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Andrea Morisette Grazzini

CEO, WetheP, Inc.

TEDCRED 30+

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Who should be more feared. Lions & Tigers & Bears? Or, the Men Behind the Curtains?

The iconic movie The Wizard of Oz premiered August 15, 1939.

it's contributions to cinematic innovation, social identity and philosophical concepts are numerous, if not, uncountable.

Beyond visuals so vivid they can't be missed, the story communicates subtle, often highly sophisticated, themes of human experience and emotion. And how these, engaged with co-relational discoveries and collective action, can result in shared understandings of unseen realities. Specifically: critical truths belied by otherwise accepted facades and conspiratorial agents that undermine common experiences and understandings.

Two pivotal transformations occur in the story that show how appearances can deceive.
-- First are scenes in which Dorothy encounters the heretofore scary characters of the lion, scarecrow and tin man. All, far more flawed than fearsome, as it turns out.
-- Second is the scene in which the powerful Wizard of Oz is revealed to be not only flawed, (just as the others), but more ominously: to be highly manipulative. Playing them, as he does, by amplifying their fears in his efforts to control society.

Contexts in which the original book, the original movie and it's iteration "The Wiz," say much about why the story resonates with so many.

Each was produced during times of civic disparity. Times when gaps between poor and rich were significantly magnified, due to the amplification of fears, fomented and abetted by hidden agents pulling strings that maximized rich privilege by playing on common-fears. From behind closed doors--figuratively or literally.

Given all this and parallels to the times we're in now, it seems prudent to revisit Qs The Wizard of Oz cues up, like:

1. Who should be feared more: Those who coercively communicate, in plain site? Or those who manipulate, beyond common view?
AND --
2. What's more important: Revealing those who conspire to corrupt? Or, facing challenges with efforts that "un-suppress" individual and collective power?

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    Aug 16 2012: Like the characters in the story, we need to find what's missing in our own lives that keeps us from advancing. All to often, we try to find something else to blame it on, like the bureaucracy. But when we look into ourselves and deal with our own shortcomings, we find that inner strength that we didn't know we had.

    The government spends money it doesn't have. We all played follow the leader, and many are in credit card debt as a result of it. It was a choice we made. We didn't have to make that choice.

    I put my faith in a higher power and observed what was going on. As a result, I found what I needed and rejected what I didn't. I kept myself from buying just because I could. I kept myself from refinancing my home just because I could. I bought what I needed, and kept luxuries to what I could afford. When the housing market fell apart, I didn't fall apart with it.

    When the railroad tycoons crossed the land, many became a slave to it. Yet the railroads increased the value of land to the benefit of a growing nation. Was the glass half full or half empty? It depended on what role you played.

    I can't deny that there is corruption in government. And yet, I see many coming to the aid of those in need when the need is made known to the public. So poverty rests with those who look for excuses rather than solutions.

    As far as crisis goes, I let a higher power tell me what I need to be doing. I chose not to fear. It hasn't failed me yet.
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      Aug 17 2012: Ray,

      Kudos for naming an important elephant in the room -- us.

      Your post with it's themes of materialism and higher power, reminds me of a reaction I had to a colleague's analysis of MLK's Drum Major Instinct speech:

      "The vivid picture Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King provides of the 'poor white’s' false feeling of superiority — and the trajectory of destruction King predicted the worship of individual success would lead to is being realized, as Boyte points out. The impacts of our historical fathers’ and mothers’ selfish pursuits are disturbing.

      In King’s time the finger could logically point to whites, the prevailing class of power. But today our fingers can only logically point to us — the people in middle- and upper class communities. Regardless of our race, gender, faith or political idealogy we are the class of power.

      As we’ve kept up with the Joneses we’ve followed the Joneses into foreclosure. Even more troubling, we’ve cultivated a pandemic poverty of thought that justifies the brutal defense of self-interests and defensively fingers those who don’t explicitly share them for destroying our world.

      While we attack what we view as the evil or idiocy of our ideological foes, we fail to see that power lies not in perpetuating polarized positions, but in pursuing understanding of our shared desires.

      This takes self-reflection — in King’s words: 'looking honestly at our selves.' I would add it also takes seeing and listening deeply to those with whom we deeply differ with, even when it seems utterly impossible and ill-informed to."

      And -- I couldn't agree with you more, Ray, regards your observation of many people coming to the aid of those in need.

      Though I'm not sure their numbers and contributions are commensurate to the need, I too, observe many people who do so much good.

      This perhaps is the "Kansas" Edward is getting it. This place where people's good characteristics can be realized with greater clarity than insecurities and greed.

      Andrea

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