Sunday, August 21, 2016

WIZARD OF OZ




"MY PARENTS DIDN'T HIDE REALITY.
I WATCHED CARTOONS AND
THE NEWS WITH EQUAL
FASCINATION."

      Frank L. Baum wrote a children's book that made a definite mark on Kansas and Kansans.  The story did not really hit it's zenith until the 1939 movie production of THE WIZARD OF OZ.  Frank Baum never lived in Kansas and yet there are many who are green with envy that he had such an impact on our state history.  Many covet that for themselves.  Some becoming famous, others infamous, and many just lost to history.
      Baum wanted to write children's books similar to the Brothers Grimm and others but wanted to remove the blood and violence that fairy tales had.  Many years after the Wizard was in print there was a piece of scholarship by a school teacher that presents the case that the story is actually an Allegory.  Since then there are many who have jumped on the case explaining what Baum really meant with his characters and story line.
      Given all the coincidental evidence it could be easy to assume that the possibility exists.  OR, maybe they over think it.  It would be so interesting what Frank Baum would have said to all this.
      Now for those who don't know what an Allegory is here is a definition:  A story or poem that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
      At the time the original book was written was during a time when there was an agricultural revolt on the prairie and populism was on fire in Kansas.  Populism has always been a part of the political scene in Kansas.  Around 1900 when this book was written William Jennings Brian had made his famous speech on the silver standard over the gold standard.
      The characters and case put forth that this book was a case for populism is not difficult to believe considering the time and the circumstances.  But maybe all this scholarship is just over thinking things a bit too much.  It is very similar to the news media when they start on a narrative and keep bending the facts and circumstances to conform to their preconceived narrative.
     Looking and listening to the media today it is not too hard to fall into the trap of taking the convenient directed story.  It is so easy, when a story is so invested in by those who push it, to overlook the facts and the narrative that does not follow the sensational or original intention of the story.
     The characters of the Wizard of OZ, in the allegory, are Dorthy as the American Public, the Scarecrow as the farmer, the Tin man as American Labor.  In the original story the Ruby slippers that Dorthy wore were actually silver.  Ruby was better for the color movie version.  This all gets so symbolic that you will have to do your own homework.  There are ton's of stories out there by scholars and pundits that have an explanation of what the story really means.  It is too much to lay out in this story.
     But applying the allegory to today's happenings and politic, it is not hard to see a lot of media and analysts that are over-thinking and misdirecting what we are to believe.
     But can you imagine what Frank Baum could do with the election and world condition today if he was writing in that form.  Actually I figure he has long turned over in his grave along with our founding fathers.

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