Dear Alf #66: Spirits, symbols and stigma

Don’t let all that science dissolve away your spirituality! Come to Alf’s Rehab where we can talk piety over pie and tea.

Already one month into the year! Where does the time go? Certainly a lot of it lately has been spent looking at all the trophy names you submitted to us. That’s why I had to skip this week’s Fan Art. Sorry about that!

It was so hard to prune all your to just 25 finalists, but now is the time for you to go and vote for the ones you want to make the final cut. Go on! Go and vote before you even start to read this. This week, Dear Alf is your reward for voting. GO VOTE!

Feels like Ol’ Alfie’s been talking quite a bit of science lately, so it’s probably time to remind ourselves that there’s more to life than automatic food and brain transplants. Let’s answer your questions about religion, faith and spirituality.

yahel: dear alf i wanted to know this qutie a time now are there other gods except for shrykull? lke glukons deities or somthing??

Turret: There is any other gods besides Shrykull?

Alf: Depends who you ask. Ain’t no shortage of different faiths on Oddworld! You got your theistic ones, but talk to us Mudokons or the Grubbs and you’ll find we’re more interested in the spirit world that intersects our own. Everything’s got its own spirit if ya know how to see it (a loada Spooce never won’t help): the creatures, the plants, the rivers and mountains. Gods like Shrykull are more like aspects of this than they are individuals sitting in the clouds. The Glukkons don’t worship gods or spirits, they worship Moolah… at least these days.

Spartan Sloth: What exactly is Big Face’s role and how did he get that position in the first place? #DearAlf

Alf: Big Face is a spritual leader who sits about in Monsaic Lines preserving all the ancient gubbins our ancestors left lying about the place. He’s obsessed with the stuff. Odd knows what any of it prattles on about, but he sure is quick to give Abe a helping handscar or two. Oh sure, we’re all very grateful! But he only got the job by carving a silly mask, so it clearly doesn’t take much. No wonder Abe went to the Raisin.

Kamagawa: We know of 2 mudokon tribes so far, 1 for paramites and 1 for scrabs. Are there any other tribes that use/used other wild creatures for their symbol? who are they, what are the creatures and can you please describe them?

Alf: Yeah sure, it’s not just wild creatures but there’s the Mudmeechees, the Mudfleechees, the Mudofartees, the Mudteas, and my favourite, the Mudalfas. I’m sure you can figure out what they all worship. Oh, and the Mudunnoreelees.

BAR: hey Alf, do you believe that all glukkons including their customers of industrial food products to be Pure Evil?

Alf: Y’know, ‘evil’ is such a broad term. There ain’t some pervasive force o’ malevolence telling ’em what to do. They just don’t care about who they step on to achieve their goals, because everyone’s done such a great job of making them think that. But if we can stand up for ourselves and make ourselves heard, they’ll learn they have to pay us the respect we deserve.

BAR: Hey Alf, I hope this doesn’t sound racist but… Are you Mudokons animals or People?

Alf: At the risk of sounding like a bookend, it… depends who you ask. Obviously we’re ‘people’ with family and culture and hopes and dreams and faith and technology. We’re not just crawling about like critters wanting for nothing more than food and safety… well, not most days, anyway. But ask anyone raised in the Civilized parts of Mudos and they’ll think we’re exactly that kind of knuckle-dragging barbarian. It’s a lot easier to buy that latest Opple Fone when you’re told the slaves that stitched it together aren’t people, after all. Scientifically we’re animals because we evolved from other animals, but ask a Mudokon Shaman and they’ll tell you we’ve actually lost something in the process: that deep, natural connection to the spirit world. We revere other animals for their connection, and study them that we might learn to be so spiritual. At least, that’s what Big Face says.

The chimelocks are tolling ‘WEEKEND’, so that’s another end to another Dear Alf. Don’t forget to send in all of your Oddworld questions for future weeks! Put them in the comments below or use the hashtag #DearAlf on Facebook or Twitter.

It’s a special, fluttery, pouty-lipped Friday next week, so don’t forget to get in all your questions about love and relations in good time! Nothing racey, ya hear me?? If my heart starts racing too fast I’m putting ya letter in the recycler! Alf wants mulch to grow his roses for the big day.