Remaking America with the mouse
One of the problems with a buddy of mine is he could go on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and run the board for several seasons. Eventually, they’d have to initiate a Hillary-playbook disappearing act, lest the show be renamed Who Wants to Buy and Sell Jeff Bezos?
I like to think of myself as a guy who retains more than his share of useless trivia, but my evil editor retains entire historical narratives. If you run into him at a cocktail party, ask him about uber-niche topic of Robin William’s role voicing the Genie in the animated film Aladdin … and prepare yourself for a rollicking roll on Disney’s very best back-stabbing, money-grubbing and sociopathic morals.
Who knows these things? He does.
And in a discussion today he told me of Disney’s failed plans to build a park in Northern Virginia named Disney’s America, which would focus on … well, America.
“Can you imagine all the panic and scrambling,” he asked, “trying to keep up with the changes needed to present politically correct history?”
This clearly called for some investigative reporting — and nobody knows more about that particular niche than me. My investigation led me to uncover this: In 1993, Disney decided to build this place, which was a stupid decision for a myriad of reasons and eventually Disney canned the idea.
With my investigative report completed, let’s segue into the question my buddy proposed: How much trouble could the initial plans have caused? Let’s take a look at the real, honest-to-gosh, look it up, planned sections of the park.
Native America: This part of the park was to entail the creation of a Native American village, where visitors would enjoy interactive experiences, exhibits, arts and crafts and a white-water raft experience based on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of America.
It boggles the mind to even ponder the outrage.
Arts and crafts? As if all they did was make jewelry and burn wagon trains? Stereotyping! In 2019, the left would insist the arts and crafts section be updated to something intellectuals find more respectful. Perhaps legal briefs written by Native American lawyers. Not exactly family fun, but what kid would ever forget a brief filed by Chief Motions-to-Suppress?
Interactive experiences? In 2019, we can’t celebrate the unique lives, culture and history of Native Americans! We must present them as helpless victims, dependent on the benevolent gifts of wampum provided by The Great (Gender-Neutral) Spirit in Washington, D.C. Every Ivy League grad knows these heathens can’t possibly make their own way in the world — they need us “smarter” people to keep them just above hard-poverty, living in the godforsaken chunks of hell we gave them to call home.
One can only imagine the re-creation of the wigwam neighborhood and the crunchy lefties’ tales of how life was better in a Stone Age without electricity, running water, cars, phones, heating/air, modern medicine, vaccines, dentistry and deodorant. After all, they were living with virtually no carbon footprint — what could bring a greater ecstasy? (On behalf of all Native Americans, I’d like to suggest a teepee full of casino money, reservation reform, a college education and political representation — but no one’s going to ask me. I’m an English major with a degree from Auburn, not a lily-white Berkeley professor with a doctorate in veiled racism).
In closing this section, I must remark on my writer-fantasy of being present when the first reporter asked earnestly, “Since Disney’s America is built on land stolen from Native Americans, what percentage of the gross profits are they getting?” Methinks CFO Scrooge McDuck would take a hit or two off the peace pipe before fielding that query.
Civil War Fort: This would have “plunged guests into a more turbulent time of American history,” with an adjacent replica battlefield where Civil War re-enactments would be staged.
Wow. Just wow. Imagine Disney trying to revamp this section to keep up with the times. The entire attraction, of course, would have to be devoid of Confederate generals, Confederate battle flags, Confederate souvenirs, Confederate uniforms or Confederates.
The re-enactors’ guns and battles would be banned, as any Ivy-trained psychiatrist would testify that exposure to this sort of violence is guaranteed to transform a normal well-adjusted young male into a school shooter. In reality, the entire experience would need to be cleaned up: The average snowflake wouldn’t fare well watching Goofy beg for water as his guts spilled onto the ground, or listening to Dopey scream during his leg amputation. The smell of Piglet roasting on a spit might cause some heads to explode, too. The cognitive dissonance of pondering the delicious smell of barbeque versus the “unfairness” of heaping Pooh Bear’s buddy and some coleslaw on a bun might prove too much.
In 2019, the best re-enactment they could hope to pull off would be brave, impeccably uniformed, social justice infantry divisions facing off against a battalion of white-hooded Klansmen. After a three-hour presentation on racism in the South, the noble Federal martyrs would subpoena the Southern Klansmen to join them in some safe spaces to share their feelings. At least the end would be historically accurate with the boys in gray dead … having blown their own heads off to make it stop.
Even if Disney unloaded ABC, ESPN and all the product rights to Toy Story, there still wouldn’t be enough cash to keep up with the ever-changing narrative that Southerners are/were/will-always-be-evil. By 2010, Disney’s cash burn-rate would’ve tanked their stock and they’d have re-enacted Sherman’s invasion and burned the Civil War fort to embers.
