1. I think you’ve got it. Though it is weird she’s using water so casually.

    (It was also weird there was a bucket of it nearby for Dorothy to use in the film, come to think of it.)

  2. In the movie, the flying monkeys were part of her army. Disobedience, or disrespect, is mutiny. Although some might think “mutiny” is restricted to maritime usage, it is actually broader. Think “Ghurka Mutiny.”

  3. Yes, I think we mostly are understanding “mutiny” in the broader sense of “rebellion”.

    I was exploring the idea that there was a car model known as “Mutiny” that we might recognize in the drawing. No, but some confusing search results that almost fit. It turns out there was a British-Japanese development project known as Bounty, which did have something to do with cars. When the project ran into problems, all the business reporters were unable to resist headlines about “Mutiny at Bounty”.

    Returning to maritime associations, it was not sailors but the sea itself characterized as mutinous in the beautiful closing paragraph of “The Dead”.

    Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

  4. The flying monkeys were slaves, always on the lookout for a way to escape the Witch’s power and control. But they never thought of melting her.

    As for her casual use of water. When you hold the hose, you control where the water goes. It’s not like she’s dancing in a fountain.

  5. Mitch4, I’m perhaps not understanding the CIDU aspect, but the flying monkey is rebelling, or committing mutiny. And it’s expressing its rebellion by pooping on her car.

  6. Primitive revenge on modern encroachment. The squirrels, starlings, and cousins continue the tradition at my castle, and asphalt moats don’t help. They smile with glee!

  7. Hi, Winter Wallaby!

    That explanation was not obvious at first look, hence the CIDU designation.

    Also, and still not really resolved, is the question of whether the mutiny is just in dirtying her car, as an expression of defiance; or whether there is a more involved plot to the conspiracy, where the desecration of the car is meant (as we may be seeing has happened) to provoke her into attempting to wash it, and exposing her to the hazard of water-accident.

  8. I suppose Baum’s flying monkeys are effectively equivalent to birds, but the traditional meme has always been that monkeys do not simply “drop” their poo; instead, the are prone to flinging it.

  9. But… the witch is washing the side window of the car, not the top or the hood, both of which show no signs of aerial bombardment. It’s unlikely that the flying monkey could have hit a side window. Also, it’s the Wicked Witch of the South that’s hydrophobic; I don’t know if we’re told whether the Wicked Witch of the North suffers from the same malady.

  10. @Hiawatha I don’t know how it differed from book to movie, but I think in the movie the North was the good witch, Glinda. The Wicked Witch of the West (did she have / disclose her own name?) was the chief baddie in the movie, played in greenface by Margaret Hamilton.

  11. There was no Wicked Witch of the South or of the North in the original book. The Wicked Witch of the West was melted by Dorothy with a bucket of water in that.

    The movie sort of combined the Good Witches of the North and South (Glinda).

  12. If a person can safely use a flamethrower, I think a witch can safely handle a water hose.

    Although it would probably be even safer for her if she used a flamethrower instead of a water hose. I seem to remember she can generate her own fireballs.

  13. The Good Witches of Oz were from the North and South. The Wicked Witches were from the East and West. Dorothy’s house killed East when it fell into Oz, and West blamed Dorothy, as if she was steering the tornado. At least, that’s how I remember it.

  14. I thought the mutiny resided in the fact that the monkey is refusing to wash the car, leaving the witch to handle the water herself.

  15. Mark, the problem is one of splash-back, which is why I usually wash the car in swimwear or something I don’t care about getting wet, and it’s the reason that when people are demonstrating flamethrowers, they usually wear those protective silver suits.

    But I would say that this is the start of the mutiny, and the opening salvo was pooping on her car.

  16. In the movie, the monkeys were the witch’s minions, but in the book, there was a cap that could be used to summon and control the flying monkeys. However, any one person could only use it three times, and having the monkeys grab Dorothy was the third use for the WWotW. After melting the witch, Dorothy took the cap and used it to 1) get back to the emerald city, 2) try to get to Kansas, which the monkeys couldn’t do, and 3) go to Glinda for help getting home. Dorothy wound up giving the cap to Glinda.

    That’s a long way of saying, in the book, the monkeys could have targeted the witch’s car anytime they wanted.

  17. ” is this the witch who’s hydrophobic?”

    Yes. The one with the flying monkeys was the one with the adverse reaction to hydrogen hydroxide. The other evil witch, the one with the magic silver slippers that allowed for rapid travel, was somehow not able to get out from underneath a falling house.

