Friday, October 28, 2011

HALLOWEEN WITCH COUNTDOWN #4: Snow White's Evil Queen

Excerpt from Countdown #1:  The Witch.  There are big ones, small ones, fat ones, and tall ones. I've been called one, felt like one, and look like one frequently. I've cast spells like one, had 'em bounce back on me like one because I wasn’t doing it right, and felt regrets like one ... even if it's only regret for having my hair messed up by the open window in the van. In corporate, there were times when I had to act like one, so naturally when I got home I caught hell for being one because I couldn’t change gears quickly enough.  I’m glad that isn’t a current issue.  My friends wonder if I used to be one, and I have at least one hater out there who maintains the belief that I truly am a witch.

Oh please.

I firmly believe that deep down, every woman is a witch, in a kitchen-y/healing/intuitive kind of way (granted many women have simply forgotten this), and every witch is wise. I've done a number of artistic pieces reflecting that belief, as well. Like the tarot, witches and witchcraft inspire my art because categorically they peek into the mysteries of womanhood and strive to explain its secrets.

Writer’s Note: This is a re-re-worked version of a blogpost I wrote in 2008.

There is something inherently pathetic about a witch who won’t do her own dirty work. If you’re going to embrace the devil in your psyche, the least you can do is wield the poison apple yourself. This is the lesson learned by the Evil Queen in Disney’s “Snow White”, the subject of our Halloween Witch Countdown #4.


One may argue that The Evil Queen, also known as Queen Grimhilde, is not a witch, but a royal matriarch, and therefore is disqualified from this tribute. I would disagree with that. Any woman who is narcissistic enough to get hung up on her beauty, for example, or riches, or power, and then kill someone to protect it, should be elevated to witch status … um, evil witch status, that is. After all, every woman is a witch, and every witch is wise, right? Walt Disney certainly understood this. Glinda from “TheWizard of Oz”, as I’ve stated previously, was incurably annoying, but she was, most certainly, what we might consider a good witch. It is interesting to note that Queen Grimhilde, voiced by Lucille La Verne, was also Disney’s first “serious” villain in a full length feature, and has yet to be surpassed for excellence in sheer malignancy.

One must acknowledge the presence of OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, in most all of these evil women, as well. Cruella had to have a Dalmatian puppy coat. Trying to realize that desire in a number of nefarious ways finally did her in. The evil queen, Narcissa (what a name!) in Disney’s “Enchanted” had a thing for her stepson. I’d rather not analyze that too closely, thank you, and not just because he was a completely self-centered dolt whose teeth were way too big for his face. Yet, despite calling on her powers as a shape shifter and turning into a dragon just like Malificent (from “Sleeping Beauty”), who by all counts was an evil feary and not really a witch, she managed to be outdone by Love’s First Kiss, which is about as pathetic as it gets.

Disney’s Evil Queen is a regal bitch who probably started out as a scullery maid. She happened to be graced with good looks. Perhaps she got lucky enough to find the King alone in his office when, after a difficult day on the stock market, he needed a good blow job. She was happy to oblige, after which one might speculate it was her good looks that found him enamored of her, so much that he had his first wife tossed unceremoniously from a parapet. The king neglected to reveal that he had a daughter by his first wife, who was also lovely, although very young. She, of course, was quickly banished to the Kingdom’s projects, where she shacked up with seven little people, because, after all, there can be only one good looking bitch in the castle. These little people took advantage of Snow White for house cleaning services and singing with woodland creatures when they weren’t in the diamond mines slaving for the precious gems upon which the Kingdom’s failing economy was based. Before too long, the Kingdom would be forced to purchase those precious gems from other countries such as Far, Far Away, and the seven little homeys would have no choice but to work at Kingdom-Mart, where they would be fired if they were caught whistling on the job. In fact, it was this crash in the market that drove the King to his own death shortly after being married.

What made Grimhilde, now the reigning matriarch in the kingdom, so darn special was that she could read crystal balls. Some women are just born gifted, I guess. Soon, scrying became her chosen tool of divination, and she used it to find and promptly dispose of other young, lovely and nubile ladies in the realm. Nobody knows why she ended up with that annoying Magic Mirror, but it was he who couldn’t keep his big trap shut when the banished princess got old enough to be competition. Maybe one of the little people, thrust into a personal alcoholic hell after losing his job, couldn’t keep HIS big trap shut in the local pub. After all, he couldn’t get any insurance at Kingdom-Mart and so his addiction was never treated.

Anyhow, The Evil Queen sent a Huntsman to kill the princess, and demanded her heart be returned in a pretty little box. I just love little boxes. She threatened the Huntsman with death if he failed. Naturally, he did, and if that wasn’t enough, he tried to deceive her, as well, because he needed his job desperately providing that you just can’t find good help these days. The Evil Queen, an alchemist at heart, descended into her dungeon laboratory, where she drank polyjuice to look like the old woman who worked in the Castle’s laundry.

The rest is history.

The fact that the Evil Queen sacrificed the very thing she coveted to get what she wanted, her beauty, is what perplexes me the most. It is, however, a testament to the severity of her OCD, which is undoubtedly what she would blame if she were arrested for premeditated murder and put on trial. She wasn’t, of course. People in true power, no matter what time in history, can get away with raping the country they live in, and having others killed for the sake of convenience. This, after all, is fact and can be seen time and time again on the internet (however, now in mainstream media).

The moral of this story, if there is such a thing, is two-fold. First, let’s acknowledge that the Kingdom did not have a decent plastic surgeon. If it did, the Evil Queen would never have bothered with the Magic Mirror and the whole crises could’ve been averted. Second is the age old axiom, if you want a job done well, you have to do it yourself.

Pretty box or no, if Grimhilde wanted Snow White killed, she should’ve put aside her class bigotry and racism and ventured into the projects to do it herself to begin with.

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