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  #1  
Old 06-18-2012, 02:36 PM
kireiname kireiname is offline
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Water and the Wicked Witch of the West

I recently ran across this posting (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-the-west-melt) by "Dex," and felt I needed to express something that's been bothering me for a while. While Dex's answer is well written and makes a lot of sense, I feel like it, like every other wizard of Oz analysis I've ever read, is missing the obvious.

The casual google user can easily find out that L. Frank Baum was a noted member of the American Theosophical Society, which has roots in studying many different arcane religions, including the resurgent religion of Wicca, and indeed, there were members of the American Theosophical Society that had a hand in bringing Wicca over to the US and creating the Neo-Pagan, American Wicca movement.

Having that background, it seems like a huge oversight not to look at the map of Oz and not see directional and elemental associations. In Standard American Wicca, East is Air and beginnings, South is Fire, youth and beauty, West is Water, change, and travel, and North is Earth, aging, and wisdom.

The story starts in the East (beginnings, remember?) where the ruler of that kingdom was killed by a tornado (Air?). The Witch of the West was killed by water. I doubt very much that this is a comment on an economic drought. The Witches of the East and West were cruel. They subjected their people and were at odds with their own being. As "Dex" mentions, the Witch of the West had no blood, for it had all "dried up." They were trying to suppress a part of themselves, and they turned that part into the strongest weapon against them (their Kryptonite?).

Take a look at the map of Oz. The Witch of the North is an old woman who meets Dorothy at the beginning and gives her advice. Glinda is a young, beautiful woman who wears red dresses made out of rubies. The Emerald City is, in fact colorless, the neutral center of all four elements. This seems so glaringly obvious that I'm having trouble figuring out why I can't find a similar analysis online somewhere? Where did all the moderately intelligent literary critics go?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:06 PM
njtt njtt is online now
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Emerald ... colorless ... glaringly obvious ... right...
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:08 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Not a bad thought. I'd have to go home and examine my Oz maps/books though.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:27 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
Emerald ... colorless ... glaringly obvious ... right...
Have you read the book?
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by njtt View Post
Emerald ... colorless ... glaringly obvious ... right...
IIRC, in the books the Emerald City is only green on the outside. Visitors are told they have to wear special glasses inside, so as not to be blinded. Dorothy notices that the glasses make everything look green. She takes them off and finds that inside, the Emerald city is really colorless.

If Baum was a theosophist, everything in the OP may have been what he intended.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:32 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Emerald ... colorless ... glaringly obvious ... right...
Yeah, in the book, Emerald City is clear and everyone wears green shades to "protect their eyes" from the brilliance of the emeralds. Because the wizard is a humbug. But at least he's not a dictator like Ozma turns out.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:25 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
If Baum was a theosophist, everything in the OP may have been what he intended.
Do you know who else was a Theosophist?

SPOILER:
Well, not Hitler. I have read (looking for it) that he found the Theosophical carryings on of Goebbels and Himmler ridiculous, but useful.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:33 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Originally Posted by DocCathode View Post
IIRC, in the books the Emerald City is only green on the outside. Visitors are told they have to wear special glasses inside, so as not to be blinded. Dorothy notices that the glasses make everything look green. She takes them off and finds that inside, the Emerald city is really colorless.

If Baum was a theosophist, everything in the OP may have been what he intended.
I thought it was more or less normal colored not colorless without the glasses.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:37 PM
74westy 74westy is online now
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Wicca didn't really exist until the 1930s but if Baum was a theosophist, he might have been thinking of some similar neo-pagan thing.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:40 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Here we go... From The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz:
Quote:
"Just to amuse myself, and keep the good people busy, I ordered them to build this City, and my Palace; and they did it all willingly and well. Then I thought, as the country was so green and beautiful, I would call it the Emerald City; and to make the name fit better I put green spectacles on all the people, so that everything they saw was green."

"But isn't everything here green?" asked Dorothy.

