We’ll travel hand in hand across this wonderland. Strike up the marching band. ‘Cause nothing can stop us now! – “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” written by Christopher and Elyse Willis.
I had spent over a half century loathing Walt Disney, and for very good reason. He was a horrible person. Walt was an anti-semitic fanatic of the extreme right wing as it was known at the time, a central figure in the America First movement that provided the platform adapted by our current infestation of MAGAts. He was so severely anti-union that he fired one of the greatest animators of the 20th century, Ub Iwerks, the man who created (or co-created; open mind, remember?) the mouse that started it all, M-I-C-K-E-Y. I could go on and on, but oddly that’s not my point today.
Disney eventually died, and his empire came under new management — in good part because some of his family members did not share his extreme world views. The company was lead, and once again is being lead, by a man of Hebrew heritage. That alone should have defrosted Walt’s corpse. Their attitudes evolved and, somehow, remarkably, they have become the poster mouse for the LGBTQIA+ movement.
They have done so in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of America’s biggest, best-known, and most effective book burning free expression haters of morality. Disney, the company and not the fascist popsicle, is one of his state’s biggest employers. They run one of the state’s biggest tourist attractions and is among Florida’s most profit-generating companies. Disney also refuses to pay attention to DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” laws which ban a rapidly growing list of books from school libraries, in-school showings of certain Disney movies, cross-dressing performers, and castrates mental health services that are delivered to transsexual children. Teachers cannot even discuss or permit the discussion of these issues in class.
We will set aside, but never, ever forget, that DeSantis also has removed all mention of American history that involves slavery and our treatment of Black people, both historically and presently. DeSantis’s attitude towards “Black Lives Matter” is akin to the attitude sane people have over Hitler’s Storm Troopers. His cohorts also banned Art Spiegleman’s Maus from school libraries.
Did I mention this goose-stepping blackshirt is running for President of the United States? Geez, read a newspaper, pal. He’s found a space that exists to the right of Donald J. Trump — now that’s a discovery for you — and he’s built condos on that space.
To all this, Disney has said “fuck this shit” and has put its foot on the tyrant’s neck. This past week the Disney Corporation held their biggest Gay Days celebration at the Disney World resort in Orlando Florida, attracting some 200,000 participants. By “participants,” of course, I mean “money spenders and job supporters.” They offer drag bingo, which is illegal in Florida, a gay waterpark festival, and a pageant hosted by CoCo Montrese. And lots of other purely American fun and games.
Disney has been doing this sort of thing for several years on both coasts, and DeSantis has declared war on the company.
Chasing away money, jobs, production and tourism in order to support blatant bigotry — this is what the Republican Party has devolved into. My god, these people possess an ironic lack of knowledge about their own history, don’t they?
I’ll admit I still carry a grudge against Disney’s lawyers. It’s been a half-century since their fatal assault on the Air Pirates. The company, like all large corporations, has done a lot of stupid and unnecessary stuff to “protect” its empire.
But now they’ve put it all on the line over the single, critical issue of gay rights. The backlash can be devastating — just ask Anheuser-Busch. Yes, I know that this link goes to ABC News which is owned by Disney and therefore is absolute proof that The Mouse is trying to control your mind. I’m told it’s part of a much greater conspiracy called “Deep Fate,” or something like that.
Therefore, I prefer to look at the Disney Corporation for what it is today: a highly admirable fount of corporate courage and responsibility. They ain’t “woke,” they’re moral, and they are operating in the oldest of conservative traditions: Mind your own business and make a profit.
And it looks like they’re going to continue along that honorable path — at least until Walt defrosts.