Friday, July 6, 2007


There's nothing worse than a one sided story but, unfortuately, most of life's events are told and retold through the eyes of one; one nation, one army, one person. That one is never omnipotent and can always only have a painfully subjective view of things as they experienced them. Fiction is especially good at painting great single sided stories; essentially everything made for children prays on their acceptance of a black and white world. Wicked, however, does exactly the opposite. In a glaringly obvious criticism of modern Western culture, the show admits that the original story does not quite do the "Wicked Witch" justice. Her tale, until now, had been completely untold.

My boyfriend's neice loves Wicked. On more than one occasion she has insisted everyone within earshot sit and watch her rendition of "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished". Like most little kids would, she knows all the words to her favorite songs, and could probably recite most of the performance's speaking parts, too. What is not certain, though, is whether or not she realizes the impact of the words she's singing. Yes, Wicked is a musical. Yes, it's fiction. But that does not mean there is anything less than serious about it. Through this musical, people of all ages see and can know for themselves that there is always something left unsaid, something you cannot possibly know unless you ask. In today's world, this is especially true. The Wizard says it best when he says, "Elphaba, where I'm from, we believe all sorts of things that aren't true. We call it - 'history'". For everyone, but for children especially, this message is crucial. "There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities. So we act as though they don't exist", says the Wizard. I wonder if President Bush has seen Wicked...

Everything you do has the potential to be horribly misconstrued and misunderstood. Life isn't always fair. Not everything you hear, or think you know, is wholly or even partially true. People lie, and not everyone is who you think they are. Those are the lessons taught by Wicked. But let's not forget maybe the most important lesson of all... despite the struggles, despite the deceit, and despite your own doubts, sometimes "life has a funny way of helping you out". (Thanks, Alanis)

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