Friday, June 10, 2005

Long Live Endora

Why shouldn't the residents of Salem, MA be upset and disgusted by their mayor's boneheaded decision to accept a 9-foot bronze statue of Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens from the company TV Land?

Don't get me wrong. "Bewitched" was an obsession for me through many years of my childhood, and I still trot dutifully in to the hairdresser ever 60 days to have my hair dyed Endora red, and yes, it's an homage to the late, great Agnes Moorhead.

I even like both Darrins: Dick York and Dick Sargeant.

But for God's sake, is this how we treat history? So that in 200 years, visitors to this town will scratch their heads and wonder if that pretty lady riding the broom was one of the unfortunates persecuted and hanged for the imagined crime of witchcraft?

Bewitched in Salem

Don't think it could happen? Visit Salem today and see how many well-meaning Wiccans conflate their Gerald Gardner-created "ancient" religion (from way back in the 1930's, ya'll!) with the folk practices allegedly or possibly or maybe engaged in by the thoroughly, unmistakably, unarguably Christian men and women of 17th century New England.

Tituba is the only one of the whole mess who was a practitioner of indigenous ("pagan") religious practices. The others were God-fearing, Satan-fearing Christians who might have sewed the occasional poppet or used a charm to conceive a baby, but that doesn't make them Wiccans, people.

Lots of Wiccans know this, of course. But plenty don't, or they refuse to admit it because they're making a good living peddling their muffled sense of history to tourists in Salem.


Blogger Oversoul said...

I'm more worried about the damn stupid movie coming out which makes no sense to me at all (the premise that is). But since several of you have roasted Nora Ephron lately, and she is the half of the duo that spawned this movie idea, I'll leave it at that.


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