A Year of Oz: The Wizard of Oz Is All Around Us
I'm testing a theory that Victor Fleming's masterpiece "The Wizard of Oz" is so woven into popular culture that someone or something makes reference to it at least once every day. It comes up in conversations, songs, TV shows, ads, other films, colloquial saying, etc. For one year I'll be updating this blog each time Oz comes up. Check back daily to see if the theory holds water, or melts in it. (And try it yourself. You'll start to notice Oz everywhere, I promise.)
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
David Sedaris had another Oz reference in When You Are Engulfed in Flames. He was quoting the Cowardly Lion -- "I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do."
Btw, did you know Australians refer to their home country as "Oz", at least in print. And least one Australian. I don't know about the rest of them. Know how I know that? Facebook. See, this is why I have to keep up. How depressing.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Maybe I'm so bad about updating the blog because I'm wasting my life away playing Scrabulous. Right now I have the "O" and "Z" tiles. Very unfortunately, they don't count that as a word.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"It was easy to imagine that the house, set as it was on the lip of a university parking lot, had dropped from the sky, like Dorothy's in The Wizard of Oz, but with a second story."
On the train, I get some sideways glances as I try to stiffle laughter while Sedaris describes the "Stadium Buddy" or the horror of being forced to scratch a baby-sitter's disgusting back.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Then, I was looking at a friend's facebook page and came across this hilariously amazing pic of her daughter, who is coincidentally (or not) named Dorothy:
Monday, August 4, 2008
p.s. I still owe this blog a post.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I've been meaning to pick up a copy for a while so I snatched it up. $3.30 with tax. I had exact change, which is always nice. It has this cover, which is not my favorite (but as the saying goes: cheapskates buying copies for $3.30 can't be choosers):
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I was thumbing through Newsweek and came across an article on a teenager named Larry King who was murdered in a classroom because he was gay. His sexuality made another student uncomfortable, so that student saw fit to end Larry's life. It's a horrific story. You can read it here.
The article specifically mentioned the students making fun of him because he would sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Hopefully Larry found the other side of the rainbow and is resting peacefully there.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Then go read HERE to read the entry. I love coincidences like that. Great stuff, Jay.
I have one more reference to add from the 24-hour Oz reference marathon, but it's going to take a little more time to add than I have right now.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So I'm too mad to explain the third Oz reference. That's lucky, because I can't remember exactly what it was. I just know it was in People magazine somewhere. I know I'm not supposed to read People (and usually don't), but cut me some slack today. I just lost my bike.
p.s. That is not a picture of my bike. Just a bike that looks kinda like my bike. That bike pictured is probably safe at home with its rightful owner. Unlike mine.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Oz reference #2 from the 24-hour reference fest: The song "Africa" came on in the car. You know, the one about blessing the rains or something. This song is by the band Toto.
Now the band claims that they are not named after the dog, or the Japanese toilet maker, or a part of the female anatomy if you speak certain African dialects.
But I'm going to choose not to believe them and count it as an Oz reference. They may wan to dispute that when they wrap up their third set at the Branson Missoui Casino and All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Shack at around 2am. Zing!
That Merlin lookin' guy may put a spell on me for saying that.
(I shouldn't make fun, I sing the hell out of that song when it comes on.)
Sunday, July 20, 2008
So first I'll bust out my wife. Love the girl to death, but she's got a really bad habit. She's hopeless addicted to Days of Our Lives. She's not proud of it, but at the same time, doesn't do anything to stop. It's hopeless. How do we stay together? you ask. My answer: just barely.
Because of this nasty habit of hers, I'm pretty much up to date on who's cheating on who, who's plotting who's death, who wears an eye patch (I'm pretty sure there are several characters), who's acting skills can only rival, say, Mariah Carey's, who's died and returned multiple times, and so on. I've stopped asking myself years ago why a town of, it seems, about 40 people, has like eight detectives, seven doctors, and then a hand full of people who don't do much but walk around their houses in towels and make out noisily quite often.
So blah blah blah -- there was an Oz reference on DoOL (Dool??). One asshole came in and another asshole was reading The Wizard of Oz to her daughter. 'Nuff said.
Oh, I can do a pretty good impression of the CONSTANT look of smugness on this asshole's face:
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Today while stuck in one of those vicious facebook loops (you know -- where every page you're on leads to another thing you just can't not click on), when I came across a Wicked button on a friend's pieces of flair board.
Here it is, in all its pixelated glory.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
I promise to try harder.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I have flying monkeys, and I'm not afraid to use them
and the other said:
No one gets in to see the wizard. No way. No how.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
I didn't quite get his meaning, but I know it was an Oz reference. (DVR has spoiled my life experience in that now whenever I miss something in the "real world" I think I can push a button and back it up 30 seconds.)
