Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Short Takes: Glenn Beck Goes Over The Rainbow...And Out Of His Mind

Hi ho, movie lovers!

I just saw a terrifying clip of Glenn Beck using dolls to re-enact "The Wizard Of Oz.". It seems the former Fox News fellow believes the MGM musical/ fantasy from 1939 mirrors the woes the country is currently experiencing.

Or something.

Anyway, as Glenn played with his toys and earnestly tried to make sense, he completely mangled the movie's plot and it's message.

As a fan of this beloved classic, I cannot be silent. The key discrepancies is Beck's re-telling were as follows:

  • Beck claimed that Margaret Hamilton's Miss Gulch was an authority figure Dorothy should have respected. She is no such thing-- and the movie never presents her as one. Instead, Miss Gulch is a self-appointed authority figure who regularly abuses her power. That is why Auntie Em told her off.
  • Contrary to what Beck implied on his program, Dorothy took FULL RESPONSIBILITY for Toto's biting Miss Gulch.  More humane options were discussed about the dog, but Miss Gulch refused them all. She wanted Toto dead, period.
  • Dorothy DID NOT runaway from home to "join the circus" as Glenn said. She ran away because Toto escaped from Miss Gulch and she feared for her beloved pet's life.   
  • When Dorothy sings "Over the Rainbow", she is merely expressing a normal wish to find a place where she is loved and accepted for herself. Nothing radical there.
  • When Dorothy meets Professor Marvel (Frank Morgan), he convinces her to return home, which she does. The tornado hits when she arrives and the rest of her family has gone down into the cellar.  
  • Dorothy is knocked unconscious, therefore she had no way to "steer" her house or prevent it from landing on the Wicked Witch of the East--as Beck claimed. It was an accident.
  • Glenda the Good Witch puts the ruby slippers on Dorothy--Dorothy doesn't put them on herself, as Beck also claimed.
  •  Dorothy is told to guard the slippers because the Wicked Witch of the West will abuse their power.
  • The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion all want something they already have. The trip to the Emerald City and the saving of Dorothy allows them to finally see that.
  • These characters are meant to allegorical not literal.
  •   Dorothy's journey over the rainbow is what is known as "A Rite of Passage." After her adventures in Oz, she returns home stronger and wiser, which is the whole point of the flick.
  • Toto is NOT a "yip yap dog" as Beck states. Toto is actually pretty quiet and very smart--and this is coming from a cat lover.       
   Beck, however, is like the Wizard of Oz in that he uses props, double talk, smoke and mirrors to weave total nonsense. Like his fictional counter part, he is a fraud--even Toto knows this.

Besides mangling and misrepresenting a beloved classic for his own crazy purposes, Beck is also an awful actor. However, before he decides to raid the country's movie vault and needlessly destroy another classic flick, I urge Glenn to keep in mind the following points:

"The Awful Truth" is NOT about the IRS or any other government agency. It's a comedy about a couple who rashly divorce, then set about ruining each others new romances so they can get back together.

"High Noon"  is NOT about drugs. Instead, it is about a sheriff who is deserted by the entire town after some bad guys return for revenge--on his wedding day, no less.

"The Miracle Worker" is NOT about Karl Rove or Dick Cheney. Instead, it's about a dedicated teacher named Annie Sullivan and her pupil, Helen Keller.

"Singin' in the Rain" is NOT about the "hoax" of climate change or global warming. It's about the arrival of the talkies in 1920's Hollywood.

"The Bad Seed" is NOT about the perils of organic farming or the dangers of genetically altered food. It's about a sociopath named Rhoda, who is about ten. Made in Beck's favorite decade, the 1950's.

Mr. Beck, you can keep doing what you're doing...whatever that is...just keep your hands off Dorothy, the Muchkins, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Toto, too!

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