Disneyland as a microcosm of the best of American culture

I happen to be a huge Disney fan, whether we’re talking about the man, the movies, or the lands/worlds.  I don’t know if I can hang onto that forever, as the current Hollywood corporate entity, with its TV station, seeks to market sanitized sleaze to our tweens and teens.  I do know, though, that for decades, Disney has stood for imagination and, thanks very much to Walt Disney, to an inspired vision of a singularly happy America that manages to throw everything on our shores into the melting pot and come up with gold.  Walt as America’s cultural alchemist.

Patrick, who blogs at Paragraph Farmer, is also a big Disney fan.  After a recent trip to Disneyland, he penned (typed?) a moving homage to Disney’s place in American exceptionalism.

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  • excathedra

    For you folks near SF, at the Presidio we now have the Disney Family Museum. My guy and I went last week. Pricey $20 admission, but a terrific evocation not only of Walt but of the history of the cartoons and the Disney world which marked so much of my childhood, to say nothing of being a reading of America in the 20th century. Surprisingly engaging place, very friendly and full of great info and images.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Every 50 years, the public body decays and must be reinvigorated. I’ll write about 1824 if you wish for a historical tale.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    If intrigue, management and corruption can avail, … nothing but the virtue of the people can prevail. How can a republic last long under such scenes of corruption?

    The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power is the right of suffrage.-Jackson

    Jackson’s political thought, therefore, embraced the Revolution’s most republican ideals. As a first principle, he affirmed the conservative doctrine of limited government. He opposed a broad definition of constitutional power. He advocated states’ rights, but the states must never regard themselves as superior to the general government. Nor did they possess the right of secession. Jackson also stressed debt reduction as an important article of faith. He regarded the national debt as a national curse and a danger to free government. For Jackson, therefore, the total elimination of the national debt became a very real objective. As President, it was one of his major achievements.

    I am a senator against my wishes and feelings, which I regret more than any other of my life… but from my political creed… I am compelled to accept.

    The Letters of Wyoming: Look to the city of Washington, and let the virtuous patriots of the country weep at the spectacle. There corruption is springing into existence, and fast flourishing.

    Jackson: Everything is carried by intrigue and management. It is now a contest between a few demagogues and the people; and it is to be seen whether a minority less than one fourth of the whole members of congress, can coerce the people to follow them; or whether the people will assume their constitutional rights and put down these demagogues.

    I weep for the Liberty of my country. The rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office.

    The Election is over and Mr Adams prevailed on the first Ballot. Thus you see here, the voice of the people of the west have been disregarded, and demagogues barter them as sheep in the shambles, for their own views, and personal agrandisement. [States that voted 9/10ths for Jackson by popular vote, had their votes rendered for Adams, Clay's choice for President in the House]

    He looked forward to returning home, he said. It would be good to be among decent folk again (Away from DC).

    As soon as he heard Clay’s decision to accept Adams’ offer of the Secretary of State, Jackson started bellowing. “So you see,” he raged, “the Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive th thirty pieces of silver. His end will be the same. Was there ever witnessed such a bare faced corruption in any country before. When we behold two men political enemies, and as different in political sentiment as any men can be, so suddenly unite, there must be some unseen cause to produce this political phenomenon. “Oh, I shudder for the liberty of my country”, Jackson wailed.

    [Clay believed in an "American systems" project that the central government can stimulate the economy with jobs and programs.]

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    [Unless I'm mistaken, the 'good old days' weren't really all that good. Or rather, if they were good, it was because of exceptional individuals standing up to the plate, like Andrew Jackson or Matthew Burden or George Washington. Apologies to Burden for burdening him with such comparisons to so grand the names ; )]

    Adams laid before Congress a program of public works of breathtaking magnitude, a program immediately denounced by the conservative (Radical) followers of Crawford and Jacksonians as unconstitutional and visionary. Drawing principally from Clay’s American System, the message offered a wide range of proposals that left the Radicals and Jacksonians gasping in disbelief. “The greater object of the institution of civil government, ” the President averred, ” is the improvement of the condition of those who are parties to the social compact. To Accomplish his program of building roads and canals, establishing a national university, and exploring the western territories, said Adams in the most appalling statement of the message, the Congress must not give the rest of the world the impression “that we are palsied by the will of our constituents”.

    When I view the splendor and magnificent of the government embraced in the recommendation of the late message, with the powers enumerated which may be rightfully exercised by congress to lead to this magnificent, together with the declaration that it would be criminal for the agents of our government to be palsied by the will of their constituents, I shudder for the consequence-if not checked by the voice of the people, it must end in consolidation, and then in despotism- Yet I have great confidence in the intelligence, and virtue, of the great body of the American people- they never will abandon the constitutional ship,- their voice will be roused and must be heard- Instead of building lighthouses in the skies, establishing national universities, and making explorations round the globe, their language will be, pay the national debt, prepare for national independence and defense, then apportion the surplus revenue amongst the several states for the education of the poor- leaving the superintendence of education to the states respectively. This will be the safe course to perpetuate our happy government. – Andrew Jackson in a letter to those outraged at Adam’s state of the union address.

