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 28, 2007

thanks, Darlene

I was at the computer, half-writing/half-listening to a History Channel show called Shockwave. They began a segment on tornadoes, and started to show twisters turning over cars and ripping through houses. I knew a Wizard of Oz reference was coming...

They were talking to a woman named Darlene who was inside a house that was lifted 120 feet in air (and caught on camera). Her exact quote was:
When I looked out my back window, it reminded you (sic) of the Wizard of Oz when the house went flying through the air.
I'm very glad Darlene survived to tell her tale, and grant me a WoO reference.

p.s. That amazing picture is from a website called The Astronomy Picture of the Day. Every day NASA posts a new, oft-breathtaking picture. I guess the government is good for something.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

x-mas in Oz

After several busy x-mas preparation days without any noticeable Oz references (granted, our heads are in different places during the lead up to x-mas, so I wouldn't be surprised if I missed something), x-mas Eve's reference came when my 8-year-old niece was listing all the movies she'd watched at "Nonnie and Poppie's" the night before. Wedged between a gang of Disney Princess movies and a few nature-related shows was Oz, which I was really happy to hear.

Santa brought two Oz references on x-mas day. First, when my wife and I arrived at her mom's house, on the coffee table was a new copy of "Son of a Witch," Gregory Maguire's long-anticipated sequel to "Wicked."

Then, as we watched "A Christmas Story" for the umpteenth time, I noticed that during the parade scene (right before Ralphie sees Santa), Oz characters and the witch's monkeys are featured in the parade. Also, right after Ralphie gets sent down the slide, Dorothy and the other Oz characters reappear skipping down the mall's center aisle as Ralphie's parents approach.

It was nice to see -- Film directors pay attention to details like that, so it would seem that "A Christmas Story" was paying homage to Oz.

Rock on, A Christmas Story.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ask, and ye shall receive

Yesterday I posted that there was a shortage of Oz references going on, and today I had two.

First, I was doing some casual research for a Disney book I'm working on, and I came across this in the wiki entry for Pinocchio's friend Jiminy Crickets:

Another example occurs in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. When the group first enters the Wizard's chamber, they are startled by the Wizard's sudden thunder-and-lightning display, and Dorothy (Judy Garland) cries, "Oh! Oh! Jiminy Crickets!"

Second, while watching the news today they mentioned ticket prices for Wicked going down, or something. I was half listening, as I've heard Wicked is terrible and I'd already encountered a solid reference for the day.

Back in the saddle. Come on, Thursday, let's make it two in a row.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the cause of my neglect

I've been neglecting the blog because a) I've never been so busy at work and it's the holiday season at home which means lame tasks need a-doin, and b) Oz has been nowhere to be found.

The other morning I was drifting in and out of sleep as I was snoozing Talk Radio, and I could have sworn I heard someone mention Oz, but I think I was just having a dream. Jeez, that's sad.

Come Oz references, where are you??

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

so close...

I thought I had an awesome reference today, but alas, I got some facts crossed. I will spare me the embarrassing details.

I'll have to go with a weaker reference, but a reference none-the-less: someone brought Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins in to work this morning.

(I just discovered that each time I type "munchkins", my fingers instinctively put a "d" on the end of the word. So I keep typing "munchkinds". Weird.)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Imperial Life in the Emerald City

I got a great Oz reference today while listening to NPR. They had on author Rajiv Chandrasekaran talking about his book Imperial Life in the Emerald City. With a title like that, I'm sure the book is riddled with Oz references.

This has nothing to do with my usual reason for keeping this blog, but apparently the book is about some of the terrible mistakes and bad decisions made inside Iraq's Green Zone during the war. Chandrasekaran discussed certain events, for example: when the Iraqi infrastructure was destroyed by the war, instead of American bureaucrats focusing on rebuilding it, getting electricity back on, or water and food to hungry people, or getting Iraqis back to work, they spent their time re-writing the Iraqi TAX CODE line-by-line. Umm, I don't think the people of Iraq are all that concerned about their tax rate when they're starving, thirsty, and huddled in the dark. It sounds like many opportunities to win some support of the Iraqi people were severely mismanaged and lost. Sad.

But this isn't a political blog, because I know next to nothing about politics. The book sounds very interesting, so check it out.

On a lighter note, I got my Oz reference for the day.

nearing the end of the yellow brick road

alas, the weekend was light for Oz references, but i'm about an hour from completing Tin Man. i'll give a full report then.

is it just me, or do Zooey Deschanel's legs look totally whack in this promo poster?

Friday, December 7, 2007

oz kismet

i was sitting in traffic this morning on my way to work and something to my left drew my attention. i looked over and was staring right at the wicked witch and the good witch.

unfortunately it was an ad on the top of a cab for the musical Wicked, but it was an Oz reference none the less.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Return to Oz

also, my reference for the day came when i was talking to a co-worker about Fairuza Balk.

she asked me if i remembered the film Return to Oz. i wasn't sure, so i headed to you tube where i found this clip featuring the Wheelers.

good god, those things were terrifying. they jogged my foggy memory. i added Return to Oz to my Nextflix right away.

does sci-fi's "Tin Man" have heart?

i'm about two-thirds of the way through Part One (of Three) of Sci-Fi's Wizard of Oz update -- Tin Man. so far it's had it's decent moments and it's disappointments.

the acting is up-and-down. i love Zooey Deschanel, but i think she's better suited for slightly less dramatic roles. when she's really supposed to be giving us serious emotion, she falls a bit flat.

i flat-out don't care for Neal McDonough. he's hack-y. sorry.

everyone else is holding their own.

the special effects are also a bit on the weak side. we've seen it all before in Lord of the Rings, and it was executed right. they raised the bar too high. now anything else, made-for-tv film or no, just doesn't cut it.

instead of trying to do something grand on the small screen, i wish the producers would have concentrated more on the creative aspects of the retelling. they've come up with some original ideas, but they seem to be glossing over them. it's as if "Tin Man" is trying to do too much. they'd have done well to tone down some of the grand attempts at special effects.

i've still got a ways to go, so i'll reserve further judgment for now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the mini-series

i'm about to settle in with Part One of Sci Fi Channel's "Tin Man." excited to see what it's all about.

Monday, December 3, 2007

synchronicity while researching synchronicity

I was reading the Wikipedia entry about "synchronicity" and came across this following quote:

"During production of The Wizard of Oz, a coat bought from a second-hand store for the costume of Professor Marvel was later found to have belonged to L. Frank Baum, author of the children's book upon which the film is based."

Total synchronicity.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

right on target

today at Target i saw a greeting card with the four Oz characters on the front. it was blank on the inside.

also, regarding the Oprah reference, O was giving one of the guests shit for smoking back in the day, and they had a picture of the woman with a cigarette in her mouth, and the woman said, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."