"No more than in any other city," replied Oz; "but when you wear green spectacles, why of course everything you see looks green to you
I feel like I'm misremembering something. I swear there's a part in one of the books where someone takes there glasses off and finds out that everything not green, but at the very least this quote will suffice to show that Oz isn't colorless.

Last edited by Joey P; 06-18-2012 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:54 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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The green spectacles are still in use at the time of General Jinjur’s revolt, but are not mentioned afterwards. I have always supposed that, when the girls of Jinjur’s army burst past the Guardian, the secret was let out.

As regards the OP, I don’t believe it for a minute; dearly as I love Baum, he was never that organized in his entire life. The Annotated Wizard of Oz, however, does suggest a way in which the colors of the first book (Gillikin purple is not mentioned until the second volume) could be based on elementary color theory.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:11 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Of course. It's essentially a Theosophist allegory.

And, while I don't want this at all to detract from your discovery, as you discovered it for yourself and therefore it's absolutely exciting and worthy of further contemplation, it has been noted before. At least once, by the Theosophical Society.
Quote:
“Although readers have not looked at his fairy tales for their Theosophical content, it is significant that Baum became a famous writer of children’s books after he came into contact with Theosophy. Theosophical ideas permeate his work and provided inspiration for it. Indeed, The Wizard can be regarded as Theosophical allegory, pervaded by Theosophical ideas from beginning to end. The story came to Baum as an inspiration, and he accepted it with a certain awe as a gift from outside, or perhaps from deep within, himself.”
-American Theosophist no 74, 1986
Baum himself wanted more occult information/inspiration in books:
Quote:
Quote:
“There is a strong tendency in modern novelists towards introducing some vein of mysticism or occultism into their writings. Books of this character are eagerly bought and read by the people, both in Europe and America. It shows the innate longing in our natures to unravel the mysterious: to seek some explanation, however fictitious, of the unexplainable in nature and in our daily existence. For, as we advance in education, our desire for knowledge increases, and we are less satisfied to remain in ignorance of that mysterious fountain-head from which emanates all that is sublime and grand and incomprehensible in nature.”
At the end of this article, Baum goes into an all-out plead for more occultism in literature:

Quote:
“The appetite of our age for occultism demands to be satisfied, and while with the mediocrity of people will result in mere sensationalism, it will lead in many to higher and nobler and bolder thought; and who can tell what mysteries these braver and abler intellects may unravel in future ages?”
-L. Frank Baum, Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, February 22nd 1890
http://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesand...-wizard-of-oz/
Another article you might find interesting:
http://www.reversespins.com/wizardofoz.html
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Rebecca Loncraine, in The Real Wizard of OZ: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum, makes an elaborate case that The Master Key, his next non-Oz book, was totally influenced by Theosophy. I recall that she introduced the subject after the Oz chapter, though. It's been a while and I was looking up The Master Key so I may be wrong on that.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:24 PM
kireiname kireiname is offline
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Thanks for all the info, guys! You're right, "colorless" may have been a bad choice of words. I don't remember anything that suggests that the Emerald City was actually "colorless"--it was simply not associated with any one particular color like the rest of the four regions. So in that sense it is "colorless" in terms of associations, but normal-colored in terms of the city itself.

Thank you mostly for the references. Not that I hate to make new discoveries or anything, but I really couldn't believe that no one had written this before and was genuinely looking for some sources.
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2012, 05:52 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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You're right, the Emerald City isn't colorless...it's Malkuth! Y'know, Malkuth, home of Sandalphon, who often takes the shape of a wizard or a beautiful princess with a key which unlocks the rest of your path up the Tree of Life when you're ready to make that step!