Slavery: It would be impossible to have an area dedicated to the War Between the States and avoid the issue of slavery. But what would they do? Disney doesn’t do downers, so how would they make slavery into a topic of family fun?
Bob Weis, the park’s senior VP and creative director told a room full of reporters, “How can you do a park on America and not talk about slavery? This park will deal with the highs and lows … We want to make you feel what it was like to be a slave and what it was like to escape through the Underground Railroad.”
Did Mr. Weis really say, “feel like a slave?” Yes, parents might feel impoverished after paying the entrance fee … the kids might feel hungry because Dad won’t spring for a $36 fried Dumbo ear … and the entire sun up-to-sundown Disney experience might be exhausting … but to feel like another person owns you and your children? To be killed if you ever tried to leave the horror of Disney’s America?
Even for a Hollywood liberal, the hubris is impressive.
Can’t you see them trying? “Okay, kids! Moooove away from your parents to this part of the room … we sold you, see? You come from good breeding stock and you fetched a good price! Isn’t that fun? In slavery, you had real cash value! Okay, back to your parents — please exit through that door to your left, for an exciting ride on the Underground Railroad. Keep your hands in the car, because those bloodhounds bite!”
Methinks Team Disney didn’t imagineer their way through the entire topic.
Enterprise: Slated to be a mock factory town, this area was to feature a roller coaster-ish ride called Industrial Revolution, which would provide a trip through 19th-century industry and even a blast furnace. I cannot help but think that even in 1993 they would have excluded the forced child-labor part. The area would also feature exhibits of American technological inventions which shaped the future.
Where do I even start? What about those millions of workers unaware that free health care is a basic American right? That would need a daylong re-education seminar. And their pay? Off you’d go to another seminar on how raising taxes will create “good high-paying jobs.” And just imagine the public relations and lawyers’ fees need to suppress the reality that Disney park workers are paid so little and work under such crappy conditions that, to a man, they refer to their plight as “working for the Rat.”
There’s a lot more to “Enterprise,” however. Visitors would be forced to view the pollution being dumped into the streams, rivers and sky, after which they’d attend an animated video entitled, “Sure, we grew into a world superpower by growth unfettered by environmental restrictions, but now that we’re rich and concerned about polar bears we need to bully Third World nations about how they claw their way out of poverty… all the way down to refusing to buy coffee from peasants who fail to provide shade-grown beans.”
Finally, of course, comes the repugnant issue concerning “white males of European descent” and their role in inventing the machines that built early America. This is a tricky one and this writer can only assume that in 2019 they’d discard race and use national origin as a jumping point for generating hate and conflict. Irish, Italian, French, Scandinavian, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Romanian, Scottish, Hungarian, Polish … “America” hates everyone except WASPs and has equally oppressed everyone.
If your mail-order DNA test reveals a single ancestor outside England proper, you are a victim. And since “America” oppresses everyone and everyone includes you, America is oppressing you! To this very day! (Are you following this 2019 logic? Me neither.)
Victory Field: This feel-good area was slated to tout America’s awesomeness and bravery during the World Wars. Disney truly is exceptional at this kind of stuff and would’ve given our military the credit they deserve, with lots of flags and patriotic music and provide those attending a feeling of pride at the freedoms they enjoy because of the sacrifices of patriotic men.
In 2019? Words fail me.
The entry pavilion would need to be dedicated to “the new definition of patriotism,” which apparently has something to do with burning the flag and screaming at people. It would also be important to offer an upfront explanation to the children of deplorables and vets that “if you love your country,” you support fascism, white nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and default hatred of every human that doesn’t look/sound/act/dress/think like you.
Immediately following this pavilion would be an American Imperialism Pavilion, anchored by a huge statue of Obama bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia topped by signage declaring in 40 languages “We’re sorry!” The area would also include a photographic diorama of national leaders across the globe begrudgingly accepting trillions of dollars in financial aid from both the American government and non-profits across the fruited plains.
Another important area for exploration would be the abuse of American women following World War Two. As most Americans know, millions of Rosie the Riveters stepped up to the plate and filled the jobs men left behind to spread America’s hate to foreign shores. After the war, the men who weren’t blown to pieces came home and … their toxic masculinity made them want to go back to work!
The ladies were unceremoniously relieved of their duties and forced to go home … and have babies! Right at the beginning of their new careers they fell prey to misogyny, sexism and unfair work practices. They were so angry they gave birth to the largest generation of Americans in history (so they really did have the last laugh).
America of 2019 is no longer about looking forward and striving for a better future — it’s a time for looking in the rearview mirror. Like the flagellants of the Dark Ages, we the modern American people should beat ourselves silly for things we did not do, to people we did not do them to. We should accept personal responsibility (and the accompanying guilt) for things our government did, as if we too sat in the White House, Congress and 50 governor’s offices for 230 years.