Dorothy as Pharmakos

by Crafter

You find yourself out of the binaries, out of the black and white, where the plains no longer exist. You find yourself in color. This comes after years of crafting your skill, to escape the gravity of black and white. You find that little people inhabit color. They name themselves like a confectionary, as if easily edible, munched upon, Munchkins. You like them at first, but they’re pushy, stressed out little things. You just got into color and now they want you to leave. No one told you this would happen. How could you know, being from the black and white? The little people are noisy, skipping in circles on a brick road, round and round, in a horde. And they’re obnoxious. They sing songs in a nasal tone and have secret societies like lollipop guilds! You should be scared, but you are just too damned nice, innocent, and gullible. You’re aware of the sacrifices you’ve made for your art, but they know better than you. To get here, you murdered someone! Your house crushed a witch! What do they do? They sing songs! Ugly songs. These songs use lyrics like “ding dong” or “yo ho” and “sing it high” and “sing it low”. This is a sign of dysfunction.

Never mind, you are here, the deed is done. The stockings have been rolled up. You begin to sense something. They’re attempting to use you to get what they want. They want dead witches, sacrifices to heal the post-apocalyptic surrealism. You are the pharmakon, the healer of dystopia and the destroyer of utopia. Color is complicated.

Oh, and they have a mediator, a woman, who just happens to be extra tall and arrives in a bubble. This is a clue. These little people and the woman live in a bubble! They cannot see beyond the bricks that curl up inside their society! Why don’t you ask them how many times they’ve followed the yellow brick road? None, that’s how many. This tall woman’s hair is compressed in waves and she speaks in a condescending way, between a laugh, a wish, and a hex. She sparkles as if she were made of stars, but it’s just rhinestones in studio lights aided by animation. She could send you home with shoes of a color that would mark a permanent schism in black and white, a means to let art exist with meaning, but she obviously wants something from you she cannot attain. Again, you must kill another witch. To do this, she instills a mimetic desire for black and white inside you, a kind of black and white you feel you belong to, you feel is yours, excluding the little people. This black and white doesn’t exist. It’s a trick, a flip of desires.

You could stand up for yourself. You could just stay there with the little people and eat lollipops for the rest of your life, but no, they push you out into the street. You must go and murder. Why don’t they do it themselves? There must be something, a law, or a crooked kind of kindness, which bars them from murdering, wanting only to watch someone else do it.

 It’s fitting you use water to kill the witch, as if you’re washing off a canvas, healing the dystopia, a purification ritual, melting color back into black and white. You find yourself back in the binaries, not even feeling guilty about the murders you’ve committed. You’ve learned. Sacrifices in black and white are self-extracted. Your art comes from the internal, from the red that runs through you, a death and birth of self, constantly in need of sacrifice.

32 Comments on “Dorothy as Pharmakos

  1. Agree, please don’t do Winnie (or Eeyore, my inspiration when I want to give in to gloom and wallow). Also, please don’t do Jungle Book! Otherwise, about Dorothy, this piece is very clever and well done-what an imagination you have!


  2. Taken from Wikipedia. “Pharmakos is also used as a vital term in Derridean deconstruction. In his essay “Plato’s Pharmacy”,[3] Derrida deconstructs several texts by Plato, such as Phaedrus, and reveals the inter-connection between the word chain pharmakeia–pharmakon–pharmakeus and the notably absent word pharmakos. In doing so, he attacks the boundary between inside and outside, declaring that the outside (pharmakos, never uttered by Plato) is always-already present right behind the inside (pharmakeia–pharmakon–pharmakeus). As a concept, Pharmakos can be said to be related to other Derridian terms such as “trace”.”
    What you’re reading is deconstruction fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the second time I’ve read this. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it but… that’s what I love about it. 🙂


  4. Well, gee. I shall never be able to look at Dorothy or Oz in the same way again. This is funny, insightful, quirky. I love it. But please, don’t write about Winnie the Pooh, because I want to love him just the way he is. I say this with tongue firmly in cheek.


  5. Thanks for the inspiration #Elan. Love the layers. This even made me think of Jonathon Swift and Lilliput lands. Oh, and serve ’em lilies too.


  6. send them to CA – we are awash in poppies! Poppies… Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleeeeep. Now they’ll sleeeeep! (we had lots of water this year)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. S very creative take on Oz that was enjoyable throughout. Loved your initial depictions of moving from b/w to color.


  8. Then, it is ironic that the two people from the black and white are in positions of agency within Oz. There are many, many, many layers here.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Except that, these days, it’s the man behind the curtain we need to worry about, as he sends his minions out to implement his poorly devised plans.

    Liked by 3 people

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