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Our Wicked Generation

Dancing Through Life, and Defying Gravity

By Miss RiggiePublished 4 years ago 9 min read

The generation in the spotlight today is none other than Gen Z, or ‘Zoomers’. Spanning from the nostalgia-chasing mid-90’s kids to the 2000's and twenty-tenners. I am here to put everyone’s mind to rest. We are Wicked.

I don’t mean ‘wicked’ as in evil, rotten and impish.

I’m talking the smash hit Broadway musical made famous by the soaring vocals of one Idina Menzel. Wicked, adapted for the stage from the novel by Gregory Maguire. This story follows Elphaba, born with strange green skin and shunned by society in the Land of Oz. Yet, she has a natural talent for magic, and is taken into Shiz University and given the chance to study sorcery. During her time at Shiz she befriends Glinda the Good, becomes an Animal rights activist, and gets the chance to meet the Wizard of Oz, whom she finds out is behind the subjugation of intelligent talking Animals and plans to use her magical ability to further his agenda.

I found myself contemplating the subtle clues that connect us Zoomers to this wonderful musical and came upon the epiphany that we are indeed a Wicked generation.

Hello? Witches!!

Over the recent years there has been a massive growth of interest in Wicca and Neo-pagan faiths, finding more satisfying spiritual practices and paths that turn away from the doctrines of Abrahamic religions. Even some among the Christian faith are dabbling in witchcraft, incorporating work with angels and prayers to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. Wicca, Witchcraft and Neo-pagan movements have attracted most of the women of our age, since such faiths recognise the divine feminine in a Mother Goddess equal to and balanced with a Father God, validating that they themselves are divine and worthy of admiration, power and love after centuries of oppression under the patriarchy. Indigenous people of nations that have been colonised and converted are also relearning their history and finding ways to renew their connection to their ancestral land, improving upon practices that are relevant to modern life and resurrecting ancient cultures and philosophies that holy wars have previously tried to erase out of fear and ignorance, or even appropriate and corrupt the faiths they insist is the right one.

Not only are women flocking to Sabbat circles and crystal shops, but so are members of the LGBTQI+ and allied men! By finding acceptance, love and wisdom in these communities, many have converted from religious institutions that have done nothing but demonise and ridicule them, simply for being who God, the Creator or the Universe intended them to be.

Similarly does Elphaba turn away from her father’s faith, as he is a minister of the Unnamed God in the novel. Not only does he favour her sister Nessarose over her, and demonises her for her green skin, she knows full well he would not approve her mission to save the Animals.

Talk about Father of Year ...

No one mourns the Wicked

I think out of all other generations, we are just about the most vocal when it comes to cancel culture. Whether it’s a genuine racial or sexist slur that is harmful to many to a minor oopsie shared around to haters on Twitter, mob mentality has run rampant. Sure, there are those that definitely should not have a public platform to share hate speech, advocate for violence, or try to get their two cents into an issue that can do more harm than good. But there are zealots on the other side too; haters who go pull out all the stops to destroy the career of talented young people who are just trying prove themselves in this world. They dig up past mistakes, even horrible trauma, that they have already apologised, learnt from and worked their way to redemption for. Sometimes, they are even just getting bullied, reported and threatened by people who heard rumours just to try and join the bandwagon.

And what happens to these people?

They are shunned, ridiculed, downright outcast from society, when they are just trying to rebuild and move on. They are kicked while they’re down. They’re demonised, and often, I’ve noticed, by baseless rumours.

Some are blackmailed, harassed and threatened with death for things that they have already paid for dearly. But the torment continues, whether their mistakes were minor or major, whether they had apologised and corrected their behaviour or not.

No one mourns the wicked, but we have to be sure they are wicked in the first place! Not on personal opinion or disagreement with the person’s lifestyle or choices, but because their choices have genuinely caused harm, either by inciting violence or encouraging others to commit horrible acts. Not on the words of someone who knows them beyond their public persona, with others fuelling the fire and chasing clout off the hot topic, but from the evidence that is unbiased, unscripted, and unaltered by third-party editors.

Dancing Through Life

This catchy tune introduces the Prince Fiyero. Listen to it; he basically spouts the usual slacker philosophy that nothing really matters and school is a waste, so just be cool and enjoy yourself doing whatever you want.

