Where Is The On Ramp To The Yellow Brick Road?Posted: June 27, 2011 | |
We call songs that are a part of any serious music collection standards. Films that everyone should see are classics.
These classics and standards not only entertain us, they provide common language reference points for us. We refer to lyrics, movie lines, or even entire scenes in casual conversation. They become part of the repertoire of dialogue that we use without thought and interpret without effort.
But what happens if a person hasn’t really seen or heard one of these icons? How are they affected?
I can tell you from personal experience.
I’ve never seen The Wizard Of Oz.
A Respectful Pause
I know that there is a level of shock that occurs when I tell people that I’ve never watched the Wizard of Oz. Go on, take a moment.
Now let’s move on to the question I get from people when this matter comes up. How is it possible that someone my age, who grew up with this film on television every year of his life, has not seen this movie? Some parts I can explain, others I can’t. I remember it being on when I was a kid, but I was always doing something else. Short attention span? Could be. Truthfully, there have been times I have avoided the film for no reason other than to see how long I can survive without it.
Over the years, I have seen parts of the movie on television. I know there’s a scarecrow, a lion and a tin man. I know there are good and bad witches and a trip on a yellow brick road. I have no idea if they get what they need on the road trip. I suppose they do, but I can’t confirm that from my own knowledge.
The Consequence Of Ignorance
Like anyone who doesn’t know a language, I fill in the pieces I’m missing with the bits and pieces that I think I do know. Sometimes I get by, sometimes I don’t.
In high school, a girl I sat with used to sing the Wicked Witch Of The West theme whenever our Italian teacher (remember her?) walked in the room. Of course I got blamed for doing it. The teacher didn’t get agitated with me for pointing out that the voice that was singing was a girl’s and not mine. I got in trouble when the teacher asked why I would sing the Wicked Witch Theme about her and I answered “is that what it is?” She told my mother that was the moment she was sure I was lying to her.
More recently, in conversations with others, I’ve figured out things like:
- Flying Monkeys aren’t just a good idea. They are also characters in the movie. In the movie, Flying Monkeys are bad. Obviously this movie is fiction.
- The Lion is not brave or tough.
- The reason the Wicked Witch Of The West is designated as wicked is that there is a Good Witch. The existence of a Good Witch seems counter-intuitive to me. Wicked Witch is redundant.
Usually there is some measure of embarrassment on my part when I learn these things. There is also the need for denial of the possibility that I grew up under a rock.
Will I Ever See The Movie?
I know that I will probably give in. There will be a point where I sit down with some popcorn and watch the movie. The whole movie. I don’t know when that will be.
Part of what I like about the world is that I’ve always got something to learn. I’m always eager to see something new, even if it is old. But why rush on this?
I’ve got time, and I don’t want to give up my dream of airborne simians.