Monday, December 14, 2009

The Weirdest Oz Characters Ever

The Weirdest Oz Characters

Johnny Dooit - Johnny Dooit is a creepy old man who shows up whenever you ask for him, with a strong implication that he’s been watching you the whole time. At one point in the fifth book, Dorothy and her companions du novel need to pass over the Deadly Desert that surrounds Oz, so called because if you touch the sand, you turn to dust. So one of the travelers, a hobo called the Shaggy Man who has a magnet that makes everyone fall in love with him, asks Johnny Dooit to show up, and he does, and builds them a “sand boat”, which they sail to Oz. The fact that this made perfect sense to me at age 9 will probably be something you want to keep in mind when you read the rest of these.

Betsy Bobbin - Betsy’s not weird, her existence is. See, Dorothy was a girl from Kansas who got washed away during a storm at sea and landed in Ev with a farm animal that was suddenly able to talk, and then made her way to Oz. Betsy had the exact same story, except she’s from Oklahoma. Sure, she’s got a mule instead of a chicken, but otherwise, her story could have been told with Dorothy and not lost anything. There was, by the way, one other girl in the same age group that wound up in Oz, but Trot was from California, not the Midwest, and instead of a pet she had a one-legged sea captain.

Toto - You all know Toto, right? That’s what you think. Toto is a little black dog which Dorothy had with her on her first trip to Oz. On her second and third, she had a yellow hen and then a kitten and a cab-horse, all of whom learned to speak as soon as they hit magic country, as did Betsy’s mule and Trot’s sea captain. Starting to see why Toto is so weird? And it’s not that there’s anything wrong with him. He can talk, he just doesn’t. Except in the eleventh book, The Lost Princess of Oz. For some unknown reason, in that one he is completely the same as every other animal in Oz, despite saying a grand total of one sentence across 13 other books.

Captain Fyter - Also called “The Tin Soldier”. And you can probably see where this is going. See, for those unaware, in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, the origin of the Tin Woodman was that he was a woodcutter by the name of Nick Chopper, who was in love with the servant girl of the Wicked Witch of the East. Upon finding out, the Witch naturally decided to enchant Chopper’s axe to hack off his legs, arms, what have you, which he had replaced one by one with tin surrogates. Well, anyway, he rusted and just sort of hung around until he was oiled by Dorothy. He then went to the Emerald City to get his heart so he could love his fiancee again and marry her. Which he got around to trying in book twelve. Sheesh, maybe he should have asked the wizard for an attention span.

Well, on the way to her parents house, where they assume she still lives after twenty years or so, they happen across… another tin guy. Completely identical to the Tin Woodman, save for a different hat. He is similarly rusted, and they oil him, and he reveals himself to be Captain Fyter. See, he was a soldier who was in love with the servant girl of the Wicked Witch of the East. Upon finding out, the Witch naturally decided to enchant Fy-Ter’s sword to hack off his legs, arms, what have you, which he had replaced one by one with tin surr… Whoa. I think there’s a glitch in the Matrix. No, wait, it’s just Frank Baum adding extra drama to his story by repeating it exactly.

Not only did Nimmie Amee (Oh, that’s the girl, by the way.) fall in love with the guy who was completely dismembered and magic-cyborged, she was completely uninterested until he was tin… Of course, being tin means he can’t love her. (Also, it apparently makes him too stupid to come out of the rain.) Getting engaged to an emotionally unavailable person identical to someone who abandoned you is creepy enough to get Nimmie on this list herself, not to mention the tinsmith Ku-Klip, who just made identical faces rather than trying to match what his clients actually look like. But that’s not the weirdest thing either of them have done. To examine that, let’s look at these next two characters…

Nick Chopper’s Head - Oh, you read that right. See, after the first Oz book came out, Baum decided that nobody in Oz could die… Even on dismemberment. And when he apparently decided to spend his dozenth book fixing up the Tin Woodman’s origin, which I’m pretty sure nobody had complained about for the past 18 years, he had to deal with this. If the body parts live after getting removed, what happened to Nick Chopper’s head?

Well, it’s in Ku-Klip’s cupboard.

Seriously, it lives on a little post in Ku-Klip’s cupboard, and it find’s the Tin Woodman’s claim that they are the same completely ridiculous. The head, of course, has no heart, and therefore no emotions. All it can accept is what’s right there in front of it, which is usually a cupboard door. Anyway, they decide he’s an asshole, and leave him in there. But they can’t find poor Captain Fyter’s head anywhere. WAIT FOR IT.

Chopfyt - See, after all the business his tin men had brought to him, Ku-Klip decided he could use an assistant, and since he had all these living body parts just sitting in a barrel, he did what any sensible man would do and… glued the parts together… with “Meat Glue”. Plus one tin arm, since the left ones were both missing. Anyway, once he had “got together a very decent body, with heart and all the trimmings complete," he tried to put his unholy abomination to work. But with Ku-Klip having accidentally given him two stomachs or something, ‘Chopfyt’ was eating the poor tinsmith out of house and home, and was discharged into the world to seek adventure. Then guess what happened?

