Thursday, December 11, 2008

PJ. O'Rourke's take on Tomorrowland

I saw this over at Epcot Central.

A recent article in Atlantic Monthly by P.J. O'Rourke focuses on Tomorrowland at Disneyland in California, though it could just as well be about the Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, or as Epcot82 points out, about Epcot as a whole.

The article is called "Future Shlock", and it is interesting, in that someone who is sort of an "outsider", not really part of the crazy Disney fandom (with which I'm proud to identify myself), saying the same thing that I've heard and read in so many Disney criticisms on fan sites.

O'Rourke points out that it is likely more a failing of our society in general and not Disney in particular that Tomorrowland (and Epcot, though he doesn't mention it) is not very forward thinking or fact it is just the opposite - a "retro" Tomorrowland.

I tend to agree with O'Rourke. (He's one of my favorite writers - I've read a lot of his humorous commentaries on politics and sociology.) Our own society has gotten far less forward looking, instead we are focused on problems which are becoming huge right before our eyes. Health care, war and religious extremism, global security and terrorism, jobs and economy, corruption in government - all of these things seem more pressing than worrying about where Humanity (with a capital "H") is going down the road.

I just think that, and wish that, Disney (among other institutions) could provide some of the inspiration for looking to the future, instead of simply reacting to the times as they are. I'd love to see Disney be a source of optimism and forward thought, instead of being an escape/fantasy place with its parks and with its films.

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