Friday, June 24, 2005

Thoughts on the Wizard

OK, as I note in the post immediately preceding this one, The Daughter is watching The Wizard of Oz right now -- it's almost to the very end. And I'm thinking of when I watched this movie, when I was her age. It sort of ties into my Things I Miss From Childhood post, in which I revealed that I don't miss much of anything from childhood.

What I remember about The Wizard of Oz is that it was an event back then. It was on once a year, and that was it: CBS would show it sometime in the springtime, if I remember rightly. And when that final "The End" card appeared on screen, there was palpable heartbreak for us kids, because we knew that was it: a whole year would elapse before we could go to Oz again.

The Daughter doesn't know this. We can check it out of the library any time, or perhaps even buy the thing on DVD. If she wants to see it again in a few months, well, that's fine. In fact, since we have the thing for a week, she'll probably watch it again tomorrow. So that sense of deep sadness when "The End" appears is totally alien to her.

Do I miss that feeling? Not really. I'd rather be able to watch a movie whenever I want, but I do wonder if something is lost when those movies that were events in our young lives become mere options for the current generation. But equally, I suspect something is gained as well. Something's never lost that something else isn't gained, after all.


(And to give this post a turn for the perverse, when you really think about the story of The Wizard of Oz, and think about the film's ending, you realize that whether Dorothy has actually gone to Oz or whether she's merely dreamed the whole thing doesn't really matter. But you also realize that she's right back in the exact same situation she was in when the tornado came. So I'm wondering if, after her heartfelt, "Oh Auntie Em, there's no place like home!", at which point we cut to "The End", Auntie Em's next line had the story gone on would have been, "Well, I'm glad you feel that way dear, but we still have to get rid of the dog.")

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