Well, as fate would seem to require… He fell in love with the former servant girl of the Wicked Witch of the East. Fortunately, the Witch was dead, and Chopfyt had the good sense to not carry anything sharp. They got married. Yeah, she married the Frankensteined body parts of her two former robot fiancees. That girl is FUCKED UP. Dammit, this book is messed up. I didn’t even tell you about the part where a giant turns them all into monkeys and shit.

The Hungry Tiger - This character was introduced in the third book as a friend for the Cowardly Lion. And like ol’ Cowie, he has a defining personality trait. He is hungry. He just eats and eats and eats and nothing ever satisfies his hunger. Now, I know you’re thinking that for a children’s book character, that’s not so unusual, but what gets him a spot on this list is that he knows what exactly would stop his hunger. A baby. Yes, he is certain that if he ate a baby, he’d be so totally satisfied and his hunger would dissipate. Fortunately for all the babies of Oz, his conscience will not allow it. But that doesn’t mean he won’t stop talking about it. Just look at these actual quotes.

"Fat babies! Don't they sound delicious? But I've never eaten any, because my conscience tells me it is wrong."

"A fat baby. I want a fat baby," said the Hungry Tiger. "A nice, plump, juicy, tender, fat baby. But, of course, if I had one, my conscience would not allow me to eat it. So I'll have to forget my hunger."

"You certainly look delicious; Will you kindly give me permission to eat you?"

"If I could eat grass I would not need a conscience, for nothing could then tempt me to devour babies."

"There will be lots of fat babies at the celebration, I hear," remarked the Hungry Tiger, "but of course I can't eat any of 'em."

"Is he ALWAYS hungry?" asked Loo the Unicorn. "I am," replied the Tiger, answering the question himself. "I am always hungry for fat babies."

Those are all taken from different books, and I only took a few of the times he was talking about himself. There’s plenty of other occasions when someone is discussing him or introducing him, or in one memorable case singing a song about him.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bah Humblog '09 begins.

Now that Thanksgiving is finally over, and we can all get into the Christmas spirit without feeling weird, let's celebrate! I recommend a watching of the below Youtube video, which must be seen to be believed, and reading the Christmas Carol review at this link. And god bless all our wacky asses.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hello, Sarcastic Voyage fans!

Welcome to the blogroll, anyone who came here after hearing my guest spot on The Sarcastic Voyage Podcast. It's all pretty clearly laid out. The first ever post can be easily reached, and will give you a notion of what I'm all about. Yes, I know some of the blogs are light on content now, but in the coming months, I will be embarking on a regular update schedule. Or not. Mind you, I am a grad student, and free time tends to equal naptime. But I have a half-finished Downdate to be put up soon, and two-and-a-half complete Christmas Carol blogs I'll begin posting as soon as it's a reasonable Christmas season. Which is not now, no matter what the radio at Wendy's says.

There's also to be some content posts on this very blog. Just stuff that I think of here and there that doesn't fit into any of my categories.

So welcome, and if you like what you see, stick around. It's gonna be splendid.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Sidekick Post

I like this one. The once-thriving trend of Kid Sidekicks has fallen a bit by the wayside, but in the 1940s, everyone thought it was a great idea to have a 10-year-old fighting muggers and nazis and giant alien robots. You know, for the kids to identify with. Click on the very good point to read about some.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Post at Under the Hood

You know, some time ago, I caught the movie Hot Shots Part Deux on TV. I assumed that the reason I liked this movie so much as a child back in the days before GoGurt and Heelies was that I was less sophisticated. This was, after all, a lad who numbered among his favorite movies Super Mario Brothers and Lost in Space. To my surprise, HSPD was still quite sharp and funny, with layers of jokes I didn't get as a young'un. No masterpiece to be sure, but still a fun watch. Would that I could have the same experience again...

Click the pic to find out...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Content Post at Stupid Wizards

Wherein I am Extremely Judgmental About An Antagonist's Reliance on Coincidence and Luck.

Not that I'm saying I could have done better, but I'd have tried to come up with a more foolproof plan. Clearly, Rowling wanted him to look like a brilliant chessmaster, but...

I'm getting ahead of myself. Click on the amusing visual pun for more.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another new Side Project

I actually didn't mean to post this now, I was just trying to sort a weird HTML thingy. But since it posted, I may as well make it public. Don't get spoiled, okay? I'll be going back to "monthly updates if you're lucky" soon, I'm sure. The Kicker this time is Kato, a classic ethnic sidekick from the golden age of radio. Click the guy who looks kinda like him to proceed.

