Disneyland as the Perfect Expression of Communism
... we'll okay, now that I've got your attention...
maybe not the "perfect expression" but at least one thing I learned while down at Disneyland:
(What have you been smoking, Basil?)
So, here I am standing in long lines all day long... So, here I am complaining about the fact that you cannot buy iced tea anywhere but one or two of the sit-down restaurants. And the fact that they have only one coffee shop - only ONE PLACE in all of Disneyland that you can buy coffee.
Not to mention this: there's the high prices. And really, people just buy it. They don't complain.
There was a fruit stand in one place where you could buy an apple for $2.50.
Why is the price for an apple $2.50? - you ask.
Well, the fact is: there is no competition. And because there is no competition "the state" sets all of the prices for everything.
So, I'm standing there in a Disneyland line thinking: what does this remind me of? Well, actually, it reminded me of my visit to Moscow at the end of the Soviet Empire.
In a nut-shell. Disneyland is communist. Once you are inside that place, it is the same thing as being inside a communist country.
So, why is Disneyland successful, and communist countries pretty much are not? (Well, you could argue about China, but forget China for a moment.)
I've pondered this question seriously for a couple of weeks now. Here's what I've come up with:
1) They've never had to endure decades of sanctions, and embargoes, and trade restrictions.
2) They've never been forced to the brink of bankruptcy with an arms race.
And, this I think is the most important reason:
3) Everyone who is there is there voluntarily. They want to be there. In fact, they are sorry they have to go back home. They are sorry it will come to an end.
This last point sort of expands and grows as you think about it. Not only have these folks paid money to be there, and continue to pay out more money while they are there, but they have a "vision" an "ideology" just the same as the Bolsheviks had an ideology. But this ideology is easier to catch onto.
For the Disney workers (the folks who work there) they have a common vision of "The Magic Kingdom" - making everyones time in Disneyland magical, fun, etc. The basic ideology is "The Happiest Place on Earth".
And how is it the Happiest Place on Earth? Well, basically by everyone becoming a child again, and "playing." Not only the Disney employees, but the Disney customers. (I should point out that all Disney employees are "Cast Members" and all Disney customers are "Guests".) You see: PLAY is built right into the very existence of all things Disney.
And how do we play? Well, the basics are "story" and "reenactment". You can be a pirate, and sing "Yo, ho, ho, ho..." everywhere you go. Or you can be Buzz Lightyear. I couldn't believe the simply countless little girls dressed up in Disney Princess costumes. And everyone wearing one sort of Disney hat or another. It's a mad-house. But everyone knows the stories, and laughs and plays.
Anyway, "Fun for all" is apparently a more successful approach to a communistic society, than "food for the masses" or "free medical care" and so on.
Now, I'm going to fall off the wall here now, but the last thing I want to point out before I launch into a message about how Disneyland relates to the VT mass killings. Namely, I'd like to point out that the Early Church was also communistic.
Okay, more on this later.
Basil the Baffling