Houses with antenna

Blog

After the Wizard

February 20, 2015

More readers responded to the latest story, about seeing the Wizard of Oz for the first time. Larry:

Lovely graphics–reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes at its best.  And of course, we all knew what a real tornado was like.

I too continually watch that film every time it comes onto tv, though by now one can surely buy it in some definitive version.  Of course, we aficionados can replay it in our heads, line by line, scene by scene, anytime we want…

I did once see at the steps of a church in rural Austria near Innsbruck an American girl–clearly on her first grand tour–with the T shirt, “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”  I always wondered whether the Europeans got the significance of that one…

Keep up the good work.

Chet:

Damn Ed, that didn’t go anywhere near where I expected… You still got it!

Sharon responded to the previous story about the polio vaccine:

This may seem astounding.  I never ever heard of the polio vaccine being called the Jew vaccine until I read about it in your Sleeper Street.

I remember being lined up in a hallway in school for the polio “sugar cubes” and the polio shot too. There was a great sense of relief and gratitude in our home that scientists in our country had figured this out and our people could live without the fear of polio.  Salk was quite respected. We never had any negative ethnic or religious group comments or attitudes. So I was truly unaware of this unfairness and lack of respect.

Thanks for your comments.

Cartoonists weren’t the only ones who used “The Wizard of Oz” for political parody. This ditty was drummed up by reporters covering the Gerald Ford presidency:

I could while away the hours
Reflecting on my powers,
As we go down the drain.
I could spend like Rockefeller,
I could talk like Walter Heller,
If I only had a brain.

I could overcome inflation,
Put gas in every station
And we would feel no pain.
I could make the Arabs cower,
I could be an Eisenhower
If I only had a brain.

Oh, gee, if I could be
Like Truman in his prime;
Salty speeches whipping Congress into line,
Say “geothermal” — the first time.

I could hold down grocery prices,
Wipe out the oil crisis,
Solve problems with no strain.
I could do a lot of thinkin’,
I could be another Lincoln,
If I only had a brain.

Tame and almost affectionate compared to the scorched earth politics of today. Along the way we seem to have lost our sense of humor when it comes to our all-too fallible leaders. Too bad.