The stock market is down nearly 50% since 2007. Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work. Doom and gloom have permeated every crevice of our national psyche.
We need something to pick us up.
We need a symbol.
We need the mouse.
As we all know, Mickey Mouse made his not-so-grand arrival in 1928 in the cartoon Steamboat Willie. Before Mickey's first birthday, America spiraled in the Great Depression. Disney, the mouse, and the economy have been linked ever since.
In the 1950s and 1960s, growth was abound in America and the Disney Empire was riding the wave to prosperity. People were happy, jobs were plentiful, and the Mickey Mouse Show was a staple. Life in America was good and Disney was one of the most trusted and successful names in the nation.
At the height of this boon, the Disney Corporation opened Disneyland, a place where people could live the fantasy and hang out with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the gang. Disney World followed in the 1970s, and other parks were opened throughout the 1980s and 90s. Eventually, the Disney parks would grow to become part and parcel of the American Dream. They would become an American Mecca, a place all families had to make a pilgrimage to at least once.
It's time to bring those days back. It's time for Disney to again a play a central role in American culture. Although the media environment is much more competitive, our dire circumstances require that Disney again sit at the top of the multi-media magic kingdom.
The Perpetual Princess Principle
One of the most effective aspects of the Disney Corporation has been their ability to manipulate the minds of young children, especially young girls. Young girls are taught through the Disney Princess model that the finer things in life, the royal lifestyle, are all that matters. They are taught that the days they dress like Cinderella and other princesses, their high school prom and their wedding day, are among the most important days of their lives. Before, between, and after these dates, as the girls develop into women, they are instilled with the ideal that life must still be a princess fantasy. They have to attract Prince Charming, that tall, dark, and handsome mate. They must have a modern-day horse-drawn chariot, that high-end sports car or gigantic SUV. They have to live in a magic castle, a huge home in the most luxurious part of town.
Yet no matter how materialistic or shallow this princess ideal might be, it is essential to the American economy that Disney keep following this business model. As a matter of fact, it should be promoted and endorsed, perhaps with the help of government assistance or of celebrities and debutantes such as Paris Hilton or other notorious "party girls". With any hope, a new generation of young princesses influenced by Disney will become shallow teenagers and then materialistic women. Hopefully, they will buy, buy, buy. They will shop, charge purchases on credit, and exercise the best in American gluttony.
During a down economy, everyone saves, even the princesses. Reality impedes their dreams and they are forced to live within their means. We have to change this mindset if our economy is to get back on its feet. We need to push the Princess Principle. We need more princess-based movies. We need to advocate the materialistic lifestyle. We need our women to hit the malls, the high-end stores, and the boutiques. We need mass consumption.
We need Disney.