Saturday, March 12, 2005

Disney World vs. Bush World

Disney World is under attack again from the left again, this time in Counterpunch. While there is no doubt that the place is pure fantasy, I do not share the author's dislike of the place. Disney World does sell pure fantasy, but there is nothing wrong with escapism. The comparisons to the fantasy at Disney World to the fantasy world view promoted by the Bush administration is not a fair comparison. Disney openly admits their world is fantasy. Defenders of Bush World do not.

If you want to use a standard of ideological purity, sure Disney would not pass. They do not intend to take a stand on current political disputes, and the point is to be a place for fun for everyone, regardless of beliefs. While Eisner refused to distribute Fahrenheit 911, we must also keep in mind that it was Miramax, a Disney subsidiary, which financed the movie.

Disney has often been boycotted by the right for "promotion of the homosexual agenda." My favorite park, Epcot, contains two sections. World Showcase is dedicated to understanding of different nations, which is far preferable to the Bush World philosophy of spreading democracy by invading them. Rather than hating the French as advocated by the right, visitors to Disney World can view a great movie on the country, eat fantastic pastries at Boulangerie Paitisserie, or eat at either of two French restaurants. (Dining tips: the less well known Bistro de Paris on the upper floor is much better than Chefs de France on the main level. The absolute best food in the World is at California Grill in the Contemporary Resort and Flying Fish at the Boardwalk. Try to hit California Grill during fireworks at Magic Kingdom, when the lights are dimmed and the sound is piped in. I usually wait until after Illuminations is completed at Epcot to have dinner at Flying Fish.)

Epcot also contains Future World, dedicated to science and progress--two ideas under attack in Bush World. Perhaps the most radical departure from Bush World orthodoxy is seen in Ellen's Energy Adventure at Universe of Energy. The show promotes the ideas of creation of the universe in the big bang, discusses evolution, and is hosted by lesbian Ellen DeGeneres.

Despite any political commentaries, the real reason we go to Disney World is for fun. That's where I went on Inauguration Day to escape the bad news, rather than going to Washington, D.C. as I initially planned. Unlike Bush World, you can turn off the fantasy if desired and return to reality. If Disney World is really so bad, I wonder why the author of the Counterpunch article went there at all.


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