I just put on a DVD for my kids, a Warner Brothers film we paid cold, hard cash for, yet are still forced to sit through a barrage of commercials and previews that range from insipid to insulting. On the far end of the insulting side of this spectrum was a fear mongering anti-piracy clip that has me reeling. Warner Brothers re-cast The Wizard of Oz so that Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Scarecrow are to be understood as pirates, and the Wizard is to be seen as something along the lines of an MPAA goon. Take a look for yourself at the 50 second spot below:
What’s crazy is how brazenly Warner Brothers is
targeting attacking the young and the meek “Dorothys” of the world with their scare tactics. Despite the fact that we paid more money than we should have for the video, our kids are, nonetheless, forced by Warner Brothers to sit through this cautionary commercial if they want to get to the feature. When did a company’s preying upon their young and meek audience, while simultaneously ruining an all-time classic, become not only tolerable, but the norm?
But re-framing always cuts both ways, that’s the beauty of media, interpretation, and context. Anyone who has seen the film knows that the Wizard is a fraud who builds an elaborate front with smoke and mirrors to hide the sobering reality that he’s a homunculus whose only power is in false bravado, subterfuge, and double-talk. And therein lies the “man-behind-the-curtain” of pirating cautionary tales spawned by media interests to prey on the unassuming. A despicable tactic that has no other aim than to instill fear and terror in the hearts and minds of the young and the meek. Yet, it is the meek that shall inherit the internet, and the deceptive interests that espouse fear and terror must be exposed as soon as possible so that we can bring them and their cultural heritage into the 21st century. If you don’t feel the need to stand up against the MPAA and the RIAA because they are eroding your rights to share, copy, and interact with the culture you have been thrown into, then, for the love of God, do it for the children!!! 🙂