Monday, June 1, 2015

Return to Oz. Whether You Like it Or Not.

OK. This 12-year-old kid, Dorothy Gale, is a stranger in a strange land, namely the Land of Oz. There, she meets up with three pathetic social outcasts. She wants to go home; they want what they want. Somehow, these characters get an audience with the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a giant floating head, apparently. They state their requests. Oz says he’ll give them what they want, sure. All they have to to is bring back the Wicked Witch of the West’s broomstick. Which is like asking for Idi Amin’s machine gun or the horn on Charlie Manson's dune buggy. If you take this story at face value, he’s sending them to their deaths. Pretty damn cold. And unnecessary. OK, he’s a Midwestern con-artist pretending to be a wizard. He wants to get rid of these clowns, keep his cover, fine. But all he has to say is, “The cosmic forces decree that Dorothy must remain in the Land of Oz -- and the rest of you need to shut your pie holes. Begone!” That’d be that. But no. Oz sends them out to die like animals.

Most folks miss this disturbing implication because it's a magical, happy movie with a vague assumption that the weak and foolish things of this earth shall confound the strong and wise.That was probably the original idea.

Yeah, it's a good bet a sociopathic Wizard with the moral compass of Hannibal Lecter was not the screenwriter’s intention. (Three guys, actually.) This is obviously a case of the missing scene.

The screenwriters must’ve figured Glinda the Good set up the whole thing. Told the Wizard to send Dorothy and her pals on their mission. Assured him they’d be OK. She'd protect 'em all the way, yep.

But what the hell would she actually say?


The WIZARD OF OZ is fretting in his chamber. Scared out of his mind that some supernatural freak might appear at any moment.

Which is exactly what happens.

Glinda’s bubble floats in. She pops out with an irritating falsetto laugh.

GLINDA: Ha-ha-ha-ha! Hello, Wizard.


GLINDA: You’re not a real wizard, obviously.

OZ: Yes, obviously. What can I do for you?

GLINDA: Whatever I tell you, of course. Ha-ha-ha-ha! Stand up straight when you’re talking to me. And look me in the eye.

OZ: Yes , ma’am. Of course.

GLINDA: That’s better. Ha-ha-ha-ha! Well, to get to the point. A little girl will be coming your way with three of her friends. Her name is Dorothy. She wants to go home. To Kansas.

OZ: Kansas! Why, I’m from Kansas. I’ve been trying to fix the balloon ...

GLINDA: No, ha-ha-ha. Not the balloon, you stupid man. Ha-ha-ha. Did I say anything about a balloon?

OZ: No.

GLINDA: No. So please, ha-ha-ha. Stop talking and listen. Ha-ha-ha. Don’t make me hurt you.

OZ: Y-yes, your magnificence.

GLINDA: O man of lies -- how insincere you are! Ha-ha-ha! As I was just about to say, Dorothy doesn’t need a balloon. She’s wearing magic slippers that can take her home at any time. She just doesn’t know it.

OZ: Well ... then I’ll tell her.

GLINDA: No, you won’t.

She waves her wand. A blast of lightning zaps OZ in the crotch. He falls to the floor and writhes.

GLINDA: Oh dear, dear, dear. Where is your dignity?

OZ: (clutching balls, spinning on the floor like Curly) Eaghhhh!

GLINDA: O, do try to show some self-control! Get back on your feet! Now!

Staggers to his feet.

OZ: Y-yes. What do you want me --

GLINDA: What you will do is exactly what I say -- as I've told you many times. Please listen!

Living energy writhes around her wand. She smiles, eyes unblinking. As brittle as a pane of glass about to shatter.

GLINDA: As I was saying ... ha-ha-ha-ha! Dorothy will ask to go home. The others will state their ridiculous requests. Your answer will be yes – on one condition.

OZ: Which is?

GLINDA: That they journey to the stronghold of the Wicked Witch of the West and return with her broomstick!

OZ: T-that monster? But she’ll kill –

GLINDA: No she won’t! I’ll protect Dorothy at every moment. What can that green hag do, after all? I am stronger. Ha-ha-ha! She is evil, I am good. Good is always stronger! You do think I’m good, don’t you?

OZ: What? I mean yes, yes of course. But why are you doing this?

GLINDA: Why? Ha-ha-ha! I am a being of light – you are talking meat that rots and dies in a moment! Ha-ha-ha! I don’t have to answer your question, but I will. Do you want to know why?

OZ: Yes .. yes I do.

GLINDA: To teach Dorothy faith, of course.

OZ: By trusting a total stranger and doing something incredibly stupid?

GLINDA: Precisely! It builds character. In the end, she’ll kill the Wicked Witch in what seems like an accident. Then – O, but why spoil the surprise?

OZ: No, no of course not. Why?

GLINDA: O, do shut up. Ha-ha-ha! O, if only your friends in the Emerald City knew how helpless and weak you really are. That could happen, you know. Easily. Would you want that?

OZ: Would I ...

GLINDA: It was a rhetorical question, you idiot!

She raises her wand and almost blasts him to dust.

GLINDA: O silly me, silly me, that's not the plan, is it? Ha-ha-ha! Well. They'll be here at any moment. Get in character please! I'll be watching, you know. I always am!

A bubble envelops her. She floats away.

The WIZARD OF OZ falls to his knees, gets up again.

And bravely gets into character.

OZ: I am the great and powerful ... Wizard of Oz. (with a little more force) I am the great and powerful ..

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