March 8th, 2010



  • 14:24 Photo: In my latest LiveJournal post, I address the age-old question of who actually wrote the Bible. #
  • 14:26 I wonder if @kimberleylocke is an authentic account. It's apparently following me, for some reason. #
  • 14:26 I wouldn't mind telling Kimberley Locke that she was better-looking when she had curly hair and wasn't as skinny, but that might be rude. #
  • 14:45 I'm sorry 'bout the Visigoths. #
  • 14:50 @JaredofMo Got them all with 7:25 remaining. I find it interesting that it will fill in "of Oz" for you, but not &qu
    ot;in Oz." #
  • 14:53 Is there any connection between Bucky of Oz (who encouraged buying war bonds & hung out w/Uncle Sam) and Captain America's sidekick Bucky? #
  • 14:53 It looks like the former was introduced in 1942, and the latter in 1941. #
  • 14:55 @juliasegal From what I've heard of Cats, I think the name should be "Webber Dropped a Lot of Acid." That goes double for Starlight Express. #
  • 15:00 @PFTompkins Only 35 in actual houses, but about 5 million squatting #
  • 15:01 There's a certain ki
    nd of movie that gets Oscar nominations, and it's a kind I usually don't watch. #
  • 15:02 Most of the time, the movies I've seen just get nods for costume and set designs. I did see "Precious" and "Inglourious Basterds," though. #
  • 15:03 Saw "Newsies" last night. Was Joseph Pulitzer really as much of a mentally unhinged asshole as Disney portrayed him? #
  • 15:07 @heiditron3000 I'd say it's proof of Satan. Or possibly Cthulhu. #
  • 15:51 I think the term "born again" is way overstating the case. You're just believing something different. #
  • 16:16 Bad Psychics: Sylvia Browne - I particularly like (read: am disgusted by) the account of Sylvia telling... #
  • 16:43 I just voted for this photo, check it out #
  • 18:02 Photo: (via lyinglies) Have I posted this before? Does it matter? #
  • 20:10 As an opponent of the economic divide, I can't help but feel guilty for liking the Oscar dresses. #
  • 20:12 I mean, these people are wearing outfits for one friggin' night that probably cost more money than I make
    in a year. But they're so pretty! #
  • 20:17 Matthew Broderick DOES realize he could do better, right? #
  • 20:20 I'm not sure WHY I don't like Sandra Bullock, but I don't. Maybe it's because she comes off as being kind of ditzy. #
  • 20:20 I don't know for sure that she IS ditzy, but she comes across that way. #
  • 20:26 Smell like Streep, for cheap! #
  • 20:27 @huggythuggy Everything Billy Ray creates gets old fast. First "Achy Breaky Heart," and now his daughter. {g} #
  • 20:41 I'm sure James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow want to be reminded of their exes on Oscar Night. #
  • 20:54 Yeah, McDonald's commercials, I'm sure they eat a lot of McNuggets at the Olympics. #
  • 20:55 I hear the Women's Hockey Team celebrated with beer, cigars, and McNuggets. #
  • 21:02 The appeal of the songs from "The Princess and the Frog" is that they're Randy Newman songs that don't SOUND like Randy Newman songs. #
  • 21:04 Whenever I hear about "Nine," I think of "Promises of Eternity" by @TheMagFields. #
  • 21:04 What if no show ever happened again? No Seven, no Eight an
    d a Half, no Nine, and no Ten? #
  • 21:07 I know practically nothing about Amanda Seyfried, but I think she's really cute. Miley Cyrus, however...uh, no. #
  • 21:08 Beth: "Would you do a commercial for maxi pads?" Me: "They're a product I believe in. I don't want women bleeding all over." #
  • 21:13 Um, Robert Downey Jr, when you're well-known for being a drug addict, you don't want to wear dark glasses to an event. #
  • 21:17 So that's what Molly Ringwald looks like now? #
  • 21:27 I feel bad for Jon Cryer now, stuck playing Charlie Sheen's brother. That's a role even Emilio Estevez doe
    sn't want. #
  • 21:34 Why do most of these short documentaries have to be about sad subjects? Where's the short documentary on rainbows and ice cream? #
  • 21:35 @TheRealTavie The Goon Show guy? No, wait, that was SPIKE Mulligan. #
  • 21:38 Wait, the blue aliens in Avatar speak Klingon? #
  • 21:41 So I assume "The Young Victoria" is about Victoria Beckham's time in the Spice Girls? #
  • 21:42 Star Trek! Yay, I think this is the first movie I've actually seen that's won for anything! #
  • 21:52 I'd almost forgotten Steve Martin was on this show. #
  • 21:56 I wonder how much they had to sedate Robin Williams to get him to stand still while presenting. #
  • 22:03 @oz_diggs Maybe they should just merge the two into the Oscarbowl. #
  • 22:12 I'm not used to seeing Charlize Theron without a stupid hat. #
  • 22:18 Actors from Twilight? You're really getting into the dregs now, Oscars. #
  • 22:19 Since when does Twilight count as horror? #
  • 22:24 @huggythuggy Neither were a lot of those other movies they showed. #
  • 22:38 How is honoring dead people celebrating life? #
  • 22:41 Oh, come on, I know a LOT more people died this past year! #
  • 22:54 "Bradley Cooper"? Is it possible to get a more preppy-sounding name? Well, maybe if you add "the Third." #
  • 22:56 James Cameron, I'd say that middle part isn't working for you, but why would anyone as rich as you listen to me? #
  • 22:59 So is George Clooney playing that 80s guy from Futurama? "There are two kinds of people, sheep and sharks. Anyone who's a sh
    eep is fired." #
  • 23:01 Hey, Matt Damon! Are you still fucking @sarahksilverman? #
  • 23:06 Tyler Perry is now giving Tyler Perry's speech. #
  • 23:16 I'll never understand these Foreign Language Film awards. Why not just nominate foreign films in other categories? #
  • 23:17 I guess that's the American way, though. #
  • 23:19 Hey, it's Kathy Bates! I can't wait for her to present a cockadoody Oscar! #
  • 23:37 Wait, did that announcer just say "best pitcher"? #
  • 23:40 I've never quite understood why writers don't get a lot of respect. I mean, isn't that the central aspect of the whole movie? #
  • 23:48 Sandra Bullock? Mo' like Sandra BULLSHIT, am I right? #
  • 23:51 Wow, Sandra Bullock just admitted she was a ho. #
  • 23:59 I don't know why I'm so glad "Avatar" didn't win when I didn't even see it, and I know quite a few people who like it. #
  • 23:59 I think it's more because I don't like James Cameron than anything to do with the movie itself. #
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Bright as a Button

