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.