It's Earth of Earth - all the colors, mixed together, that we see around us every day, if we'd only take off our falsifying lenses and see reality.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:22 PM
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You're right, the Emerald City isn't colorless...it's Malkuth!
For the record this is pronounced mawl-HOOT. I've heard various people say 'mal KOOTH or mal KUTH' and it drives me nuts.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:40 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Rebecca Loncraine, in The Real Wizard of OZ: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum, makes an elaborate case that The Master Key, his next non-Oz book, was totally influenced by Theosophy. I recall that she introduced the subject after the Oz chapter, though. It's been a while and I was looking up The Master Key so I may be wrong on that.
Three points:

1) I know little-to-nothing of Theosophy, but The Master Key is very much a "boy's adventure" novel--"Tom Swift and his Amazing Electrical Inventions" type thing. The hero accidentally summons up the spirit of electricity who's been waiting since the dawn of time for someone to finally do so (the fact that the kid did it by mistake plays in later) and since the kid doesn't know enough to command the spirit/elemental, the spirit will grant him...um...9(?) gifts of Modern Electrical Wonders--3 sets of 3 gifts given x days apart. Some of the gifts are obvious stuff--a sleep/stun gun, a force-field, a transport device (I don't remember if it was a teleporter or what), but some are super-lame with the electrical connection. "Electrical food pills--one per day energizes you with all you need" (the kid hates them claiming that he misses the lack of taste. Eventually the kid decides that he's not able to deal with all this stuff and that humans aren't ready for it and tells the spirit to go away (and take his gifts) until someone deliberately summons the spirit. The spirit is sad but goes. I dunno if this is theosophical (and...now that I type it out, yeah...it does have a mystic flavor).

2) Flaw in the OP's argument. The Witch of the East was emphatically not killed by the tornado (air), she was killed by the house falling on her (wood and gravity and earth.--It's no more air than saying a sword that's pounded between hammer and anvil is shaped by air because the hammer has to go through the air. ).

3) Between books two and three, Ozma took over and made the Emerald City legit--covering everything in real emeralds--the city wasn't made out of them, they were just strewn and mounted everywhere. As an aside, this well-and-truly pissed off the Nome King (in later books, but strangely not in book 3 where we first meet him).
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:08 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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I'm the guy who wrote the Staff Report. I'm travelling at the moment, and so don't have my references (or the Oz books) nearby, I'll try to get back to this in about ten days. I did a fair amount of research when I wrote that, but found nothing about Baum and Theosophy. At least, nothing that I recall or that seemed to come into play with the witches.

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 06-21-2012 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:37 AM
Ulfreida Ulfreida is online now
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
I'm the guy who wrote the Staff Report. I'm travelling at the moment, and so don't have my references (or the Oz books) nearby, I'll try to get back to this in about ten days. I did a fair amount of research when I wrote that, but found nothing about Baum and Theosophy. At least, nothing that I recall or that seemed to come into play with the witches.
http://www.teosofiskakompaniet.net/L...heosophist.htm

http://www.theosophical.org/publicat...-magazine/1551

http://vigilantcitizen.com/moviesand...-wizard-of-oz/

Having suffered through way too many years of my daughter's Waldorf School (don't get me started), I cannot stand Theosophy and its turgid racist mysticism pastiche. If Baum adhered to the secretiveness of Rudolph Steiner, he consciously cloaked his beliefs in stories palatable to the general public.

I liked the books though.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:04 PM
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This discussion of Baum and Theosophy, to which I have absolutely nothing to add, is quite fascinating.

But I'm going to interject with a much more mundane (perhaps nitpicky) question about the column. Dex references "Margaret Hamilton, who played both Wicked Witches..."

As I recall, we never saw anything of the Witch of the East other than her legs sticking out from under Dorothy's house. And ideed, Hamilton is credited on IMDb as "Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West" with no mention of the WWotE.

So, are there any scenes with a living East Witch, or is this an error and she was actually played by a set of prop legs?
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:16 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
This discussion of Baum and Theosophy, to which I have absolutely nothing to add, is quite fascinating.

But I'm going to interject with a much more mundane (perhaps nitpicky) question about the column. Dex references "Margaret Hamilton, who played both Wicked Witches..."

As I recall, we never saw anything of the Witch of the East other than her legs sticking out from under Dorothy's house. And ideed, Hamilton is credited on IMDb as "Miss Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West" with no mention of the WWotE.

