Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."

23.7.07

Welcome to the Emerald City

I've long been fascinated by the story of the "Wizard of Oz": from the movie (a staple of most Americans' childhood) to, later in life, L. Frank Baum's 1900 book and our all-time favorite Broadway play Wicked.

Beyond the feel-good tale of a young girl who just wants to go home, Oz presents numerous character studies that are germane to many of my professional and personal fascinations.

Central to these is the role of the Wizard. To some, he is simply helping others liberate the talent already within them. But to others, he is a charlatan with no real powers of his own who uses fear and intimidation to preserve his authority.

I fall in the latter category. After all, what did the Wizard ever really do for the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow except give them placebos in the place of real solutions? A ticking clock for a heart? C'mon...

Therefore, the Wizard is a master of Fifth Generation Warfare -- able to twist perceptions so that the very context by which we judge the world is altered.


The story is further enriched by Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Tim
es of the Wicked Witch of the West and Stephen Schwartz's brilliant Broadway musical adaptation Wicked, which challenge all of our presumptions about the characters in Baum's original work. It's a telling tale of our willingness to accept what we're shown (be it from the mainstream media, our schools, our churches, or any other seemingly authoritative source of information) rather than to think for ourselves. The subtitle on this 'blog (Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless!) is a quote from the character Fiyero, a vain and lazy prince we encounter in Schwartz's play.

So, this 'blog is intended to be a forum for challenging our mainstream opinions, for identifying the Wizards in our midst, and for seeing the true intentions of the Witches in our hearts.

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6 Comments:

At 23/7/07 12:28 , Blogger Dan tdaxp said...

Interesting about Wicked.. Reminds me of a short-story by Neil Gaimann (sp?), which is Snow White from a completely different perspective...

I'd imagine the Wizard is more of a witch-doctor than a 5GWarrior. He never releases a product which allows him to go away...

To use a physics analogy, a 5GWarrior would be able to change the gravitational constant. Otherwise he would have to push the boulder up the hill himself.

 
At 23/7/07 16:49 , Blogger Adrian said...

I'll be sure to listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" when I read your blog.

 
At 23/7/07 17:01 , Blogger deichmans said...

Dan,

Re: 5GW and Physics, wouldn't it be just as effective for the Wizard to make us *believe* we were truly "Defying Gravity"?

Adrian,

I will strive to achieve true
synchronicity
with the Dark Side of the Rainbow. :-)

 
At 23/7/07 18:58 , Blogger Purpleslog said...

I am prety sure a green goggle cartel was the true force behind The Wizard

 
At 23/7/07 19:16 , Anonymous Arherring said...

Heh,

Don't *make* me get the flying monkeys!

 
At 1/8/07 14:31 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://warfare2050.blogspot.com/2007/07/semper-fi-wizard-of-oz.html
hi marine!

 

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