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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Dunking the bucket: why Dorothy was lucky

Over at screenwriting blog Alligators in a Helicopter, a few notes about why you must earn The Bucket: “The longer I read, the more intolerant I have gotten about dumb logic mistakes in scripts. There’s nothing that makes me throw a script across the room quicker… I don’t think I even realized how stupid the bucket was, until I was an adult.The bucket, of course, is the bucket of water that Dorothy throws on the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, melting her. There are so many amazing things wrong with the bucket. First of all, it has no reason being there… You’re a witch. And your main Achilles’ heel… is that water will melt you… it takes a lot of effort to avoid water your whole life.We’re talking no showers. No swimming in pools, or lakes, or skinning-dipping in the local pond. No dancing through the rain as a little girl… No toilets, because she wouldn’t want to risk the splashback… Was she limited to juice? Milk? Martinis? …But despite what must have been a tyrannical water ban… there’s a bucket of water. Just sort of sitting there…

The obvious fix is to have Dorothy learn of this, and bring a little water with her… A stoppered bottle, a prototype water pistol… even a flying monkey, that needs to pee really badly. But Dorothy has no idea. And this is the second problem. She douses the witch with the bucket accidentally, while putting out the scarecrow… Obviously, the idea is that Dorothy is really not a bad person. She’s not a killer, she just conveniently kills witches by pure contrivance… I’m more jaded now. The bucket has to be earned. I think that’s a good thing.”

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“We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!”
~ Steve McQueen

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children.”
~ Stan Lee, 1965