Cynical Musings: Oscars, Grouches, Playgrounds and Libertarians
Welcome back to Cynical Disney!
Too much crazy shit has been going on for me to not express my thoughts on them. No, I’m not talking about the New Green Deal or Jussie Smollett (though I will point out he learned how to fake it while filming The Mighty Ducks), I’m referring to all of the actual Disney related news of late. Let’s muse about the news, shall we?
After spending $70-ish billion purchasing Fox Studios from the Murdoch’s, Disney was able to enjoy a good amount of success at the host-less Academy Awards last night. Marvel’s soon-to-be juggernaut Black Panther won three Oscars, and Bohemian Rhapsody won four statues for its home studio, including Best Actor in Rami Malek. Disney did get shut out in its usual category of animation, with Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse winning, but even then Disney can tout it a little since they own Spiderman in general (just not this film). The story of the night as told by Drudge Report was that Spike Lee tried to walk out of the show in disgust after losing to Green Book, telling reporters afterwards he’s lost both times when up against a driving movie. Look, I don’t exactly have the melanin count to criticize Spike, but I completely understand being a sore loser. That said, if you’re a noted Knicks fan like he is, you should be pretty used to losing by now.
Genesee County (MI) Clerk-Register and new personal hero of mine John Gleason decided to protest a needless use of government funds to send three of its officials on a “Culture Club” trip. If you haven’t clicked on the link and are wondering what the hell this has to do with Disney, the real life Ron Swanson held a press conference where he and what I assume is Tammy Three dressed up in shitty Mickey and Minnie costumes to protest the fact that the trip was to the Disney Institute. As a libertarian Disney fan, I love this story on so many levels, but the thing I’ve latched onto for this site is that I didn’t know the Disney Institute still existed. I remember it being a place where you could be taught how to cook like Wolfgang Puck or draw like an animator, but for the life of me I can’t remember Local Governance being a subject covered. I get why you’d want to copy the culture that Disney is known for (even though they don’t adhere to it themselves these days), but there’s been multiple articles and books written on the subject. You can pick one up on Amazon for as low as $11.99 if you have the Kindle app on your phone. $26,000 to send three people on a glorified vacation is excessive, especially when it’s taxpayer money. Keep up the fight not-Ron!
Per an announcement on the Disney Parks Blog, the Wonders of Life pavilion in Epcot’s Future World is finally going to be used for something other than an indoor festival space! Two of my Cynical Pitches can now be thrown out the window, but I’m glad they’re using the pavilion as an attraction instead of shade. Details are obviously pretty scarce at the moment, but it will essentially an indoor interactive playground where guests can meet characters and ostensibly design a city. I do find it somewhat ironic that they seem to be promoting health and outdoor play with video games in an indoor pavilion, but I’m just glad Disney is investing in Future World again. Nothing against Soarin’ or Test Track, but the updates to those attractions aren’t necessarily my favorites (specifically Soarin’). This is the second domino to fall in what is clearly Future World 3.0, after Universe of Energy closed and a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster was announced. With the Innoventions pavilion still being used as an air conditioned break room and rumors ever rumbling about Imagination, we’re likely to see a few more announcements in the near future.
Despite no longer having an aptly named pavilion, Disney World still has a universe of energy options available to them. There’s two stories linked in the headline, so be sure to check both out. First, Disney has opened a 270 acre solar farm to the west of the Palm & Magnolia Golf Courses that is expected to collect enough energy annually to operate two theme parks. I’m not opposed to this, because it’s in the company’s best interest to create their own electrical grid, but I’m not sold that this will power two whole theme parks. I’m also dubious that this is a long term solution since Florida, despite the moniker of the Sunshine State, is prone to multiple hurricanes and the central part of the state being known for its pop-up thunderstorms. Solar panels work in the rain, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t work if they’re struck by lightning or blown a mile away by a Category 2 hurricane.
Along the same lines, there’s apparently a law in the state of Florida that granted Disney the right to construct their own Nuclear power plant. This was passed as part of 1967 legislation that Disney negotiated as part of the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and now the Florida legislature wants to try to take this option away from them as a tactic to force Disney to negotiate with their firefighters union. I hate it when the religious right forces their version of morality on others, but I hate it even more when the progressive left forces the government, and therefore its morality, on businesses. The fact that the headline is about nuclear power and not that they want to take away Disney’s right to self-govern is a problem. Disney was never going to build a nuclear power plant; its too expensive and the…ahem…fallout…would be too much for the company to handle from a PR perspective. It would also scare the shit out of some of their customers, to the point where they’d stop coming to the parks.
This is why you have to read the whole article. Aside from using Orange County law enforcement resources, which is probably for the best, Disney is self-reliant and proof positive that you don’t need to be reliant upon the state. The fact that they’re also self serving is inconsequential as far as I’m concerned. You have the option of not being an employee or a customer if their business-fueled government tactics go against your sensibilities. To me Disney is a municipal success story, and the irony is not lost on me that I’m against government employees going to the Disney Institute on the taxpayer dime. I’ve never encountered a pothole while driving on property, and that alone is proof that business and capitalism is more efficient and effective than any governing body.
Sorry for the Libertarian tangent I just went on, but it had to be done.
Thank you all again for going to check out my controversial take on Star Wars at Disney last week! It’s been fun seeing some of the reaction, and I hope to cause more controversy and debate in the near future. Should we have another news filled week like last week, I may publish another Musings. Until next time!
-The Disney Cynic
“I’m all beers!”