I think the gay fascination with the movie is mostly a media creation that some gays bought into. Judy Garland certainly was megapopular to some gays (the Stonewall Riots actually began at a memorial service for her), but that’s very dated. Most younger (under 40) gays now are more into techno-music (egad!) and Cher/Kylie/other living divas.
There was an all gay radio production of WIZARD OF OZ as an AIDS benefit a few years ago; it starred, among others, Nathan Lane and Chad Allen (the oldest son from Dr. Quinn).
What really irks me is that I suspect that the band Toto was only allowed to wreck the soundtrack of David Lynch’s adaptation of Dune as a way for Mr. Lynch to sneak in one of his signature Oz references.
Take heart, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz isn’t the whole story. I forget which book it is in which Dorothy observes “No matter where I go, I always end up back in Oz.”
Thanks for the heads-up about John Dough and the Cherub, Fenris! I’ve written a couple of obscure essays on elements of hermeticism and alchemy in the Oz books… A quick glance shows references (apart from the concept of the Divine Hermaphrodite, obviously,) to the aqua vitae, homonculi, obscure biblical jokes that few children would be expected to pick up on – (“She was weighed in the balance and found wanting”, which is reminiscent of the chemical wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz…) etc etc…
In short: I’m gonna love this one. (Whoops, guess I just outed myself as a lunatic, there. Oh well.)
Larry, If you like that one, you should also check out Baum’s The Master Key which is an Edisonade* and involves weird, semi-mystical elements at the same time (Young electrical inventor summons the Djinn of Electricity who gives him wonderous new “Electrical” gadgets (like “electric food pills” which nourish you via electricity(?) )
You should also check out Baum’s Life and Adventures of Santa Claus which is a weirdly pagan look at Santa.
(And Queen Zixi of Ix is his best written book (far better than The Wonderful Wizard), but it doesn’t (IIRC) have the elements of alchemy, etc.)
*“Jeepers fellas! Tom’s got his NEW ELECTRIC ROCKETSHIP! We should take a spin to Venus and impress the Venusian Co-Eds with our NEW ELECTRIC SUITS!!”
I thought “Oz-Wonderland War” was clunky, the two books didn’t mesh at all, and especially didn’t mesh with the super-hero genre…but… there was some magic there too. Something good came out of the mish-mash.
Wicked: First two-thirds were great, then the book turned (IMO) into drivel. I still have no idea what happened and sadly, don’t care enough to go back and try to figure it out.
Wizard: As for you, my galvanized friend - you want a penis! You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Penises will never be practical until they can be made controllable.
Tin Man: But I - I still want one.
Wizard: Back where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phil…er…phil…er…er… good-deed-doers and their penises are no bigger than yours, but they have one thing you haven’t got! A movie deal! Therefore, in consideration of your kindness, I take pleasure at this time in presenting you with this small token of our esteem and affection. And remember, my sentimental friend, that a penis is not judged by how much you make love, but by how much you are made love to by others.
Tin Man: Oh, Oh, it sticks out! Listen! Look, it sticks out!
While we’re on the subject… someone explain to me what the rainbow has to do with anything. Or is it because Judy Garland was a big Gay-Rights advocate and that was her biggest movie and most memorable song? Is it just that?