Thursday, February 10, 2011

Godless Disney?

“Not” the Magic Kingdom
(by R.P.Edwareds)

I looked about in Heaven
And Pluto was not there
No Mickey, Minnie, or the rest
A sigh, and much despair
For it seems their earthly masters
Made crystal their desire
They wanted not, the pearly gates
They chose instead…the fire

It seemed hopeless.  The mighty entertainment corporation known as Disney, had felt slighted; slandered, libeled and, using all the tendriled tools at their disposal they were ready to crush the insignificant blogger who dare cast aspersions on the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

The defendant; a middle-aged nearly-nothing, slouched and trembled under the withering examination of the prosecution; a certain Jafar (of Aladdin fame) being the chief counsel.  “So, let me clarify your position (with the question both hands were firmly planted on the testifying enclosure and the bearded fellow leaned ever closer until a mere hand’s breadth separated the two) you say that it’s because of what the subsidiary displayed on the screen; this is why you printed your slanderous piece!?”

“Well, well, yes, that’s what…”

(The lawyer spun quickly away in the direction of the jury, even as he then pointed back at the stammering scribbler)  “You mean to tell this jury (sweeping his hand from the defendant to the twelve stern faced citizens [a curious assembly: Cruella de Vil, Maleficent, Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” Scar from “The Lion King,” Sid Phillips from “Toy Story,” and some of the lesser villains of Disney fame to finish the quorum ) that it was not because of what they said, or did, but rather because of a modest and necessary disclaimer that you wrote your most offending, and dare I say “damaging” drivel ?”

“Well I; it seemed to me if they had modified it just a bit…well, well.”

“Your honor, I have no further questions and, might I conclude by apologizing to the court for this colossal waste of your time.  I apologize to the legendary characters in the jury and to you (turning to bow) honorable judge Hook.  The verdict is obvious.  This “Layoff Letters” fellow is guilty.  Guilty as charged.  He must print a retraction at once and, might I suggest, be ever banned from the joyous theme parks of which he has shown himself…unworthy.”

(The defendant returns to his seat and sinks into the hard-backed chair.  At the motioning of the Judge’s claw the lawyer for the condemned rises; straightens his somewhat formal--though quite out of fashion--attire and, using his rather large, though unlit, Mahogany Calabash pipe as a conductors baton, he motions for the current CEO of the corporation in question to take the seat of interrogation)  “Mr. D,” he begins, tamping the bowl slowly, rhythmically upon the upturned palm of his left hand. “We are all aware of the wonderful achievements of the Disney corporation; be it in live action film, animation, the rather new computer generated features; not to mention the incredible elements of the theme parks, world wide.  Now, tell me Mr. D (the inquisitor begins to walk slowly, left to right, then right to left; the pipe’s gentle smack alternating with the biting click of his hard soled Rockports) doesn’t it take an incredible attention to detail to produce these seamless offerings?  I mean, don’t you have to check, and recheck, and recheck each minute detail of the films or functions to make sure that your final product is as near perfection as possible?”

“Well, yes.  That’s quite correct.  As you may know; it takes years to produce a feature film.  It takes teams of skilled artisans to conceive and construct and, of course, we’ve learned the value of checking everything time and time again until our product is, as you say, as near perfection as possible.”
“Now, tell me, Mr D.  Isn’t it true that the Disney Corporation, along with their own production, they--you--are very jealous of the franchise; the “name” if you will?”

“Well, yes, that’s true.  We are very careful to allow only pre-screened and qualified vendors, or sub-contractors, to say or do or produce anything…in our name.”

“Mr. D (the pacing stops and Holmes faces the CEO; the pipe turned upright and brought very near the mouth) who owns ABC Family?”

“Why…why Disney, of course.”

Pipe clenched between upper and lower bicuspids (right side) a folded paper is produced and handed to the executive.  “Please read this aloud to the court.”

“The preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC Family.”

“Mr. D (removing the pipe and using it as a pointer) is that the disclaimer used following the ABC Family broadcast of “The 700 Club?””

“Well…well, I’d have to check.  But I’m pretty sure it is.”

“Mr D (stepping closer, pipe in the other hand) the phrase, “does not reflect;” implies a diametric opposition; does it not?”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I…”

“Let me give you an example.  If you were to proclaim that you were, say, a vegetarian.  And then I commented, “Your views do not reflect mine.” Couldn’t you (now walking towards the jury; pipe tapping once more) deduce that I was “not” a vegetarian.  Most probably a carnivore of some sort?”

“Well, I suppose.  But I…”

“If I were to say that I favor traditional marriage; that is, one man and one woman, and you were to respond, “Your views do not reflect mine” Couldn’t we presume that your take on matrimony is somewhere outside…the traditional?”

“Well, yes, I guess you could say that.”

“Mr D (the pacing stops and, from a place adjacent the farthest point of the jury box he leans and continues) you’ve never watched “The 700 Club” have you?”

“Well, a little, here and there.”

“You see, Mr D. (the lawyer’s eyes drop to seemingly fix on the pipe in his hands) when the mighty, meticulous Disney; the creator of masterpieces; the perfector of performance and product; when the mighty Disney says that whatever views are expressed on a certain program are not reflective of their own.  Well, by simple deduction, (eyes are raised to meet the others) the opposite must be true.  Isn’t that so?”

“I…I guess I can see that.”


Dear reader, thank you for the allowance.  I just thought it terribly funny.  You see, as a near mindless diversion we sometimes watch reruns of a comedic lark titled, “Whose line is it anyway” hosted by a before The Price is Right, Drew Carey.  This program immediately follows a broadcast of “The 700 Club” on, you guessed it; ABC family.  And, the disclaimer mentioned in my little fiction…is accurate.   They say, “The preceding CBN telecast does not reflect the views of ABC family.” 

Now, truthfully, I haven’t watched Pat Robertson’s child for years but, without apology, I used to be a regular contributor.  And, I’m sure the essence of the show has not changed.  They speak of the Love of God.  They reach out to share the gospel of Christ.  They back up their words by physically aiding the distressed.  They, simply, believe in helping, hearing, healing; being the voice, the hands, the arms…of the Savior.  And, although there may be a thing or two I might not agree with, the overall product is good, wholesome, nurturing.  And, for ABC Family and Disney (by association) to say they don’t adhere to “anything” that comes out of the broadcast: well, that’s just silly.

Now, understand, there’s a history here.  CBN used to own “The Family Channel.” They sold it years ago and it eventually ended up, by a different name, in Walt’s treasure trove.  And, if I’m not mistaken, there’s some kind of “you have to” arrangement to keep the religious show on the air.  But really, even if they rub you the wrong way, shouldn’t the simple modifier of “necessarily” be placed between “not” and “reflect?”  For, to imply that absolutely “everything” in a program “does not” reflect your views; well, to the simple such as I, that means you, by your own admission, are the opposite...of they.  And that, dear reader, means Disney is…Godless.


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