Morpheus on… The Wizard Of Oz: A Humanist!

This marks the end of a two-hour journey for me. It began as I was in the shower (where I get some of my best ideas) when it suddenly occurred to me that highly religious America had been hornswoggled!

Surely, The Wizard Of Oz was a plea for HUMANISM?

So I checked out the film on both IMDb and Wiki and – NOTHING. Oh, there were theories it could be POLITICALLY allegorical – except they were mostly fallacious.

Then, being pretty familiar with the movie (as I’m assuming YOU are) and aware the book is now public domain, I began searching online for the bit where, in the movie, the wizard is unmasked as a charlatan – but then proceeds to deliver WAY more sense to the protagonists than you would normally expect from Hollywood.

Pure Humanism, in fact.

And I discovered that bit of the book is pretty close to the movie – almost word for word.

So why had no-one ELSE seen what I had?

Well, at that point, I GOOGLED “Wizard Of Oz Humanist” and discovered they HAD.

SEVERAL people. Just no-one who has contributed to IMDb or Wiki.

Ironically, in the past (as Wiki HAD reported) various Christian groups HAVE protested the movie – but they too missed the point completely.

All of which makes The Wizard Of Oz the cleverest “message” movie of all time!

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9 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t know how you, personally, define “Humanist” and “Humanism”, but I see neither in any of the 14 ‘real’ Oz books by L. Frank Baum, on which I cut my teeth. These are fairy tales which are quite clever in depicting human foibles and desires, plus showing that there is, indeed, good and evil in the world. Baum was skewering the politicians and other public figures of the time (around 1900-1910). A utopian theme is quite apparent. Perhaps this is where the ‘humanism’ resides?

  2. Posted by Vincent on April 2, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    I’m talking chiefly about the MOVIE. I know Frank was persuaded to write umpteen sequels to his book and created an entire World as a result. However, I never even read the first. I only checked out the bit I described, to see if the makers of the movie had perhaps been hornswoggled by HIM. It turned out not. The Humanist message was at best ambiguous in his original ouvre. Thus the (many) Hollywood scriptwriters were the ones who mainly created said message.

    It is not MUCH of a stretch to see the wizard as a figure whom the dwellers of Oz see as a god – which he has been happy to encourage. But when Toto pulls back the curtain…

    Like the wizard, I believe that WE are responsible for our fate – which is the main drive of Humanism. He was quick to admit that no supreme being could help them and gave them mere tokens that would remind them their fate lay in THEIR hands – life’s answers were within THEM. Humanism.

  3. Thanks for elucidating. My concern with some interpretations of Humanism is that they lead to hubris.

  4. Posted by Vincent on April 2, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    My pleasure (the article was a bit sparse). You’re right; the problem with humanism is it is so basic, that people have adapted and interpreted it to fit their personal beliefs. From compassion and reason (as hopefully, me) – to arrogance and callousness.

  5. Posted by Vincent on April 2, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    p.s. I don’t know why my AVATAR is coming up on Ron’s comments – but I can assure you he is not ME. I have not gone ga-ga and started conversing with myself JUST yet…

  6. Posted by Alfie on April 5, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Off topic a bit but I STILL want to get the “Oz Sat-nav” modification. It only needs two messages:

    “You’re not in Kansas any more!”

    and

    “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”.

    Alfie

  7. Posted by Vincent on April 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I have a contact in Kansas, so I often do the Oz jokes – latest: she said she’d been practising her tap and had clicked her heels together – of course, I commented, “There’s no place like home!”

  8. Posted by Cy Quick on July 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    In one sense religion (reunion with the purported deity) is a form of humanism. The deity that Moshe proposed in Genesis is clearly made in Man’s own image: a male chauvinist pig, spiteful, vindictive, vengeful. Clearly, Yehovah is fantastic. He is part of the hoped-for the fictional salvation package deal.

    But a better fictional eternal-life belief, to comfort people who fear death, is to teach them that animal consciousness is an energy field that is borne away on the solar wind until, far out from Sol, away from the radio noise, where spirits, aka souls, aka minds can hear, and be heard, telepathically.

    Given that negative and cruel minds are intellectually low grade stuff compared against high grade, fine, positive and cooperative minds, the victims, will be able to forcefully and intrusively download into the mind of the victimiser the full strength and nature of the CONTEMPT and DESPISING that they, the victims, felt for them, the victimisers.

  9. Posted by Vincent on July 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I liked Frankie Boyle’s observation that all religions should UNITE and savour the things they have IN COMMON – hatred of gays and women.

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