We all reach those breaking point moments. The ones where we must ask ourselves why we bother to persist in our chosen field (usually said field not having anything to do with what we originally thought could be profitable in a post-collegiate world. Then again, assuming everyone goes to college now is a lot like assuming everyone is straight and/or liable to put marriage on their list of life goals). It is in these instances of bleak rock bottomness that those exposed to the unacknowledged necessity called Film 101 (tragically in the future to be reduced to something like Web Series 101) in their formative years can’t help but see the words, “SURRENDER DOROTHY” flash in the sky of their mind’s eye.
Written with a broom by the Wicked Witch of the West, better known as a metaphor for life as it pertains to constantly wanting to fuck you over via throwing totally unnecessary hurdles in your already encumbered path, the warning bears a shocking similarity to the very core of average day-to-day existence as it challenges every human being with the question (posed more palatably for its tonelessness in a California accent), “I mean like, wouldn’t it be so much easier if you just died?” (surrendering is, after all, the ultimate euphemism for death–even though, somewhat antithetically, the original message in the test screening of the movie read, “SURRENDER DOROTHY OR DIE –W W W”).
But each day, so many still, against all odds, manage to insist, “No. I will not surrender. There has to be a motherfucking answer in the Emerald City. A light at the end of the tunnel called the Wizard of Oz’s lair.” Alas, before you even realize that that’s definitely not the case and just another sham among the many peddled to you for the sake of keeping you going, the Wicked Witch of the West will forewarn you in this grandiloquent way that you’re much better off giving in to the black abyss of the great beyond while you still have even a modicum of your dignity left instead of doing a fake floating head’s bidding (emblematic of the person paying you to do something you hate)–and one who can’t even give you what you asked for in real so much as “symbolic” form by the end of your trying and embarrassing ordeal.
Nonetheless, all manner of winged monkey-representative obstacles will still somehow not manage to dissuade you from never leaving Kansas again (this being a reflection in the modern time of the millennial bed and bedroom, an end all, be all space for achieving the only amount of solace there is in this life: isolation from the outside world and all the high and mighty baby boomers remaining in it).
No, like Elizabeth Warren, nevertheless you persist, and do not adhere to “surrender Dorothy.” Because, in the end, what good will come out of surrendering anyway? You’ll be “gently” taken toward that light called giving in to societal pressure by giving up all residual dreams from a time in your life that didn’t seem so Wicked Witch of the West-dominated? No, you might as well go on your own terms and with plenty of bodily thrashing for added bombast and theatricality. Because, when you look closely enough at the ominous warning, it’s easy to see that it’s just black ink spouted from a hypodermic needle (as if the movie needed any more sinister behind-the-scenes “touches” beyond the solidification of Judy Garland’s barbiturate dependency) against a fake sky crafted out of a glass tank filled with tinted water. So you see, there’s nothing to be scared of (apart from Hollywood’s efficacy at manufacturing a false reality). Now if only you had the courage, as the cowardly lion eventually (somewhat) does, to believe this were true.