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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Next Stop: Oz. There's No Place Like Muni, There's No Place Like Muni...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 5:30 AM

click to enlarge No Toto, though... - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • No Toto, though...

While riding tornadoes over the rainbow is the preferred route to Oz, it turns out the Muni train is ever so slightly more reliable. And, as we've documented numerous times in the past, they'll even take your little dog, too.

Our eye-catching Dorothy Gale stepped on the train at Powell, followed the yellow-brick road only momentarily, and disembarked at Montgomery. We had time to ask her what was going on ("it's October!") but didn't catch her name. What a world! What a world! But at least she was on the Auntie M train...

It does make us wonder, however: If you were going to cast The Wizard of Oz with San Francisco characters, who would play whom?

click to enlarge Yep, it's the Auntie M train... - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Yep, it's the Auntie M train...
Incidentally, while most folks remember Judy Garland and the munchkins,

few know that L. Frank Baum originally wrote his book as an allegory for late 19th- and early 20th-century populism:

The silver slippers (ruby looked better in Technicolor) represented the

populist dream of a silver standard (the "yellow brick road" was no idle analogy); the Wicked Witch of the East

represented the banking interests, the cowardly lion represented

hapless presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, etc. We have no idea where "Dark Side of the Moon" comes in, but it really is an amazing way to think about what everyone assumes is a simple fantasy kiddie movie.

We can't extend the allegory that far. But here's our quick casting call:

Dorothy: Tom Ammiano. Naturally. You've got to get people to see this movie, after all.

Tin Woodsman: Chris Daly -- The woodsman was cursed to cut off his limbs -- and the harder he worked, the more he cut. We can't think of any politico who's been his own worst enemy more than Daly; if the tin shoe fits, wear it.

Scarecrow: Gerardo Sandoval wins a tightly contested race with Jake McGoldrick.

Cowardly Lion: Matt Gonzalez -- If only he had "the noive."

The Lollipop Guild: SEIU members will be getting these roles --

or John Avalos will be outside the casting director's office with a

bullhorn complaining about privatization and outsourcing.

The Wicked Witch of the West: Who do we know that could play a movie villain and was recently excoriated by all of the city's elected officials as representing the antitheses of everything San Francisco stands for? That's right. It won't be the first time Arnold Schwarzenegger has played in drag.  

Wizard of Oz: In the book and movie, the wizard appears as all things to all people -- but turns out to just be a bumbler, "a humbug." Who do we know that's all flash -- but is really just a humbug hiding behind a facade? Who could that be? 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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