Monday, April 16, 2007

I still remember the sting of this

The winds are howling outside. It looks like deep winter. After snowing all night, it is now sleeting which is making everything look like it's dipped in frosting. I was giddy all day yesterday about the impending storm, watching the clouds and wind gather to attend this party in the sky.

As a kid, I remember being giddy over the Eastertime showing of The Wizard of Oz. (Note to adults with children: an infatuation with this film may be a harbinger of future gaiety. ) It was one of the special programs I was permitted to watch even if it was aired on a school night. Every year, I looked forward to this magical film.

One year, I asked why Dorothy says, upon her return to Kansas, "You were there, and you were there and you were there." I hadn't noticed that it was the same actors playing the characters in Oz - except for Elmira Gulch. It was explained to me that it was all a dream, that's why."Don't you remember how Dorothy's head gets banged by the window blowing out during the tornado?" Now this was information I was not prepared to hear. It was right up there with there is no Easter bunny, tooth fairy and Santa Claus. I tried to process the revelation, "You mean there really is no magic? It's all in her head? No, that can't be." I remember such disappointment over the news. A year of crestfallenness until I could watch it again and maybe find a way to explain away this whole "dream" version of the film.

The next year was terrible watching the film. Not only was the dream version confirmed, but it then ruined the rest of that year's watching. So, all Dorothy had to do was wake up, which she had the power to do all along. The ruby slippers, a figment of her imagination. Traumatizing.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you can imagine, I have NEVER watched The Wizard of Oz. Sad but true.

Jane

Ed said...

I have watched and loved The Wizard of Oz for many years. I think your right about Gays being infatuated by it. I couldn't wait to have my brother watch it when he was old enough to enjoy it. Instead he ran an hid and had nightmares about the flying monkeys. Straight people are so strange. LOL. I still love singing the songs. I too was disappointed that it was all a dream. It would have been so great if after they told her it was only a dream that she would pull the covers back and still have the red slippers on. L. Frank Baum shuld have consulted us for the end. hahaha!

Lemuel said...

My world came crashing down when I learned in high school that the whole story was really a metaphor about the country debating the gold standard of currency. You know William Jennings Bryan et al. Capitalist pigs ruined my fantasy! LOL!

On another side, please explain to me (as one with suspect credentials on his card) WHY gays are so attracted to this film. I know they are, but I have never quite understood why.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

I'm like anon! sad but true, only ever seen bits

Lacey said...

A dream? What the heck are you talking about?

Wait.

You mean......a DREAM??????


SHUT UP!!!! You guys are so full of it.


Really?



NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Chunks said...

I've never seen it all either. I don't think. Anyway, is the fixation from the gays about Judy Garland or is it Dorothy? Is this movie the reason Judy Garland was popular in the gay community?

I'm so straight, I'm clueless.

Anonymous said...

I think it is loved by gays because the Scarecrow, Lion, Tinman and even Dorothy are misfits trying to find a place to fit in. Just like most of us. And the songs are so much fun. LOL. Ed

Cooper said...

It always hurts to lose our childhood faith in the abosolute truth of magic. Still, I sense through your writing that you have retained many magical qualities in your spirit.

Beautiful post, Torn.

em said...

Yeah. I didn't get it was a dream, and beyond that, I was an adult before I got it that the Scarecrow already had a brain, the Tinman a heart and the Lion... well, he really didn't get the courage until the end, right?

It remains a metaphor to me for things I'm way too thick to understand.

We got through it happily last night. No one had to leave the room. Also, all you adults who haven't seen it, maybe you should watch it and then blog about it.

Dantallion said...

I never saw the film, and as a result I never understood the "friend of Dorothy" reference.

Of course, I never asked about it either.

Earl Cootie said...

I think I may have seen it once when I was quite young, and yes, the flying monkeys scared the crap out of me. (The halving of the scarecrow was altogether too much.) It wasn't a tradition in our family to watch it, so I never saw it again until I was an adult and then I couldn't sit through the whole thing. Though, as an adult, I found the flying monkeys cute rather than scary, I just couldn't make it through the boring parts and the sappy parts and the musical parts and, well, any of it. I don't mind it with the sound off though. Visually, it's pretty arresting.

Patricia said...

i don't know what you're talking about with this whole dream nonsense but you need to quit.

Doug said...

Highlights the power of the imagination.

Somehow, I knew it was all a dream, yet I still believed in the magic. I don't know how I resolved the incongruence in my brain. It probably is still there.

I loved the movie and had the LP soundtrack and listened to it repeatedly. Sadly, I got rid of all my vinyl records a while ago. That's one of the ones I miss.

Jason said...

I didn't know it was a dream either until this post.

dirk.mancuso said...

Every year when this was about to come on, I'd do something stupid and my mother would break out the tried and true "Fine! No WIZARD OF OZ for you!"

And the tears would begin.

GayProf said...

I always thought the dream thing was ambiguous. Yeah, her family told her it was a dream, but how did they know? It was kinda like Mrs. Kravitz constantly being told that she didn't really see Samantha's couch levitating.

Unlike Lemuel, I found the story became much more interesting when I learned of the theory that Baum wrote the story as an allegory for late-nineteenth-century politics. Some dispute the gold/silver debate, but, in the book, Dorothy has silver slippers, not ruby...

Enemy of the Republic said...

First we had rain (yesterday), then it became snow all morning and now it is rain. We are getting flooded in our basement, but the rest of the East is actually getting FLOODS. The winter that wouldn't end--2007. I might as well live in Montreal and see a prettier city!

dawn said...

It wasn't a dream. It was in COLOR for god's sake. It was real.

Except the monkeys. They were not real at all. Because they freak me out.

Have you seen Wicked? You'd love it. Great play on the Wizard of Oz story. And it's not a dream.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I don't know why the movie is gay, but I just know that IT IS GAY!!

I've got a DVD of silent movie versions of this that L Frank Baum hinself directed. If possible, it's even gayer. It's so awesome.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Am I weird because I liked the monkeys? I thought they were funny.

Rebekah said...

Yet again, another confirmation that I'm a gay man in a straight woman's body.

I LOVE that movie (and I didn't know until now how much you did too).

In the sixth grade, I read every Oz book that existed. I didn't get the whole financial/political metaphor of course, but gosh, I loved those stories.

And yes, I know the words to every song in the soundtrack