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Why haven't they done that yet? I think Trebek's afraid.
On today's Jeopardy there was actually a category called "Oz" and every question was about WoO. At the end, Trebek said something about the man behind the curtain. Thanks for the shout-out, Trebek!
p.s. Who's got two thumbs and ran the category. ... This guy.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Have you seen the movie Brazil? If not, I highly recommend it. It's one of Terry Gilliam's finest movies. It features several unexpected cameos by Robert DiNero as a rouge heater mechanic (that's the best way I can describe it).
If you've seen the film you know it features many "pipes". Pipes seem to be one of Gilliam's themes. Shortly after DiNero appears on screen, he is examining a pipe and comments:
Now that's a pipe of a different color.
He says it so quietly it's almost hard to hear (I have to rewind the DVR several times to confirm). But sure enough, it's an Oz reference.
p.s. The cover of this film used to freak me out when I was younger.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I record those shows in our DVR, watch them quickly without commercials, and get on with my evening.
So don't judge me because a number of my recent references have been television-related. I'm not as bad as you think.
America's Next Top Model contestant Anya did a semi-Wicked Witch impression as she described herself on a photo shoot: "I'm melting! Melting!"
Let's hope my next Oz reference is from a source that's a bit more ... elevated.
p.s. I don't see the Anya appeal...
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
At one point, however, one of the chefs referred to Mom as "the Wicked Witch of the West". So that was a nice Oz reference.
Also one of my co-workers mentioned The Wizard of Oz at lunch today, but I can't remember the context.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Here's a picture of the Wigs:
I was going to post a picture of Chris, but it appears he deleted his myspace profile. Typical, jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. Weak.
Monday, April 28, 2008
...It’s almost impossible to watch television for a week and not hear an Oz reference, a paraphrase of Oz dialog...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I'm banging your drum,
your big day will come
When they remake
The Wizard of Oz.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
So it truly will be a Year of Oz. I'll be doing something Oz-related practically every day for the next few months. I won't count these as official references, but I'm pretty stoked none-the-less.
If I were a monkey, this is about how I looked today:
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I've already admitted that I watch American Idol, while tonight the hippie dude (Jason Castro) sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He did the Israel [something-or-another]'ole version, which you may remember from an eToys commercial several years back.
Israel's version is stunning, and I must say, the hippie dude didn't butcher it. I was pleasantly surprised on all counts.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
p.s. Remember Ken Jennings. That guy won $2.5 million on Jeopardy. Amazing.
Friday, March 21, 2008
"So what do you think we're going for with this?"
And she responded.
"I don't know ... like a Wizard of Oz thing?"
It wasn't what we were going for, but it was a reference none the less.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It was nice little Oz reference.
(She actually named what the three projects were, but I didn't think it'd be a good idea to post their official titles here.)
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The commercial opens with the Good Witch (presumably) singing about being popular. It gave me chills. Not the good kind.
Has anyone seen it? Is it as bad as I think?
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Alas, the Oz references have recoiled like a frightened turtle. My Board of Trustee now tell me they don't see an IPO on the horizon.
But something is in the air. Maybe it's spring (on the heels of a downright miserable Chicago winter). Maybe it's just life in general. But I feel a change coming. I feel like the sky is going to open up and a deluge of Oz references will come crashing down.
I feel it. So let's see what happens.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Tonight they lost to the Washington Wizards. The Channel 5 sports commentator said:
"But they couldn't catch the Wiz, who eased on down the road."
The Bulls are about as threatening as Joakim Noah. (Hasn't Ricky Williams taught us that stoners make bad draft picks??) At least, if nothing else, they are good for a tangential Oz reference.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Depp decided to draw inspiration for his performance from Andy Hardy, Ronald Reagan, Casey Kasem, and the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.
So I can thank Captain Jack Sparrow for today's reference. Is there anything Johnny Depp can't do?
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
As I jogged in place and shook my head back and forth wildly in the shower, I wondered if I'd followed the wrong movie for a year.
Friday, February 15, 2008
I was talking to a friend today about random movie oddities and he said, "Didn't a munchkin hang himself in the Wizard of Oz or something?" The rumor is patently untrue. No one is really sure how it got started. According to snopes.com, it's a bird, which is what it clearly looks like if you watch closely. It'll look better on your TV.
Here's the video in dispute. It is clearly a bird in the background. When people get stoned enough, they'll see anything. This rumor can be hung out to dry. (Ooof. Sorry.)
Monday, February 11, 2008
CLICK HERE TO READ GLASS'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE SLIPPERS AND OZ ON OPRAH'S SITE