Friday, February 20, 2009

Why Disney is the key to economic recovery

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.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The AfroSquad in Super Bowl City: Part 3

(If you haven't already, make sure you've read Part 1 and Part 2.)

When we last left our hero, he was wandering out of the Bow Wow Wonderland after receiving valuable insight from the illustrious High Chief. Our hero takes the High Chief's words to heart and goes back to the Afro Lair, knowing he will need help in the battle for his city.

Setting: The Afro Lair. The Afro Lair is party central, highlighted by afro-wearing eccentrics. There are frequent funky musical performances, video arcades, and a high-end bar where the locals gather to swap LPs of George Clinton and Bootsy Collins.

Scene 1: Our hero meets with Mama 'Fro, the Snowman, and the rest of the Afro-Squad. He tells them about the plight of the city and the High Chief's first piece of lyrical advice. Mama 'Fro instructs the Snowman to join our hero on his journey. Before they go, she gives them a month's supply of Pudding Snack Packs and the Motts.

Scene 2: After eating all the Motts and the Pudding Snack Packs, the Afro-Squad meet the Smooth Savant of the Teleprompter. The Smooth Savant tells the Afro-Squad that in order to save the city, they have to rescue the 'Fro Child, who is being held captive by the Killer Cardinal. Our hero recalls the second lyric of advice given by the High Chief. The Smooth Savant also tells the Afro-Squad that the only way to kill the Killer Cardinal is to destroy it as they would a Highlander.

Setting: The Castle of the Killer Cardinal. The Killer Cardinal is a very social animal and is hanging out in his lounge.

Scene 3: The Afro-Squad sneak into Killer Cardinal's Lounge. Our hero ambushes the Killer Cardinal while the Killer Cardinal is socializing with its human cohorts. Lacking a sword, our hero decides to bite the head off of the bird a la Ozzy Osbourne, nullifying the Killer Cardinal's ability to counterattack.

Meanwhile, the Snowman rescues the 'Fro Child.

Setting: The City.

Scene 4: The Afro-Squad celebrate their victory. They call the mayor to announce their accomplishment and begin to set up a parade in their own honor.

Setting: The Afro Lair.

Scene 5: The party is interrupted by the Wise Word Wizard. The Wise Word Wizard tells the Afro-Squad that their work is not done and the city is still in danger. The Killer Cardinal's mother has kidnapped the Underwater Singing Princess and is threatening to destroy the city. Our hero remembers the final lyric of the High Chief. The Wise Word Wizard instructs the Afro-Squad on how to confront the ever-dangerous Mother of the Killer Cardinal.

Setting: A boat in the river outside of the city. The boat is on course to the Mother of the Killer Cardinal's Headquarters and Gaming Resort, one of the top casinos on the eastern seaboard.

Scene 6: Our hero meets a band of jolly travelers on the boat. The travelers recognize our hero and ask him for his autograph. Our hero tries to tell them about the princess, but they are too busy reveling in their revelry. Meanwhile, the Snowman is below deck indulging in spirits and Nestle Quik.

Setting: A dock connected to the Mother of the Killer Cardinal's Headquarters and Gaming Resort.

Scene 7: Alerted to their presence by super high-powered binoculars, the Mother of the Killer Cardinal dispatches The Man to capture the Afro-Squad. Although our hero escapes, the Snowman is not as lucky and is captured.

Scene 8: After eluding The Man, our hero engages in an epic life and death battle with the Mother of the Killer Cardinal. Instinctively, the Mother uses her Cardinal Fighting Style, highlighted by its vicious pecking attacks. Our hero, also trained in the avian attack arts, uses the Eagle Fighting Style. In an grueling duel, our hero is victorious.

Setting: Deep in bowels of the Mother of the Killer Cardinal's Headquarters and Gaming Resort. The Snowman has been taken to Cell Block 1138, in a cell adjacent to the Underwater Singing Princess. The cells are the same as those in an Indonesian blue collar prison.

Scene 9: Our hero frees the Underwater Singing Princess and the Snowman. Before they leave, the Underwater Singing Princess tells a joke because she likes jokes.

"What do you call someone puts prisoners to death but then quickly leaves?"

"An Exit-cutioner."

The Afro-Squad and the Underwater Singing Princess laugh.

Setting: The City.

Scene 10: Our hero has finally saved the city. The tourist invasion is gone, the 'Fro Child is safe, and the Princess has gone back to singing songs underwater. All is right in the world. Until next time.

The End