The Wizard of Oz: ”Child, you’re talking to a man who’s laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe… I was petrified.”
I’m going to talk about sex and love but first I have to mention the Wizard of Oz. What do these two things have to do with each other, you ask? I’m not sure but every decent writer uses clever literary devices like cinematic metaphors, so Oz is as good a symbol as any when it comes to sex education and love relationships. Both involve elaborate and unrealistic fantasies for one thing. Also, there is something compelling if not compulsive about both topics. People are literally obsessed with sex, with love and similarly are pretty darn cuckoo about the Wizard of Oz. That is unless it’s being shown at the same exact time as the World Series or maybe America Got Talent. I admit if it was a sports competition like the World Series, sex would generally win, except for certain superstitious and/or die-hard Yankee fans who would abstain from sex indefinitely if it was proven to lead to another baseball championship title. In contrast, Chicago Cub fans, while ever loyal, would easily choose sex (or probably barbecue ribs) over baseball, mostly because they are used to losing.
Why do people love the Wizard of Oz? I sometimes wonder why this particular fantasy and cultural preoccupation? Is it the tradition and nostalgia of seeing it on TV year after year after year? Is it the rush of watching the old movie “morph” into dazzling cinematic Technicolor from its drab homespun opening scenes? Or, could it be some hidden subconscious psychological desire to see shockingly odd and different marginalized members of society take a bouncy road trip together way way before there was AAA, Mapquest, iPhones or GPS technology? Of course its no big surprise they get lost and freaked out. They had no clue where they were REALLY GOING and were too naive or dumb to consider asking the Mayor of the Munchkins or any relatively sane person in Oz for an actual map or written directions. They did have pens and paper back then, you know.
Actually, if you think about it they must have been downright delusional to consider it would be a cakewalk to just “follow the yellow brick road”. What kind of half-assed adult guidance and support is that? I’m not even factoring in the added effects of wandering through a poppy field full of opium laden flowers let alone blindly trusting the advise of a so called “good witch” who was clearly high on something herself (and possibly harboring some rather serious sibling rivalry issues).
Well, sex and life itself is a bit like that. We really dont know what we are getting into, we have unrealistic expectations, we lack concrete information, and the future is highly uncertain. Many of us get into all kinds of trouble, encounter multiple obstacles and, looking back on it, the journey itself seems to be the very best part. It’s easy to get nostalgic…if it wasn’t so embarrassing. Let’s face it, much of the “advise” and “reliable information” we get growing up about sex is half-baked if not completely wrong. Like Dorothy (in relation to the Land of Oz), what we are told about sex is often riddled with exaggeration, misinformation, myths based on our childhood fears and teenaged fantasy based expectations. On the way we eventually learn what is realistic and maybe even what’s far more important in life and in loving relationships.
Still, there is something to be said for being willing to share our silly assumptions and cockeyed childhood memories. Honestly, sexually and psychologically speaking we all start out dumb as doorknobs (rather than “blank slates”). Nevertheless, just like Dorothy in TWOO or the Parker Brothers board game sharing it’s name, we merrily skip down the road of life with equal parts optimism and obliviousness. Some of us, as the Wizard finally admits in The Wizard of Oz, are absolutely “petrified”, but go ahead and do it anyway. Thus, especially when it comes to our sex lives and romantic relationships (and the base knowledge required) we tend to believe what we hear or are told by others, no matter how non-credible the source. We even at times accept the unimaginable or the wretchedly weird like trees that talk and monkeys that fly. All together that makes for some pretty tall tales and goofy stories to share around the collective campfire much later in life.
Maybe the Wizard of Oz is just fiction, a wild fantasy dreamed up by a delusional farm girl in Kansas. Or maybe its one of those broader life lessons about personal journeys… like learning what is true and real and especially sustainable from what is initially a mistaken reality or topsy-turvy romance novel ideas and beliefs. Either way it makes for a highly imaginative tapestry of other peoples road trip stories and screw-ups that we can relate to. I think they call that a “fail compilation” on You Tube today. What were some of your sex and romance related “fails” growing up?
Psychologist by day, insomniac Pirate blogger by night, this Child of God likes to share sarcastic social commentary as well as topsy-turvy observations about life, love and the pursuit of zaniness, a functional form of insanity in an increasingly insane world
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