wicked?! says who?…

So I went and saw the musical Wicked the other night.

It was amazing!

I enjoyed it so immensely that I am even blogging about it! Well… kind of. I’m actually blogging on it because it made so many great philosophical points that I could write about it for a year.

The storyline of Wicked follows the background of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. While I won’t divulge any major plot details, the point is that the Witch isn’t as wicked as she appears from the WoOz telling of the story.

Of course, because I can’t give away much of the story it is hard to say much about the many themes that the production delivered.

Perhaps the most dominant and obvious theme was the reality of perspectivism – indeed, the perceived wickedness of the Witch depicted in WoOz turns out to be a distortion of the truth. Sadly this distortion is the result of imperial-like propaganda that covers the land in order to profane the Witch and protect the rulers, of whom she knows too much.

What can such a fictional depiction say to us?

Does it affect how we listen to imperial scare mongering that demonises certain people groups and minorities because they are misunderstood, or because it is politically advantageous?

Does it affect how we speak about issues of which we understand little or nothing? Indeed, what if we have the story wrong? What if we don’t know the truth at all? Worse, what if we are spreading lies, and profaning innocent people or groups (albeit unwittingly, or maybe not…)?

Deconstructive art like that of Wicked is, in my opinion, incredibly important in our world. It continually reminds us that beside the “official”, imperial version of a story, there is a marginalised and minority perspective of the same events. While the small voice of the minority is often trampled out, and their story forgotten, Wicked teaches us that their story/perspective is real, present and valuable, particularly if it embodies more truth than the “official” version which “Dorothys” like us too often fall for.

We often need to be reminded about the small voices in our world – the poor, the asylum seeker, the homeless, the child, the sex slave, the homosexual…

… the “wicked.”


Posted on May 27, 2010, in Culture & Art, Current Events, Hermeneutics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. So true Matt… One obvious example is the world is flat v round. Sometimes it’s the minority who possess the truth. Sometimes it’s only after we encounter and have some experiences with people from a different perspective, combined with a humble attitude, can we start to have a bigger view on things. I think the goal for us as Christians is to get the ultimate view from God’s perspective. However many people use God to reinforce their own opinion or never have such experiences and encounters because they stay around people who think the same as them. Sad really.
    Keep up the insightful and thought-provoking musings!

  2. you just made it on to Driscoll’s hit list!!!!!

  3. You’re a strange man Howie.

    So strange in fact that I don’t understand your comment.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.

  4. I reckon Driscoll would reckon wicked is the anti christ, just like twilight and harry potter.

  5. Wow.

    I *guess* you could say that about Avatar…?

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