So, are there any scenes with a living East Witch, or is this an error and she was actually played by a set of prop legs?
When Dorothy was in the flying house and looking out the window, she saw the Wicked Witch of the East flying by.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:33 PM
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Just watched the clip; she sees Miss Gulch on her bicycle, who transforms into a witch on a broom. It never occured to me that that's the Witch of the East. She appears to be dressed in lighter colors than Westy, so that's a clue, but I don't know if it's 100% clear which witch we're watching.

I guess if Margaret Hamilton said so, I believe her.

Last edited by Wheelz; 06-21-2012 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Just watched the clip; she sees Miss Gulch on her bicycle, who transforms into a witch on a broom. It never occured to me that that's the Witch of the East. She appears to be dressed in lighter colors than Westy, so that's a clue, but I don't know if it's 100% clear which witch we're watching.

I guess if Margaret Hamilton said so, I believe her.
Can you see the shoes in that clip?
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:49 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Not clearly on my iPhone, but I do suppose that would clinch it.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:12 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Here's the relevant clip. They look a little dowdy to be the sparkly shoes but it's not very clear.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:12 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Here's the relevant paragraph from my notes about the Theosophy connection to the Master Key from Loncraine's book.
Quote:
The Master Key was also clearly influenced by Theosophy. The title echoed Madame Blavatsky’s magnum opus, Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology. Other Theosophical writers drew on the electromagnetic field to describe the “ethereal” planes in which Spirits dwelled. There “are great etheric currents constantly sweeping over the surface of the earth from pole to pole,” wrote Charles Leadbeater in The Astral Plane, a Theosophical manual given to the Baums by Matilda Gage. For Baum, electricity wasn’t simply a scientific force; it had magical, spiritual, and moral dimensions.
Rob, Baum's real-life son, was an early radio and electricity nerd, the type who today who be a hacker. He had their house wired for bells and sensors all over and had the huge and leaky batteries of his day filling up his bedroom. Baum wrote the book because he was always tripping over wires. It was intended to be a boy's adventure book to counterpart Oz, but it fell flat. It's not very good but it gives a great picture of what people in 1903 thought were cool gadgets.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:23 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Can you see the shoes in that clip?
No, she was an avid cyclist so she didn't use toe clips.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:15 PM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
When Dorothy was in the flying house and looking out the window, she saw the Wicked Witch of the East flying by.
My assumption has always been that was the WWotE, on several counts:
(1) It makes sense, that's the witch the house lands on, flying about around it;
(2) She's black-and-white rather than color, but certainly seems to be wearing a less dark outfit than the WWotW;
(3) The WWotW doesn't appear on scene until much later, when she comes in a burst of fire (rather than just landing her broomstick) -- if she had been hovering around the falling house, she would have been on the scene sooner.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post
Just watched the clip; she sees Miss Gulch on her bicycle, who transforms into a witch on a broom. It never occured to me that that's the Witch of the East. She appears to be dressed in lighter colors than Westy, so that's a clue, but I don't know if it's 100% clear which witch we're watching.
Dex has answered what I was going to say.

1. Elmira turns into a witch, flying around the house. The house crashes. It makes sense it crashes on the witch that was flying around it.

2. The WWotW doesn't appear until later, in a puff of smoke. Why did it take so long for her to arrive, if she had been flying around in the storm, and why didn't she arrive on her broom?

I have always assumed it was the WWofE that was flying around in the storm. "Here's a witch. *Boom* Here's a dead witch. Same witch."