    Jackson: His first responsibility once he became President, he declared, would be to ‘reform the Government’ and purify the Departments by removing every corrupt agent who had obtained his position through political considerations or against the will of the people.

    [I say much the same thing to people who dislike the idea of what it takes to accomplish real change in government or the Republican party]

    All sourced, with exception of bracketed words from ,e, from Life of Andrew Jackson, Robert V Remini.

  • Oldflyer

    I have stated over the years that any city would do well to contract its municipal and security services to Disney.

    As a corrollary, I also avowed that any government entity would benefit by contracting its financial management to USAA. Most are probably not familiar with USAA; but it started as an association to provide affordable auto insurance to military officers. The full name is United Services Auto Association. Over the decades it has expanded into full service banking, including mortgages; investment brokerage; mutual funds; and life insurance; e.g. a full service financial management company. The company now serves enlisted military member as well as the families (grown children) of military personnel. I have dealt with this company in a multiude of ways for over 50 years. I have never had a contact in which the person representing the company was not courteous, cheerful and helpful.

    I could do another paragraph on my wonderful rural electric COOP. But, enough.

    I didn’t mean to do a commercial for USAA. But, the point is to illustrate that there are exceptional private companies in this country who provide excellent service at competitive prices. We don’t need for government to impinge on them, we need for government to learn from them. Or at least stay out of their way.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    By their very prosperity, Old, those companies must go first. Since their prosperity and competitive edge isn’t due to government subsidies, these companies you speak of Old will be terminated first, and replaced with monopolies or semi-monopolies who do give the correct amount of baksheesh and Danegeld to the honorable men and women of Congress.

  • Bill Smith

    He bears an alarming resemblance to Sean Penn, at least as to mien!

  • suek

    Oldflyer….

    You forgot to mention that USAA is a COOP as well. We normally received a refund on our car insurance (at this point, our cars are primarily company cars, and USAA doesn’t do commercial insurance, but they did some connections for us, which resulted in slightly lower fees).

    By the way…on those health COOPs they keep talking about…

    You need to understand that the COOP option that Congress is talking about is an acronym for something – not a COOP in the sense that members own it. Completely different category.

    I have a link somewhere – but I’ll have to find it. I’ve never found a way to store links in an easily searchable format….

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Use coodclip, Suek. Russian program ; )

  • Oldflyer

    Yes, you are right Suek. Each member has a Captial Saving account established by the company. Each year they deposit retained profits and the accounts provide their capital reserves. When the aggregate of these accounts exceeds their reserve needs, they distribute cash from the accounts. If I die, or leave the Association, the balance in my account is disbursed.

    My electric coop also distributes retained earnings that exceed their reserve/capital requirements..

    I have no doubt that the government is not talking about these types of Coops.

    The government and the media bombard us with stories of the greedy wall street types all of the time, and it is very easy to lose sight of the fact there are thousands of very well run business entities around the country. I bank with a rather small local bank; it is conservative, but actively investing in the community and is thriving.

    Unfortunately, the stories of many such companies just don’t get told, and the public’s perception is skewed accordingly.

  • suek

    This link has the explanation of the acronym COOP…

    http://fixhealthcarepolicy.com/in-the-news/dont-be-fooled-by-baucus-coop/

  • gpc31

    It takes real American genius to entice people to pay money to enter a park wherein they happily wait in line in order to pay more money to buy souvenirs at the end of the ride. All under the hot Florida sun on top of a swamp.

  • SADIE

    Just interesting and a little piece of info that comes under the header: Who Knew?

    Findadeath.com friend EJ Fleming sends us this:

    The Disney family hired Thelma Pearl Howard as a housekeeper and nanny type for their kids in the early 1950’s. She lived with them for years, died in 1994 at 79. Beginning in the 1950’s Disney gave her holiday and birthday gifts of Disney stock, and told her never to sell it. She never knew how much she had, how many shares, how much they were worth, etc. They were just pieces of paper to her. When she died, she had been living in a small apartment in L.A. on a Disney pension with her mentally handicapped son. Her executors found her Disney stock was worth over $10,000,000! She didn’t even know how many shares she had. Left half in trust for her son, whose in a group home, and the other half in a charitable trust.

    http://www.philanthropyjournal.org/news/thelma-pearl-howard-foundation-gives-340000