The Wiz

Have you ever seen that Seinfeld episode where Elaine falls in love at first sight? She dumps her current boyfriend and runs off with the guy, only to discover that he was the spokesman in some old cheesy commercial  — and that her subconscious memory of the COMMERCIAL is what she’s really attracted to.

He was “The Wiz,” and nobody beat him.

I swear I’m going somewhere with this.

After we saw Sunshine Cleaning, Mr. Max and I were tortured by the unshakable feeling that Amy Adams looked like someone we knew.

Look at her. It’s haunting you, isn’t it?

After spending the evening probing our memories, we turned to the collective minds of Internet. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones grappling with the question; numerous theories abound.

Theory #1: Amy Adams looks like Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

This one drew me in at first because it’s 1) weirdly awesome and 2) just the kind of subliminal image people of “my generation” would have buried in their brains.

Amusing, indeed. But ultimately it rang false.

Then Mr. Max hit the nail on the head. I paused when he said it, ready to disagree…

Theory #2: Amy Adams looks like Tonya Harding.

Look in your heart. You know it’s true.

This leads to my very unpopular theory about Natalie Portman.

Full disclosure: Natalie Portman bugs me. Not just because of the Star Wars Prequels (although, that’s a good start). I can’t really explain it. She just does. So I can’t be objective. But I still think I’m right.

See? I bet you had to think for a minute before you realized that both of these pictures were NOT of Natalie Portman (FYI – that’s Winona Ryder in the second shot).

Of course, this probably isn’t anything new. In the 80’s and 90’s basically anyone over 30 couldn’t STAND Christian Slater. I was  5 years old at the time (and therefore unfamiliar with Jack Nicholson’s early career) so I didn’t really get it. But now I realize  how annoying it must have been to watch an actor doing a full-time imitation of another actor.

Now I will blow your mind (if you are between the ages of 25 and 35).

Remember Dave Matthews, the cheery guitarist/singer with the wildly popular jam band? There was a time when you couldn’t go a mile in the summer without hearing one of his songs coming out of a college kid’s beat up sedan.

But regardless of how you feel about the style of the music — which was jam-oriented, and somewhat sentimental — or the overexposure — which was, admittedly, intense — Dave Matthews was (and still is) an impressive guitar player. And a good songwriter with a distinctive style.

This is a safe place. You can admit you agree.

John Mayer.

Let it wash over you: John Mayer is totally a Dave Matthews reboot.

I find it funny that the cool-kid dislike for Dave Matthews in the 90’s was as intense as it was when John Mayer is so, so much worse. It’s a Christian Slater level imitation.

Listen for yourself.

Dave Matthews Band:

Imitation Dave Matthews Band, er, John Mayer:

Now do you believe? Children of the 90’s: we never knew how good we had it. Dave Matthews didn’t have to apologize for racist twitter rants. He didn’t write godawful lyrics about wonderlands of bodies, or whatever the the heck it is. He was just a nice guy traveling the country playing his gentle hippy tunes.

SO PLEASE! AMERICA! I beg of you — when you think fondly on John Mayer, realize that you are just remembering Dave Matthews, that amiable good guitarist with the tight live band and the somewhat sappy lyrics. John Mayer is just a “Wiz.” And he can be beaten.

Disclaimer: I have no actual beef with any real celebrity. I know that their public personas are mostly, if not entirely, crafted by publicists, agents, etc. I’m sure in person they’re probably lovely, or something.


  1. Dave Matthews band WAS good. I DID like it. And, even after all those horrible “…and I come into yooooooou” lyrics, I still experienced good vibes when hearing him interviewed on NPR this summer. And yeah, John Meyer is complete soggy douche. Only a true douche (and I’m talking about the actual plastic bag with the stuff in it) could come up with “bubbly toes.”

    Ya ta ta-ta-ta, Ya ta-ta-ta-ta-yata…HUURPHLGFG.

  2. Mayer. WhatEVER. And what kind of nerve does he have telling father how to treat their daughters? The lyrics should be more like:

    Girls become lovers
    who then date assholes,
    like me.
    So fathers lock your daughters up
    and save them from wanna-be emo d-baaaaggs
    ya ta ta ta.

    • LOL!

      I LOVE that you’re man enough to admit liking Dave Matthews (the few, the proud…). I have a live record with him and Tim Reynolds, and it’s really very good! I was considering making this a theme blog: “Everything in the 90’s was better.” But that seemed like too much commitment.

      I will now always hear those lyrics as, “save them from wanna-be emo d-baaags.” It will improve the experience! Seriously, LOL.

      But the big question is: how do you feel about Natalie Portman? I know I’m probably alone in that one (although Mr. Max doesn’t like her either).

  3. What is there to like about her?

    (Cue the sound of ten million male heads whipping in my direction, slack-jawed and drooling with eyes askew, all saying “WHUUHHHHH??”)

    She’s just so boring in all ways. I am perfectly neutral regarding Ms. Portman. She was probably in the Matrix Cave Rave and no one noticed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s