I asked him had he ever seen the faeries, and got the reply, 'Am I not annoyed with them?'
- The Celtic Twilight, W.B. Yeats
What with things being as Apple Mac/Harry Potter as they are, it comes as no surprise that magic — like feminism/homosexuality/counterculture, and other previous unfathomables— has been gentrified. To conform magic with consumer values required a tidying, a softening re-appropriation. This was primarily achieved though a co-opting of magical vocabulary for bourgeois ends, e.g./i.e. to sell cars/ mortgages/art/coffee... Sprite is lemonade, Elf a petrol station, Nike no longer the winged goddess of victory! Versace has graphic-designed Medusa beyond recognition, as have Starfucks the double-tailed mermaid. Call me paranoid, but I’m gonna go with this blitzkrieg being a deliberate attempt on the part of our arch-overlords (you know who you are!) to make it harder, but at once more important than ever, for folk to occupy a position of radical fantasy. Harder but not impossible... for myriad occurrences — the dawn chorus, a supermoon, twilight, for example — prompt revellers to pause in their stumble, holiday-makers to miss folk back home and newborns to bristle with excitement. Us few wild children, alert and cautious, hip to how urgent and how tangible the occasion is.
Fiona Finnegan is a painter. She lives and works in Belfast.
Iphgenia Baal is away with the faeries