Monday, March 31, 2008

Explanations are in order. Sort of.

Dear Internet,

You may be wondering how it is possible that I, dapper bon vivant that I am, the very embodiment of a 21st Century boulevardier, who prattles on and on about foodie minutiæ or the glories of bespoke gentlemen's apparel, or foofy timepieces or fountain pens, can go about with a serious fondness for Disney things. You may find it impossible to reconcile* I'll grant you that.

Part of it stems of from my University days when I very seriously considered studying film. I took several courses in film and especially animation, and I was verily fascinated by the advancements forged by Walt Disney himself. When my capitalist urges got the better of me, I had opportunity to study the Walt Disney Company model and I was very impressed with the man's unerring business instincts. He was able to see and foresee things decades ahead of everyone else (which usually drove that "everyone else" to pull hair out by the handful).

When he needed money to build Disneyland, he got the ABC network to pay him gobs of money to have a show on Sunday nights, a show that was weekly infomercial for...Disneyland. Not only was he able to leverage the financing for Disneyland with the ABC contract (which included paying Disney a ton of money for the rights to the opening of the park, the highest rated live TV event in history) but he was able to promote Disneyland (and his films) for an hour at a time every week, for years. In 1955, before jet travel became an affordable reality, it took Disneyland a mere 3 months to have a million visitors.

It was this show that, when my dad was being transferred all over the Iberophonic world, maintained my link with America. (It was invariably shown in English with Spanish subtitles) I LOVED that show, and as semi-involuntary part-time expatriate in my formative years, it really struck a nerve.

As a kid, my greatest and fondest wish was to go to Disneyland. The way I saw it on TV, it was a place dedicated to making ME happy. Solipsistic lout that I was, that seemed a perfectly ideal state of affairs.

-J.

* "Do I contradict myself? I am vast, I contain contradictions." - Walt Whitman

Posted by Joke at 11:34 PM

2 Comments

  • Blogger Kim posted at 6:40 AM, April 02, 2008  
    The Walt Disney fixation I get. It's the matching outfits that are a trip.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 6:08 PM, April 02, 2008  
    Oh, that.

    That's more of a practical consideration, when you are moving in an enormous place with enormous queues, through a fluid mass of humanity with two little kids.

    It helps us stand out in a crowd when, or keep our merry band together, or when someone says "I have room for a party of four!"

    -J.
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