be our uncle. a man named robert suddenly materializing as a sibling to one of your parents is far more difficult than the parlance of our day implies. the point is that in the world of fantasy, magic is a supernatural energy force that can be harnessed in order to change the natural world. it is a force that has rules. only when those rules are adhered to does the adherent gain the power to change the material world. you have to cast the spell correctly in order to achieve the desired effects.

in real life, as we all know, magic does not really exist. there is no mystical energy that, recognising you have said or done a certain set of things in a prescribed order, rewards you with the ability to shape the world as you see fit. yet when we say ‘i deserve’ arent we appealing to some external power to reshape the world as we believe it should be?

continued in part 2 (seriously)

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