Button-Bright is introduced in The Road to Oz as a boy Dorothy and the Shaggy Man meet along the enchanted road from Kansas to fairyland, who's dressed in sailor clothes and "seemed two or three years younger than Dorothy." Really, though, I think he's younger than that, as Dorothy is probably nine or ten at this point, while Button-Bright comes across as being only around four or five. He doesn't know his real name, but says that his mother calls him "Button-Bright" because his father says he's bright as a button. He also doesn't know where he lives, how he came to appear on the enchanted road, or just about anything else. At the end of the story, the Wizard of Oz and Santa Claus send him home in a bubble, but that's not the end of his tale. He reappears in Sky Island, pretty much just as carefree as in Road, but much more competent and intelligent. He tells Trot that his full name (or at least as much of it as he can remember) is Saladin Paracelsus de Lambertine Evagne von Smith, and that his home is in Philadelphia. I remember seeing it suggested that this choice might not have been entirely random, as sailor suits for children were in fashion there at around the time Baum wrote. The boy travels across the country and then to Sky Island by means of a magic umbrella that had been in his family for generations. While his father regards it as a good-luck talisman, there's no indication as to whether he's aware of its powers. He uses the same umbrella to reach the Land of Mo in Scarecrow, but he loses it, and travels with his old companions Trot and Cap'n Bill to Oz to live. While his character trait of constantly getting lost is hinted at in his earlier appearances, this is the first book to spell it out. This habit can be obnoxious when he's on an important journey and unknowingly wanders in danger, but it can sometimes come in handy, as when he's the one to discover the enchanted peach in Lost Princess.

Button-Bright is a fun character to work with, as his easy-going nature makes him fit easily into just about any situation. On the other hand, this also makes him difficult to use as a protagonist. With the exception of Sky Island, which gives all three American visitors to the skyland chances to do something heroic, he's usually a supporting character. Baum reports that he's good friends with Ojo, a Munchkin boy of about the same age. What age would that be? Well, Ojo is referred to as a "boy of ten" in Ojo, and Button-Bright is said to be younger than Trot, who is also ten. I would guess that Button-Bright must be around eight or nine by the time he settles in Oz, but it's not entirely clear. He's clearly a good bit older than he is in Road, but not by as many years as there were between the publication of Road and Scarecrow. Indeed, Button-Bright's age is one of the main reasons why some of us who are interested in when the books took place think that the first nine must be squeezed into a relatively short period of time.

Thompson never used Button-Bright in a significant role, although she did mention in Cowardly Lion that he became good friends with Bob Up, who's also from Philadelphia and also had visited an island in the sky. While Snow does give the character a few cameo appearances, it's up to apocryphal authors to bring him back in a significant way. Harry Mongold gave him his own adventure in Button-Bright, which centers around the magician Trickolas Om fooling him into looking for a magic mirror. In Paul Dana's Lost Boy, Button-Bright is revealed to be the child of a native Ozite, with the parents he mentioned in previous books having adopted him. Considering how little we know about the boy, this is possible, but it's sort of a departure from what else we've learned about him. Not surprisingly, March Laumer has his own elaborate story for Button-Bright, claiming that he fell into a treacle well and grew up, because he was unable to perform the anti-aging mantra. [1] He returns to the United States for a while, before making his way back to the Nonestic world and marrying Glinda. Yeah, I DO think Laumer often liked to pair up the least likely characters. Why do you ask? {g} The thing is, I don't find the grown Button-Bright all that interesting. In general, I prefer that characters introduced by Baum as children remain that way, as he seemed to intend. If you want to show a character in Oz growing up, take a tip from Thompson and make up your own. Still, there's certainly potential in a story about, say, Dorothy growing up. But Button-Bright? The traits that make him the most interesting are ones that he'd likely grow out of, and if he didn't his friends would get progressively more annoyed at them. In other words, would an adult Button-Bright really BE the Button-Bright we've come to know and love?

[1] The anti-aging mantra is another Laumerian idea I could never really accept. Thompson introduces the possibility of Ozites aging if they choose to (as opposed to Baum in Tin Woodman, who reports that even babies never get any older), but makes it seem as if NOT aging is the default. Therefore, Button-Bright presumably wouldn't, and perhaps couldn't, have aged at all while trapped in the well. That's just my take on the situation, though, which is obviously different from Laumer's.