We're Not in Kansas Anymore...


Not having read the book behind the Wizard of Oz, I was blissfully unaware that the whole thing is an allegory about the economic plight of people in the US just over 100 years ago. Oppressed by the Wicked Witches of the East (Bankers and Industrialists) and the West (the harsh environment) the woman, the scarecrow (farmer), tinman (industrial workers) and cowardly lion (William Jennings Bryan the leader of the Populist Movement) head along the yellow brick road (the gold standard) to the Emerald City (Washington DC, the source of greenback dollars) to seek the wisdom of the Wonderful Wizard (President) of Oz (either a corruption of US or the symbol for the Ounces of the Gold Standard).

It all sounds very plausible, though, as we were always taught in theological college to beware of intragesis as opposed to exegesis, ie. reading things into rather than out of the text.

As I said, I haven't read the book as of yet, though this might prompt me to... Until then I cannot make any judgement as to how much of this thesis is correct...

One thing I always found strange about the film though, was the fact that the Kansas that Judy Garland was so eager to get back to was monochrome, while Oz was wonderfully multicoloured. In times of crisis... be that economic or of any other sort... people yearn for simple, black and white solutions... But we are not in monochrome Kansas any more... economically, culturally, religiously, morally... We are in a technicolor world, with no easy answers, and no amount of wishing while we click our ruby (or silver as I am informed they were in the book) slippers, will transport us back to the good old days.

Rather, we have to forge on ahead, together, ready to cope with whatever the wicked witches from all points of the compass can throw at us.


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