The clip isn't clear about the footwear, but it is in the black and white segment, so the shoe color wouldn't be very evident anyway. Besides, Dorothy didn't know about the ruby slippers yet, so why would she imagine a witch with ruby slippers? ;-)
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:48 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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I never read the first book. I saw The movie, and an ill-considered "sequel" in the 80s, Return to Oz (which has several story elements from Ozma of Oz and none from Land of Oz). Despite the latter movie's lack of particular pedigree, it had a scene where the Nome King died from eating a chicken egg (IIRC, he was just threatened with an egg in the book, since eggs are lethal to all nomes). The implied pattern is that things that are healthy and normal for good people (water, eggs) are harmful for the wicked.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:03 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Originally Posted by Fenris View Post
2) Flaw in the OP's argument. The Witch of the East was emphatically not killed by the tornado (air), she was killed by the house falling on her (wood and gravity and earth.--It's no more air than saying a sword that's pounded between hammer and anvil is shaped by air because the hammer has to go through the air. ).
I disagree. Without the air (tornado) there would have been no flying (and crashing) house. It's exactly the sort of death one would expect if one could invoke Air spirits to kill someone on the physical plane. When we learn about the Elements, air has a particular problem - you can't see it. You can only see its affects on other things (and there are some spiritual/philosophical teachings that stem from that realization: Air<=>Intellect; you can't see an idea, it's only visible and useful once you use the powers of the other Elements to bring your idea to solid manifestation...but I digress). So to represent Air, we light incense to give us smoke so we can visualize the air - but what we're seeing on the material plane is the smoke particles (earth) being moved by the air.

A sword pounded into being is being shaped by the hammer, not moved by the air. The house was being moved by the air/Air.

ETA: Unless you think a knife is responsible for a stabbing, I suppose. But I blame the person moving the knife into another person's body for the stabbing. The knife is simply being moved by the stabber.

Last edited by WhyNot; 06-22-2012 at 03:04 AM..
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:31 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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Thanks for the links, Ulfreida. Still, I'm on vacation, and I don't intend to do any looking into this until I'm home. Choice between playing with my two-anna-half year old granddaughter, or looking into theosophy... ::: Shrug ::: I don't even need to think about it.

Anyhow, I will try to look into it end of next week.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:00 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
My assumption has always been that was the WWotE, on several counts:
(1) It makes sense, that's the witch the house lands on, flying about around it;
(2) She's black-and-white rather than color, but certainly seems to be wearing a less dark outfit than the WWotW;
(3) The WWotW doesn't appear on scene until much later, when she comes in a burst of fire (rather than just landing her broomstick) -- if she had been hovering around the falling house, she would have been on the scene sooner.
You guys are complicating things too much.

On camera, Dorothy and the Munchkins make it 100% clear that it's the WWotE.

In Ding-Dong, The Witch is Dead, Dorothy and the Munchkins sing as follows:

The wind began to switch - the house to pitch and suddenly
the hinges started to unhitch.
Just then the Witch - to satisfy an itch went flying
on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.

And oh, what happened then was rich.

The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
It landed on the Wicked Witch
in the middle of a ditch,
Which was not a healthy situation for the Wicked Witch.
Who began to twitch and was reduced to just a stitch
of what was once the Wicked Witch.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:02 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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I saw The movie, and an ill-considered "sequel" in the 80s, Return to Oz (which has several story elements from Ozma of Oz and none from Land of Oz).
On the contrary, it has a great deal from The Marvelous Land of Oz—Jack Pumpkinhead, the Gump, a character that is as much Mombi as Langwidere. It’s a pretty thorough mash-up, which I have always supposed to have been done as a way to get to the end of the third book with the situation intact to begin filming further sequels, but without introducing the potentially dangerous General Jinjur plot (and, perhaps, the sex change). Note that the Shirley Temple version also eliminated Jinjur. (The film would probably have done much better if it had not suffered from left-over-from-the-last-administration-itis.)
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:10 PM
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The clip isn't clear about the footwear, but it is in the black and white segment, so the shoe color wouldn't be very evident anyway. Besides, Dorothy didn't know about the ruby slippers yet, so why would she imagine a witch with ruby slippers? ;-)
If you're going that route, then why would she have imagined them at all?

Am I alone in always assuming that Oz was a real place?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:44 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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If you're going that route, then why would she have imagined them at all?