  18. There are significant differences between the book and movie. In the book, there’s no indications that the Wicked Witches were related nor that West cared how East met her end. She just wanted the silver shoes.

  19. While I am not sure if I read the book(s) – pretty sure I did not – I do know from reading about them that, yes, North and South were good witches and East and West were evil.

    There are several books in the series including one called “the Ozma of Oz” (the name just sticks with me). Since I have always been a Scaredy cat I have not read the Oz books, though I am pretty sure I had the Wizard of Oz books and did read a bio of Baum within the past 40+ years (meaning since we have been married).

  20. @Meryl, There are several books in the series including one called “the Ozma of Oz” (the name just sticks with me).
    [Princess] Ozma is a person, so there is no The in the short-title Ozma of Oz, one of the early books in the series.

    I don’t think the Oz books are thought of as scary, so being a Scaredy Cat needn’t stop you from enjoying them. Unless you mean you are afraid of sinking too much time into a long series of books!

  21. Many of the early Oz books are available from Gutenberg, including Ozma.


    The epub versions I looked at had some formatting issues. I plan to try the Kindle one eventually.

    I enjoy the cover art for the first edition, with Dorothy leaning on the letters:

  22. I went and reread the first couple Oz books some years back, and was sort of surprised to discover they … just aren’t that great. The state of the art in writing fantasy novels has improved drastically in the past 120 years; not just the writer equivalent of “production values” but also things like plot construction and setting organization.

    It’s depressing. I thought they were great when I was younger.

    (And more on topic: https://www.namesakecomic.com has a lot of Oz material in it)

  23. I was thinking of mentioning Namesake. I kind of lost touch with that, I should check it out again.

  24. @ Dave in Boston – Those books have not changed: they are still great (that’s why they were so unbelievably successful). The crucial difference is that you have matured: older readers need more sophisticated plots and characterizations to make the same kind of impact that a kid can get from a much simpler story. I’m about 50% through the first OZ book right now: there are holes in the plot that would let a moving van through with ease, but none of that matters to children: they see themselves in the place of Dorothy, and feel the same excitement and urgency that she does. That’s how age-appropriate fiction works.

  25. P.S. I’ve had similar reactions to Dave’s when reading some of Heinlein’s “juvenile” Sci-Fi novels. Some of the books still hold up pretty well, but there are others that I have re-read (now, four decades later) that have made me wonder why I didn’t see all those gigantic logical and physical inconsistencies back then.

  26. And it’s not just “little kid” books — I was seventeen or so when I read Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD, and I thought it was one of the three or four books I’d ever read. Tried to read it again when I was in my thirties and couldn’t force myself through more than a few pages.

  27. @ Shrug – You might want to proofread your writing to see if you any words out. 😉 (I assume you meant “best“.)

  28. I know, I actually started laughing when I read that. It’s like the sort of joke, “Of all the restaurants in town, this is certainly one of them.”

  29. Kilby: alas no. I mean, sure I thought they were great when I was 9 too, but that’s not the issue.

    The problem I found wasn’t a matter of plot holes or of the characters being one-dimensional, or of the plot being dull either. It was a fundamental shallowness, mostly of the setting but also of the plot. It arises from being an early work; at the time neither Baum nor much of anyone else had any experience with the sorts of things one can do to give a fictional setting depth, or for that matter how to introduce plot hooks into such a setting without making everything feel contrived or deus ex machina.

    And yeah, nobody who’s 9 will notice that, and I didn’t notice it either when I was … somewhere between 20 and 25 (iirc) but someone who’s 17 and has read a lot of the fantasy published in the last say 25 years probably will. It’s less a function of reader maturity (past a point) than of exposure to more recent material.

    (Plus it doesn’t help that being from 1902 there’s some offputting socially vintage bits, or that the author has a tendency to talk down to his audience.)

    Anyway, I don’t expect we’ll agree, but it’s not a matter of me outgrowing it.

    Then there’s C.S. Lewis’s claim about things not being worth reading as a child if they weren’t worth reading as an adult.

  30. @ Dave – Everybody has different opinions about various books and authors, and there’s nothing wrong with that.† However, in this case there is an additional factor: the reason I picked up “OZ” (in English) at our local (German) bookstore was partly curiosity, but mostly for my daughter, who has become a voracious reader, and has recently asked to watch the movie again (for the third or fourth time). For this reason, I’m partially judging the book for the effect I think it will have on her, and not what it does for me.

