JOE WEBB AND CO. – THE WRITTEN WORLD

A Bonus Post From Dr. Wizard’s Appendix…

Posted in Uncategorized by The Books Production Team on January 27, 2009

typewriter8          So today’s one of those rare magical things we call a snow day in Saint Louis, which means that instead of going into the office, I’ve spent the day in much more productive fashion watching old episodes of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” listening to my new Katy Perry album, reading five recently purchased television pilot scripts, and working on the index and appendices for the book version of Dr. Wizard’s Advice.  Overall, this little snow-induced break from Des Peres 204 has been refreshing, and also a little surprising.  Did you know, for example, that the pilot episode of “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” is one of the greatest introductions to a television series ever?  Or that at various points in Dr. Wizard’s Advice I have referenced Zsa Zsa Gabor, Willie Mays Hayes, and the Oregon Trail?  Crazy, I know – but both are true.  Anyway, I thought I’d post a snippet from one of the appendices on the website tonight before I head off to teach the GMAT, so here’s a short excerpt from “Ten Little Things You Must Experience Before Leaving College.”

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The Dark Side of the Rainbow”

dark-side          There is absolutely no experience more quintessentially collegian than watching a volume-muted version of The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon – and if you haven’t done this, then you absolutely must, immediately.  In a strange occurrence of what the late psychologist Carl Jung has deemed synchronicity, it just so happens that the rainbow-covered album provides an eerie, ironic, and totally mind-bending soundtrack to Dorothy’s voyage over the rainbow. 

          Now, there’s great debate as to whether or not these items were originally intended to be paired by Pink Floyd, but from my perspective, it doesn’t really matter.  If, on the one hand, when Roger Waters was masterminding production of Dark Side of the Moon, he was secretly staging an L. Frank Baum-inspired coup, or if, on the other hand, when Dark Side of the Moon was produced, God was secretly guiding the process such that the two would form an unexpected pair of classics that work together to produce a level of awesomeness similar to that which comes from dipping your French Fries in your Frosty at Wendy’s, the outcome – in the end – trumps all intention. 

          So here’s what you do.  Invite all of your friends over for a “Dark Side of the Rainbow” party, and make sure you have an American copy of the 102 minute version of the movie and a digitally re-mastered copy of the CD (you cannot use iTunes and you absolutely must not experience this for the first time using a pre-synched version from the internet – it ruins half the fun).  Then, once everyone is settled and sufficiently primed for the trippy experience, take your copy of Dark Side of the Moon and place it in your CD player.  As soon as it clicks to 0:00 on the first track and begins playing, press the pause button.  Next, start up the DVD of The Wizard of Oz with the volume turned off, and as soon as the black and white MGM lion roars for the third time, press the play button on the CD.  Then sit back and experience 43 minutes of crazy.  If the arrival of the twister, and the concomitant wailing on “Great Gig in the Sky” doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, then something is wrong with you.

          But even that, as awesome as it is, isn’t the best part of the whole experience.  You see, after it’s all said and done, you and your friends get to have a raging debate about whether or not the whole thing was planned, and whether or not the links are real – and this is where everything gets really fun.  For ammunition during this discussion, you can download a list of the synchronicities here.  Is it just coincidence that Dorothy is balancing on a fence rail during “Breathe” when Waters sings “balanced on the biggest wave”?  Or that the scarecrow without a brain dances around during “Brain Damage”?  Once the debate has raged for a little while, let everyone refresh their drink, and then start the movie up again from the beginning – this time with the list of clues.  Afterwards, congratulate yourself, and know that  you can now check off one of the “Ten Little Things You Must Experience Before Leaving College” from your list.   

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One Response

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  1. CS said, on January 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I must be a little advanced, ’cause I did this during my senior year of high school. But unless I’m mistaken, we kept listening to “Dark Side” until the movie ended, and I think (again, it was 11 years ago) that other synchronicities appear. But it is totally worth experiencing once, and once only.


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