Am I alone in always assuming that Oz was a real place?
Oz was in color.
Kansas was in black and white.
I know which one I thought was real.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:18 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
If you're going that route, then why would she have imagined them at all?

Am I alone in always assuming that Oz was a real place?
In the books, there is no question of it. The producers of the movie, unfortunately, seem to have mixed up The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
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  #38  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:46 AM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C K Dexter Haven View Post
My assumption has always been that was the WWotE, on several counts:
(1) It makes sense, that's the witch the house lands on, flying about around it;
(2) She's black-and-white rather than color, but certainly seems to be wearing a less dark outfit than the WWotW;
(3) The WWotW doesn't appear on scene until much later, when she comes in a burst of fire (rather than just landing her broomstick) -- if she had been hovering around the falling house, she would have been on the scene sooner.
Maybe this might help: The lyrics from the song Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead
(Dorothy)
It really was no miracle
What happened was just this:

The wind began to switch the house to pitch
And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch
Just then the witch, to satisfy and itch
Went flying on her broomstick thumbling for a hitch

(Munchkin Man)
And oh what heppened then was rich

(Munchkins)
The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch
It landed on the wicked witch in the middle of a ditch
Which was not a healty situation for the wicked witch!
The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch
It landed on the wicked witch in the middle of a ditch
Which was not a healthy situation for the wicked witch
Who began to twitch, and was reduced to just a stitch
Of what was once the wicked witch!
According to the song, the WWotW was flying around the house in the tornado when the house landed on her.
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  #39  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:14 AM
wevets wevets is offline
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How do you get that from the song, qazwart? I don't see it.

And Fenris takes exactly the same lines to mean it was the East witch earlier in the thread.

Last edited by wevets; 06-26-2012 at 11:15 AM..
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  #40  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:19 AM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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A lot of people find all sorts of things in the Wizard of Oz.

I remember reading a long time ago that the Wizard of Oz was a populist allegory. The road of yellow gold bricks being walked over by silver slippers somehow symbolized the Free Silver movement. (And "oz" is short for ounces which is how gold is weighed!) The Wicked Witch symbolized the Corporate East who terrorized the little people, and who could only be defeated by the pure values of the Midwest represented by Kansas native Dorothy.

Another story is that the layout of Oz was similar to the layout of the colors in a book on curtains that Baum had when he was a traveling salesman in Chicago. Another source claims that Peekskill on the Hudson, where Baum grew up had a road paved with yellow bricks from Holland.

Baum also once claimed that the name "Oz" came from the label on the front of filing draw in an office he worked at (O - Z).

Baum's work is filled with all sorts of magical creatures and strange places. If you believe Oz is an allegory, it's easy to see in it almost anything you wish. There just isn't any evidence that Baum meant for Oz to be anything more than a fairytale.
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  #41  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:15 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qazwart View Post
According to the song, the WWotW was flying around the house in the tornado when the house landed on her.
I think you made an error. The WWotWest did not have a house land on her. She was melted by water. The WWotEast has a house land on her.

The song lyrics do not mention if the witch is the East or West variety, but since the witch that had a house land on her was the East one, it is fairly clear the East witch is the witch riding around in the tornado.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT
If you're going that route, then why would she have imagined them at all?
They showed up when the narrative required them.

In other words, the movie-makers didn't expect us to be scrutinizing this movie to this detail 100 years later. They just had a witch in the tornado, and had ruby slippers when they needed ruby slippers.
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  #42  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:28 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wevets View Post
How do you get that from the song, qazwart? I don't see it.

And Fenris takes exactly the same lines to mean it was the East witch earlier in the thread.
Given that the house only fell on one witch, and it was the East witch, yeah. Any other interpretation of that verse is wrong. This really isn't subject to debate.

Last edited by Fenris; 06-26-2012 at 02:29 PM..
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  #43  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:31 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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No, but it's opened up several other avenues of questioning, like, what, exactly, is a slitch, how can a kitchen take one, how does Dorothy know the witch was thumbing for a hitch, and why would someone with what seems like a perfectly serviceable mode of transportation be hitchhiking anyway?

