Something Wicked this Way Passed

The future wicked

So, ….

Something wicked this way passed and tried to warn us. But we wouldn’t listen, loud though she cried.

I just realized that the most meaningful cinematic scene I ever experienced first occurred seven years before I was born, over three quarters of a century ago. And that as Gregory Maguire intuited, the protagonist was really the purported villain, a verdant seeress in Cassandric style, and that the most meaningful scene and the most meaningful lines, the climax, was hidden in allegory and allusion, in metaphor and distraction, hidden in the past but declaimed in Orwellian dialect.

“What a world, what a world” she tried to warn us as she slowly melted, murdered in what appeared an innocent attempt to save her, water the bane. Interesting that her domain was the West. That green, the verdant savior, the real imagery of the benign, was her hue. That her prophetic role was so misunderstood, or perhaps, perverted by those whose role is perversity.

A rebel with all too many causes, a martyr complex, a quantum princess whose shield was chaos and whose helm was unknowable. Avatar’s progenitress.

“Wicked” became synonymous with cool in the late sixties, not for naught. Its origins in old English stem from Wicca, the benign worship of nature perverted by the worshippers of death and its god into an analog of evil, and its power has never been totally obviated, not totally, not permanently; notwithstanding layer upon layer upon layer of hypocrisy and distortion.

Elphaba and Margaret Hamilton, fated bookends, translations and interpretations incorporating sophistry and divinity.

Who knew then?

Who could doubt today?

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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