I think the relation here is obvious. Zoomers are reaching fame and their own entrepreneurship through mediums like YouTube and especially Tik Tok, and all are largely due to playing along to trends and coming up with new dance crazes. Now, I still don’t know how to do the Renegade, and by the time this is published I suspect that it would be dead and replaced soon enough by yet another dance, but the mentality is still there. Teens all over the world are making their claim to fame by focusing on hitting all the right moves rather than the right living habits. But some are also using it to get a leg up on their ultimate ambitions. I don’t doubt there are the clueless ones sharing their stuff, but there are still plenty of talented people who are using this platform as a way to build themselves up into respectable, informative channels to learn, be entertained, and encourage positive change.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Who hasn’t heard of Greta Thurnberg?

Who hasn’t heard the constant negativity from members of older generations questioning her parenting? Ranting about how she should keep her mouth shut, go back to school to become part of this dated, toxic system, and saying she needs to be beaten, r*ped or murdered for simply advocating a sustainable future for ourselves and every generation to come.

But dear Greta is not the only one taking a stand. Millions of school-age children have heard and answered the call to try and make the world a better, cleaner place. Raising their voices in protest, in desperation to be able to live on this planet, rather than just survive it. They too have been demonised by media that is headed by conservative groups that often try to dominate news and public opinion, and it’s gone as far as wishing disease and death upon them.

So many have gone beyond just words, taking steps to produce products and ground-breaking inventions and systems to improve our chance to find a solution to our earth’s deteriorating condition. However, some big businesses and political parties fear that it will make their sources of income obsolete, and so they censor credible information about these solutions, outright deny there is a problem with our environment. Sure, tornadoes aren’t tearing through the countryside crushing people with farmhouses, but I still remember that there were people without a house at all just months ago. I, as well as many of my family, friends and neighbours, could barely open a window without coughing from the smoke. The horrific fires that burned through our summer in Australia took lives, homes and wildlife, because those in power were convinced they didn’t have to pay attention to how dry our bush really was.

Even with that devastation, with the pollution in other countries where people get sick from their drinking water, crucial ecosystems are failing, and droughts are killing off livestock and the produce that feeds us all. The names of species on the endangered list are growing. Links to ancient cultures and preservation of natural beauty are being erased.

And it’s not just the environment we are fighting for, but social movements, human rights, speaking up against injustice. So many diabolical, sinister ruling bodies in society are being exposed for their sins against their fellow man, and so much good has come from bringing attention and spreading awareness of these issues.

Yet we are hated for it.

Just like Elphaba when she uncovers that the Wizard of Oz is actually the mind behind silencing the talking Animals and putting them into forms of slave labour. As she fights for the rights of the Animals like her professor Dr Dillamond, the Cowardly Lion (introduced as a cub in the musical), and poor Chistery, a serving monkey whom she was tricked into cursing with wings. After she threatens to expose the Wizard for a cruel tyrant and fraud, he tasks his press secretary to defame her to the public, earning her moniker ‘the Wicked Witch of the West’. She escapes his clutches, and takes the flying monkeys with her. Which leads us to…

Defying Gravity

Of course, who can forget this great number? Don't deny it, you've tried to sing it at least once. Defying Gravity is the ultimate song about breaking boundaries and sticking it to the man. Elphaba sings it at the turning point and end of Act I, using the Wizard's words 'Everyone deserves the chance to fly'. We are a generation that is breaking away from old hat ideas and oppressive systems that have been holding us down for centuries. In a more literal sense, we are a generation that is starting to defy gravity ourselves - defy the pull of our earth and look to the stars beyond our lonely little rock.

Who wasn't excited when NASA revealed that they have been talking to other nations to start deliberating on accords on how the Moon would be governed should we begin to colonise it. You could say, ‘why leave the earth behind now if there are so many issues we still need to fix?’ I’m not going to address that here. I about the possibilities of exploring worlds outside our own! Making huge leaps and bounds for science and space exploration! Answering questions about our universe that we as a species can finally evolve and grow beyond what we are!







About the Creator

Miss Riggie

Artist | Writer | Lover | Fighter

Born in Sydney, Australia, I write about what inspires me, to inspire others. Poetry, stories, deep introspective works, the lot! MUSE POWERS ACTIVATE!

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