Last edited by Inner Stickler; 06-26-2012 at 02:31 PM.. Reason: Added a comma just cuz.
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  #44  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:56 PM
Fenris Fenris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
No, but it's opened up several other avenues of questioning, like, what, exactly, is a slitch, how can a kitchen take one,
The guys who wrote those lyrics were notorious for just kinda making words up to fit the meter or stuffing random words in, regardless of context. So...slitch? not so strange.

In one of their lyrics, someone who's happy claims to feel that:
Quote:
I might be manishish or mouseish
I might be a fowl or fish,
But with thee I'm Eisenhowzish
If you'll accept my proposish
In another of their songs, the word "onion" is, inexplicably used to mean "young"

Quote:
Ever since that day
When the world was an onion
T'was natural for the spirit to soar and lay
The way the Lord wanted
(Apparently this is Stephen Sondeheim's favorite lyric ever! This probably explains something)

Quote:
and why would someone with what seems like a perfectly serviceable mode of transportation be hitchhiking anyway?
Because the witch's butt was getting tired sitting on that broomstick and the witch wanted to sit in the slitchy kitchen.

Last edited by Fenris; 06-26-2012 at 02:57 PM..
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  #45  
Old 06-27-2012, 04:21 PM
Powers Powers is offline
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I don't recognize these "Ding Dong" lyrics... are they from the film?


Powers &8^]
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  #46  
Old 06-27-2012, 06:54 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powers View Post
I don't recognize these "Ding Dong" lyrics... are they from the film?
There are words here and there that I’m not certain of, but, yes, they are essentially the words of the film.
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"The blind rulers of Logres
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-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
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  #47  
Old 06-29-2012, 01:52 PM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qazwart View Post
Maybe this might help: The lyrics from the song Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead
(Dorothy)
It really was no miracle
What happened was just this:

The wind began to switch the house to pitch
And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch
Just then the witch, to satisfy and itch
Went flying on her broomstick thumbling for a hitch

(Munchkin Man)
And oh what heppened then was rich

(Munchkins)
The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch
It landed on the wicked witch in the middle of a ditch
Which was not a healty situation for the wicked witch!
The house began to pitch, the kitchen took a slitch
It landed on the wicked witch in the middle of a ditch
Which was not a healthy situation for the wicked witch
Who began to twitch, and was reduced to just a stitch
Of what was once the wicked witch!
According to the song, the WWotW was flying around the house in the tornado when the house landed on her.
Sorry. I meant the Wicked Witch of the East.
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  #48  
Old 06-29-2012, 02:01 PM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powers View Post
I don't recognize these "Ding Dong" lyrics... are they from the film?
The song "Ding Dong" is rather long and convoluted. It has several different parts, and not all the lyrics site list them all. I found a more or less complete set here.

You can catch the lyrics in this Youtube video. The relevant words begin around the fifty second mark. Most of the Youtube clips start right after that point.
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  #49  
Old 06-29-2012, 02:05 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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I'm wondering if people are being confused by post #44. As far as I know, those lyrics aren't part of Ding-Dong.
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  #50  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:19 PM
John W. Kennedy John W. Kennedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Stickler View Post
I'm wondering if people are being confused by post #44. As far as I know, those lyrics aren't part of Ding-Dong.
No, those lyrics are from “Something sort of grandish” from Finian’s Rainbow, and from “The eagle and me” from Bloomer Girl. (The first song is sung by a leprechaun who is slowly turning mortal and finds it both terrifying and exciting—he’s just discovered girls—, and the second by a runaway slave tasting Northern freedom.) But they’re by the same lyricist (though not all by the same composer), E. Y. "Yip" Harburg, who was indeed devoted to the sport of Extreme Rhyming.
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Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
-- Charles Williams. Taliessin through Logres: Prelude
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