Monday, April 28, 2014

Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World

Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World
The Project on Disney
1995 Duke University Press

or "I Did Not Enjoy my Trip to Disney That My Spouse Made Me Go On, and I Have a Liberal Arts Degree"

Marketed as some kind of behind the scenes expose of Disney World, this sad piece of claptrap represents the worst of academic wankery.  A series of jargon laden essays despising Disney out of sheer hatred for the concept of entertainment, mixed with some long discredited urban myths and a disregard for facts or actual research.  Some talking points:

It's artificial.  That's not a real giant mouse in a tuxedo.

Oh No!
There is a profit motive.

How Can It Be?
The people that work there may be smiling but might not always be happy to be at work

There was only one essay that sounded like the author actually interviewed a few cast members.  Here we get the shocking revelation that gay people work at Disney.

Here's a freebie for you humanities majors out there: How to do a Marxist analysis of any form of culture, art, or entertainment.  It's all propaganda.  If it's not celebrating the worker's struggle or about a collective beet farm, it's spectacle, which is just a capitalist ploy to distract the underclass from revolution.  Add a few 50 cent words in there and you can write a hundred essays without doing a scrap of actual research.  "Pre-Post Colonialism of the Ace Ventura oeuvre", "Pan-Neo-Feminism of Fraggle Rock"- I swear I've heard the same lecture from a dozen professors.

To paraphrase an oft misquoted Nazi, when I hear the word Other, I reach for my revolver.  One essay talks about how American cast members at Disney are confronted with the Othernessity of the Other in the form of foreign guests, and overwhelmed with the Otherosity of Otherhood, and plagued with the vocabulary of undergrads at best, they collectively chose to call the Other "Brazilians", a nationality chosen at random from the ether, to refer to the Otherarianity of-

No, they're f'ing Brazilians.  People from Brazil.  They're all over the place.  They speak Portuguese and have football jerseys with the word "Brasil" on them.  But why let facts get in the way of your brilliant thesis?

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