[lit-ideas] Re: Allusions living free...

  • From: John Wager <johnwager@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 26 May 2004 16:03:54 -0500

Ursula Stange wrote:

>I'd love to hear others' stories of allusions living free in the world 
>or caught in the wild.   Pity the poor unread kids today who don't catch 

Three quick favorites of mine:

1. WAAAAAAYYYYYY back in the 1960's I was listening to AFTER BATHING AT 
BAXTERS, an album by Jefferson Airplane. The song was Rejoyce.  The line 
that I had to back up and listen to again just to hear if I had heard it 
right; "Molly's gone to blazes/ O'Boylen's crotch amazes/any woman whose 
husband sleeps with his head all burried down at the foot of the bed."  
There's more, but that's enough for here.

Having JUST started Joyce's Ulysses for a class, I wondered how many 
Joyce fans were also fans of psychadelic rock.

And an "allusion" of sorts, this time from one Woody Allen movie to 
another: In Annie Hall, Woody is trying to teach the Hall how to be 
Jewish. He takes her into a deli and tells her about the wonders of 
Pastrami. She orders: "A pastrami on white bread, with mayonaise." The 
relationship is doomed.   A few movies later (I don't recall which one) 
Woody is having his periodic spiritual crisis. He's thinking of becoming 
a Prysbyterian. He returns to the apartment with a bag of groceries 
when  the phone rings. He sets the bag down to answer the phone, and as 
you listen to the dialogue of the phone call, the bag falls over and out 
rolls a loaf of white bread and a jar of mayonaise.

Finally, one I saw on a TV commercial just last night. I only saw it 
once, and I don't remember what company it was for, but it involved a 
bunch of kindergarten aged kids doing some kind of play. One tiny kid is 
saying "badges....We don't need no stinkin' badges." This isn't the 
point of the commercial, just the line. But it takes one WAY out of 
contemporary "movies' back to Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of Sierra 
Madre." And even further back, it takes us to the enigmatic B. Traven, 
author of the novel, where the line turns out to be much stronger: "We 
don't need no f*kin' badges."   I wonder who along the line from author 
to moviegoer to commercial writer to audience knew the original.

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