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31 December 2008


“Why are there so many songs about rainbows?” Kermit sang in his touching lament.  Of course, we all knew then and know now the answer to that question.  In a book that most of us find sacred, God himself sent a rainbow to signal the end of a horrible chapter for His people.  You, my readers, may ask: Why does this guy use so many metaphors?  It’s because I see them everywhere.  I saw one clearly today as I drank my coffee and watched a Morning Joe rerun of their retrospective on the year.  I, too, had planned to write a retrospective of 2008, but in accompaniment to a memorial tribute to Tim Russert, there it was, the voice of Kermit the Frog singing “The Rainbow Connection.” Through my teary-eyed response to one of my all-time favorite movie songs, my mind went to a different place.  I realized that we, too, are experiencing a rainbow connection.

woz-oklatornadoGo back to your childhood and imagine how delighted you were when Dorothy stepped from the black-and-white world of her crashed house into the Technicolor village of Munchkinland.  Suddenly everything was beautiful.  Now, our Kansas heroine did not just arrive unscathed into that beautiful place.  Far from it.  She had been put to the task of battling the evil Elvira Gulch for the life of her beloved Toto.  She had run away from home to save his life, and a fake healer/snake oil salesman had redirected her back home.  But just as she arrived, a tornado swooped down and picked her and Toto, along with Uncle Henry and Auntie Em’s farmhouse, up into the sky slamming it down in the Land of Oz.

Elvira Gulch

Elvira Gulch

A little over a year ago a young man – by many people’s standards – from Kansas set out to rescue his country from what many considered an evil, powerful influence: The Bush Administration.  Cue Elvira Gulch riding on her bicycle with Toto in her basket.  You know the music.  Now, you can cast your version of the tale any way you want, but please be sure to pick Dick Cheney, John McCain or Sarah Palin in the role of Elvira Gulch.  Despite Dorothy’s brave stand, the evil Miss Gulch took Toto away and dared Dorothy and her family to do something about it.  Just like Dorothy, Barack Obama rose to the occasion and struck out to get Toto back.  Toto managed to escape on his own and seek out Dorothy.  He found her and they took off to avoid a repeat performance and ran into the inept snake-oil salesman.  In my version he is played by George W. Bush.  He had no help to offer, but persuaded Dorothy to take the conservative approach and head back home, which she did.

Glinda, the Witch of the North

Glinda, the Witch of the North

On her arrival at her doorstep, all the people who could have helped her had fled to the storm cellar to escape the approach of a massive tornado.  The tornado will be played by The Economic Meltdown.  While the ill wind picked Dorothy up and propelled her over the rainbow, so to speak, it dropped her into a world of turmoil and strife by killing the evil Elvira Gulch by depositing Dorothy’s house on the now-clearly-exposed witch’s head.  So our Dorothy emerged into the beautiful world of Oz only to realize that she had killed an evil witch in the process.  But in the face of doom prophesied by the evil witch’s even more malevolent sister – played cruelly by The World Situation (a bad economy, a couple of wars, a looming outbreak of war in Israel), Dorothy and the munchkins were rescued for the moment by the Good Witch, Glinda.  So they danced and sang joyously feeling that all was now well with the world.  This scene was played out for us in the real world in Chicago’s Grant Park on election night.  It seemed that everything would be beautiful forever.

woz-ruby-slippers1 But it was not to be.  Like Dorothy, almost all of us only wanted to go back home to the world that had been eradicated by the evil witch.  Alas, Glinda informed Dorothy that she would have to journey to Oz and ask the powerful wizard there to assist her.  But she gave her a powerful tool to use in her quest, the Ruby Slippers.  The Ruby Slippers will be played by the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.  And after a celebratory good-bye, Dorothy was sent forth to make her way to Oz (Washington D.C.) by way of the Yellow Brick Road, played by The Transition.

Dorothy and friends

Dorothy and friends

Along the way Dorothy showed great sympathy for the needs of those she met, enlisting them to join their quests with hers.  The roles of The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and The Cowardly Lion, will be played by Obama cabinet appointees — choose your favorite for each role.  There’s lots of room for fun here.  And, of course, don’t forget the crows, played by FOX NEWS, and the crabby apple trees, played by the rest of the media, doing what they could to thwart the progress of Dorothy and her band of hope seekers.  But Toto and the band of three were not deterred in their progress with the plucky girl from Kansas, and kept singing their way toward Oz.


Slwwping in the poppy field

Sleeping in the poppy field

To be expected, the evil witch sister could not sit idly by and allow our happy band to reach their goal in Oz and set one last trap: a field of beautiful red poppies to lull them to sleep.  Now, dear readers, this is where we are today.  We are slumbering among the poppies waiting for Glinda to send the snow on a cold January 20th morning that will enable our leader to ascend the steps to Oz (the Capital Building) to get what we all came for.  But you know the story.  After much welcoming celebration, the inept Wizard of Oz, played by George W. Bush, hands his failed task of fending off the evil witch sister to Dorothy and her band:  Obama et al.

woz-witchBut just like Dorothy, I feel in my heart that we can count on Barack Obama to not give up hope and to go on through a scary forest, flying monkeys and an army of resistance, to douse the evil witch sister and break her power over Oz.  Then, like Dorothy and her crew, we will understand that together we had everything we needed to overcome our obstacles, and with a full appreciation of our long lost home, we will return to the America that has been lost to us over the past eight years, forgetting not the lessons that have been learned along the way.  We will remember to stay connected with our government and our fellow travelers in the world, preventing those who would take away our rights and powers from coming back into a position to do so.

So do not give up hope.  Just remember that we are not at the end of our story, we are merely at the end of the first act, and only through the toil contained in the second act can we reach the curtain call where we can join our President and take an earned bow to the audience of history.  There’s no place like home, so follow the rainbow in your heart.woz-city-rainbow

Happy New Year, everybody!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 31 December 2008 2:35 pm

    Great tie in to the Wizard of Oz. I am looking forward to this new era of the Rainbow Connection.

  2. 31 December 2008 5:08 pm

    Another great story Jack. Happiest of New Years to you and Mrs Jack. Let’s keep these Rainbow Connections that we have all made with each other. Let’s keep them strong. Here’s to a better future…

    CHEERS !!!

    • 1 January 2009 10:16 am

      To: WillPen,

      Back at’cha!

      I’m glad you liked it. You were much on my mind as I wrote it. I look forward to another great year of exchanges with you.

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