Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Suppose I Think Too Much

Well, now that Meredith is all happy about my Disney experience, I'll put the damper on things. :) I've decided I'm much too much of a cynic. As I said, I was surprised at how often I caught myself last week rolling my eyes . . . sighing with a bit of exasperation . . . suppressing sarcastic comebacks (although I didn't always suppress them when Keith was nearby to whisper them to).

One specific example: we watched a video somewhere (don't remember where right now) with a big save-the-planet environmental message. Now, trust me, although I'm not an obsessive tree-hugging type, I am concerned about the environment and about the issues they brought up in the video. But I couldn't help wondering -- after observing all the trash created at the parks, and the huge, spacious buildings being air-conditioned, and the monstrous fleet of busses running night and day around the place -- what kind of "carbon footprint" the Disneyworld resort leaves. The irony was palpable.

But it ran deeper than that for me. And I don't want to knock the Disney franchise in general (although one could argue they deserve some knocking). They provide good, clean family entertainment, which is much needed in our society. And I usually appreciate the positive messages in what they offer my kids.

But those very messages were the issue for me last week. Somehow, they seemed . . . hollow. Empty. Like the Mickey-shaped crisped rice snacks on a stick -- sugary junk food that makes you feel full but doesn't give you the nourishment you need to live and thrive.

Not all of the messages, I suppose, but the ones that jumped out at me on this trip. "When you wish upon a star" . . . "let your conscience be your guide" . . . "follow your heart -- follow your dreams" . . . "what are you wishing for? what are your dreams?" . . . "anything your heart desires will come to youuuu".

Somehow, it felt like Christmas focused on Santa, and Easter focused on the bunny. I mentioned before how I dislike the song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, "Any Dream Will Do" -- because any dream will NOT do. That's not the point of the story at all. It completely distorts the listener away from the Point of the story.

I know, I know -- Disneyworld isn't church, and by no means do I want it to be. I'm just saying that this was the first time I remember being so very struck by the fact that society (through "good" organizations like Disney) tries so hard to instill hope in our children about themselves and their future . . . but fails miserably to point them to the only source of that hope.

Kind of a hopeless endeavor, really.


Meredith said...

haha, too funny. I think you have a point about the "hollowness" I guess. But here's my theory, it's so sugary-saccharin and great, which is ok for a little while. Which is why it's good for a VACATION. You wouldn't want to live there, you wouldn't want to be there EVERY DAY of your life. It would get old and fake. You just have to take it as it is for a short fun time and then be done with it!

GJK said...

OK, I see your point. But you know, my kids could be saturated in Disney from sunup to sundown if I let it happen. And I'm sure there are kids who ARE that saturated. I dunno . .