American Samizdat

Saturday, April 18, 2009. *
There is probably no more influential icon/meme of how Americans - and millions of people around the world - viewed this country in the twentieth century than that created by Walt Disney.

Disneyland popped up near Anaheim in the 1950s. A stylized Main Street of shops and attractions vaguely resembling the early 1900s. The Magic Kingdom: Cinderella, Snow White and her cute dwarfs, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and the rest. Frontierland, celebrating the growth of the country without mentioning the decimation of of those here before us, in the name of progress. Adventureland, featuring realistic jungle scenes with contrived wildlife, mechanical monkeys ignoring the disastrous conditions and anti-empire revolutions in black Africa. Tomorrowland, touting the bright future of space travel and wondrous transportation capabilities, without a peep about the damage we were already doing to our own planet.

And then there's Fantasyland, a realm currently occupied by the hundreds of thousands of Americans who believe that President Obama will eventually fix everything and bring us back to those golden days of Mom, apple pie, and a sexually-undisturbed Congress wanting more than anything to serve the public who elected them; a time when we were all in this together to make this the greatest nation on earth; where everyone had an opportunity to be anyone and anything they worked hard for. Remember?

Just for the record, Disneyland is also the place where employees must without so much as a flinch be totally in character and on stage every second of their shift - some sweltering in the 100+ degree heat of their costumes, no matter what. The original US sweatshop for the middle class. There have been times when management has been tyrannical and ruthless - exemplifying the real America. When it first opened, Disneyland decidedly did not cater to "minority" peoples and not-so-discreetly denied entrance to openly homosexual people . . .

[more at P!]
posted by Unknown at 12:19 PM
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