    P.S. † – Back in college, at least three different people suggested that I should try Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“, but every time I started it, I quit after just a few pages, thinking “This might have been really funny if I had read it in high school, but right now it seems odiously forced.

    P.P.S. ‡ – Another English book that I happened to pick up in a German bookstore was the first “Harry Potter” volume (this was over 20 years ago, about the time that the third book was released). I later borrowed books two and three from a German friend who preferred the original versions. In all three cases, I found the books reasonably enjoyable, but perhaps not quite worthy of the hype that was building even back then.

    This all stopped when I purchased and read book four, after which I vowed: “Never again!” – I refuse to risk wading through another 450 pages of overwrought plot, only to see the author use a cheap parlor trick that could have just as easily occurred on page 50, saving the reader 400 pages of teenaged drivel.

    P.P.P.S. Some years later, I mailed both of my books (1 & 4) to a friend in Oregon, who wanted to read the “original” (British) editions, rather than the versions that had been “translated” for American readers.

  31. Kilby: I tend to accept C.S. Lewis’s claim even though his original line of reasoning (about things being religiously edifying) is baloney. At least for “middle grade” and older. Some of that stuff is well-written, some of it’s not, and you may not notice the difference when you’re 9-10 but the disillusionment when you come back to it when you’re 16 (or 36) is a real thing. Plus whether or not you notice as a kid you do pick stuff up.

    At around the same time (AFAICR) I also went back and reread the Paddington books, and while they’re young in some ways and the later volumes got repetitive, they’re ok. Redwall, on the other hand, is awful once you’re older.

    Anyway, none of this means that much. It’s just that the particular ways early books in a field/genre/whatnot age out as the world gains more experience in that kind of writing specifically interest me, which is why I mentioned any of this at all.

    Oh, and if HP book 4 bothered you like that, do not on any account bother with book 5 🙂

    (The high school drama aspect is part of what made the series so broadly engaging, btw, but if you have no or low tolerance for that sort of thing, may as well skip the whole series; life’s too short to spend time reading stuff that you won’t ever enjoy.)

    Though I’m slightly curious which thing you mean by the cheap parlor trick.

  32. I assume the “cheap parlor trick” involved the villain who had been disguised as one of the good folks (to avoid a more specific spoiler).

    Books I loved as a kid, loved as a young adult, and still love as a geezer (mostly for different reasons over time) are few in number, but at the head of my list are ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.

  33. @ Dave in Boston – Even though the books we are talking about have been around for two decades, I think it’s only fair to warn any potential “new” readers: <major spoiler alert!> 🙂

    The prime stupidity in HP4 was leading the reader through all of the intricate preliminaries of a supposedly “important” wizardry competition, for the sole purpose of hiding a teleportation gimmick on the trophy. If the bad guy(s) really wanted to separate Harry from all of his helpful friends in order to get rid of him, they would have hidden that gimmick on his doorknob (or his toothbrush), and none of the lengthy leadup would have been necessary. My second (major) objection was to the way Rowling composed the story as a colorful pre-teen mystery for 80% of the book, and then shifted to a very dark (and in my eyes superfluous) adult murder scenario within the turn of a single page.

    As for HP5, thanks for the warning, but I learned all I needed to know about it from the same friend who loaned me books 2 & 3. After each new book came out, I asked her “Who did Rowling kill this time?” and “Who are the bad guys now?“.

    In addition to that, within one or two weeks of its release, a copy of book 5 was already wandering around the Internet. Someone had obviously sawed the binding off of a first edition, and ran the pages through an OCR scanner. I didn’t read it, but I did flip haphazardly through the PDF file. It was obvious that only about the first 50 or 100 pages had been proofread after the OCR operation, the rest was crammed with scanning errors.

    In any case, if I had actually purchased (or borrowed) and read HP5, I don’t think the teenage boarding school melodrama would have been the worst problem. What I found most irritating about the book was Rowling’s habit of putting all of their arguments into “PARAGRAPH-LONG STRINGS OF ALL CAPS”, instead of using something sensible, like “plain ordinary italics“. Perhaps she felt it necessary to pad the page count, but even in the early days of e-mail (and the waning days of Usenet), most adults had already learned not to use ALL CAPS for running text. It’s a shame that Rowling (and her editors) never figured that out.

  34. I’ve never watched the entire movie; what I did see I thought was pretty dumb (and I was afraid that something BAD was going to happen to Toto) – little did I realize that someday, I’d have Cairn Terriers that looked just like her (Terry), and in other colors as well, and I’d be heavily involved in Cairn Rescue.

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