Witch is What?

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I’ve always enjoyed movies of a spiritual nature.

There was “The Song of Bernadette”, “Quo Vadis”, “MIracle at Fatima”,”The Ten Commandments” and “The Robe” – with Richard Burton chasing screaming meemies on a galley ship back home.

There was “The Chalice”, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, “Ben Hur”, “Going My Way” and “The Exorcist” – featuring pea soup a la mold.

And “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Angels With Dirty Faces”, “Francis of Assisi” and “The Passion of the Christ.”

My favorite religious film saw magic come alive in 1939 as Dorothy Gale joined forces with the Tin Woodsman, the Scarecrow and a Cowardly Lion seeking “The Wizard of Oz.”

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 and published at his own expense.

Baum’s birthplace, Chittenango, New York, is only ten miles east of Syracuse, where I was born. The teeny town holds an “Oz Festival” every Spring. They even feature actual movie Munchkins – special, but spooky. Not many are left.

And even fewer folks know that “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was just the first trip to Oz

There was also The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), Ozma of Oz (1907), Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (1908), The Road to Oz (1909), The Emerald City of Oz (1910), The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913),Tik-Tok of Oz (1914), The Scarecrow of Oz (1915) , Rinkitink in Oz (1916) ,The Lost Princess of Oz ( 1917),The Tin Woodman of Oz (1918), The Magic of Oz (1919) and Glinda of Oz (1920). Baum wrote them all. Followers wrote another twenty-six.

That’s a total of forty. There are only twenty-seven books in the entire New Testament.

Somewhere over the rainbow.

Don’t know the basic story? You must be from Oz.

A terrible tornado sweeps Dorothy, and her little dog too, from black and white Kansas to a strange, colorful land, where only a wonderful Wizard can help her home – “The Mighty Wizard of Oz”

“The Great and Powerful Oz”

“Messiah”

“Thor”

“Jupiter”

“Zeus”

Sir Arthur C, Clarke of “2001:A Space Odyssey” fame also wrote “The Nine Billion Names of God.” When these names were printed a certain way by computer, overhead, without any fuss, all the stars went out.”

Fuck!

This Place!

Let’s Pretend!

“Elvis.”

“Allah”

“God”

Were I in charge of all organized religions in every church, temple, synagogue, mosque or Irish bar around the world, I would insist that the beginning of each formal service require all in attendance to rise in unison from their seats, hold hands, and joyously, lovingly whisper:

Permissum Nos Simulatio!”

“Let’s Pretend!”

Which also means:

“Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain!”

“What?” “Huh?”

Lions and Tigers and Bears!” “Oh, My!”

Even so – the Lion talks, the Scarecrow walks, the Tin Man squawks.

Monkeys fly.

Then there’s that witch.

Magic!

It’s all true after all!

All religion is true, save that which claims all truth.

Cancel all curtains.

“Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Amen!

We’re in This Place.

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