EDITZ: Ironically, or at least ironic enough for Alanis, the below picture is being hypertextually irritating as well. Just click here. I love you all.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A new post at Side Project.

Woo woo woo yeah! My girlfriend is away, and I'm lonely and YOU all get to reap the benefits! You vultures. Anyways, this here is the first ever content update on Side Project, my sidekick blog, and I'm sure you're all itching to know who the inaugural 'kicker is. So click on the sidekick in the sidecar to find out. (It's not Robin)

(By the way, it says June 7th on the update. Today's not June 7th. That just around when I was doing all my blog planning and setting up, and apparently that's more important to the blogging software then, for example, the actual date it's posted.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another New Post at Under the Hood.

Look, I swear I'm going to update the new blogs any month now. I have two updates for each written, but pretty much immediately after I announced them, my Lappy broke hard, and now I can't access my stuff, due to my earlier insistence on using MS Works instead of Word, leaving me with an assload of blogs that end in a .wps file extension, and I'm too lazy and incompetent to fix it. Anyway, I'll be getting them back soon, so y'all just sit tight, and in the meantime, click on Riker there to read a new Robin Hood review. It's the only thing you guys care about, anyway.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New post at Under The Hood

As probably all of you are aware, unless you're a big Robin McKinley fan who stumbled over this blog by accident, you know that I spend my summer working as an actor at the New York Renaissance Faire. Well, after my first year, a bunch of us went to see our friends at another Faire, the Cloisters Medieval Festival. While walking to Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park, my friend Beth spotted a book lying on a street vendor's table. One dollar later, we were all enjoying readings of it throughout the day. When I returned home that night, I realized it had been left in my bag, and I determined to review it for this blog. 19 months later it's finally here. Get ready for the most underwhelming, can't-possibly-live-up-to-expectations entry ever! Click the pic of the handsome man to check it out.

Hey, a thing!

Hi! My name is Brian! Hi! I have some blogs! I figured I'd start this one as an easy place to direct people to see my writing, and for anyone who likes my writing at all to have easy access to it all, and for anything I feel like writing that doesn't fit into one of my existing blogs. Every subsequent update will be linked to here, which I guess is more work for me, but it somehow doesn't feel like it. So, without further ado... The Blogroll...

Under The Hood - Where I write about the different interpretations of the Robin Hood legend in movies, television, and literature. Mostly by making fun of their haircuts. DID YOU KNOW: Marian and Tuck were added in the 16th century. Think about that the next time you moan about some adaptation taking liberties with the legend.

Bah Humblog - Where adaptations of "A Christmas Carol", Charles Dickens shortest and therefore best work are examined and mocked. For the record, the best version is Patrick Stewart's audiobook, which cuts about a third of the text, and only leaves the really good bits. DID YOU KNOW: In the book, rather than seeing Tiny Tim's empty chair or his grave, like in every adaptation, Scrooge sees Tim's dead body lying on his bed, with Cratchit crying over it. That's some DARK shit.

Buffy: The Haikus - I started this one when I bought the complete Buffy on DVD in July of 2008. The intent is to write two or three haikus - or rather the bastardized version of haiku we all learned in second grade - about each episode. DID YOU KNOW: I haven't watched an episode of Buffy since August of 2008. It'll happen!

Stupid, Stupid Wizards! - Ye cripes, the world of Harry Potter is inhabited by morons. Time for me to sit in judgement of them. And not the kind of judgment offered by the wizards, where hearsay and conjecture are equal to evidence, and the defendant is not allowed to speak on his own behalf. DID YOU KNOW: Arthur Weasley's whole job is studying nonmagical people, yet he's not sure how stamps work?

Side Project - Man, sidekicks get a raw deal. Always being ignored, looked down on, mocked, and if there's a need for some cheap drama, beaten with a crowbar and then exploded. Can we show them some love, please? DID YOU KNOW: The second Robin of the Batman comics was beaten with a crowbar and exploded... Because that was the result of a call-in vote. Everyone involved thinks this was a Terrible Idea.

Downdates: Time Travel TV - I think the last thing the world needed was a movie version of McHale's Navy updated to modern times. Especially with Tom Arnold in it. But what if instead of being updated, it was... downdated? What if instead of protecting an island in the Pacific theatre of World War Two, McHale and his crew worked for the East India company, patrolling the sea around Tortuga at the beck and call of the comically corrupt Governor Binghamton? Then it suddenly becomes clever and original, and I make lots of money. Just think of this blog as an extended pitch meeting. DID YOU KNOW: McHale's Navy, a wacky sitcom, was based on an extremely dramatic TV movie. This is why Ernest Borgnine was in it. DID YOU KNOW 2: The film "Dragnet", while being an unnecessary and horrible update, has one insanely redeeming feature in that Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd do an in-character rap over the end credits. SOMEONE THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA.

Anyway, entries on the new blogs will be coming shortly, but first, a new Robin Hood...