DEFENDING WALT DISNEY
Lately I've been posting alot of stories in Theme 25.Prolefeed. That's the Orwell Today section where Orwell describes "entertainment generally". He said that the Ministry of Truth produced "films oozing with sex" and how "songs were published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department". He also says, in Theme 35.The Brotherhood, that a conspiratorial organization, called the Brotherhood, was prepared to, among other things "corrupt the minds of children, distribute habit-forming drugs, encourage prostitution, disseminate venereal diseases, and do anything which is likely to cause demoralization".
I think it's fair to say that the productions coming out of Hollywood these days fit into that criteria. But that's not how Walt Disney wanted entertainment to be. For discussion on the subject I'm posting my response to a reader who wanted me to change my high-opinion of Walt Disney:
Sorry for using the word "hate" to describe your feelings toward Walt Disney. Orwell used the word alot. Everyone was supposed to LOVE Big Brother, but Winston HATED him.
The opposite of evil is good, and the opposite of hate is love. You think Walt Disney was evil, I think he was good.
But still you haven't given me any reasons. You say you could write a book on your reasons but you don't have the time. Well, I read a book on Disney, written by someone who despised him - and yet the things he hated Disney for were things that made me love him. He despised him for not joining the Hollywood Mafia. He despised him for keeping his company private. He despised him for having high moral standards regarding the conduct of his employees. He despised him for treating his employees like family members. He despised him for not allowing the Union to take over his company. He despised him for being friends with Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg. He despised him for going before Congress to name subversives he considered Communist - and who WERE Communists. Walt Disney told Congress that Communists were trying to take-over his company and he was right. Kirk Douglas - an actor who Walt Disney wanted nothing to do with after his experience with him doing 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA - admitted in his autobiography that he was a Communist then and now. He DESPISED Walt Disney as well, and tried to sue him for the simple act of mentioning his children had ridden the choo-choo train while visiting Walt's home.
If you go and rent Walt's early cartoons, where he introduces Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Goofy you'll be hard-pressed to uncover any evil there. They're merely stories about "boy loves girl, boy rescues girl". Then watch his early animations. THREE LITTLE PIGS is about the BIG BAD WOLF - a subtle warning about shady characters. And how can you see anything wrong in his animated Fairy Tales which are based on classics like SNOW WHITE and PINNOCHIO - stories that are about good overcoming evil, not the other way around. And what is evil about DUMBO except the things that the bad people try to do to him, but which are overcome by his friend steering him in the right direction.
Walt Disney DID have messages in his productions - he wasn't a simpleton. He oversaw every sketch and every word before giving it his approval. His productions DO touch the hearts of children and that's what he intended to do, and WANTED to do. He attempted to appeal to the child's sense of wonder and to make them laugh and to convey their preciousness to them - a far cry from the sewage spewed at them these days.
I'm glad you defined the word "kitsch" for me. I keep seeing it mentioned everywhere and wondered what the hell it meant. But how you can describe Disney's productions as "kitschy" is beyond me. Is it possible that you are philosophically opposed to Disney and are therefore blinded to his work? Do you despise him for what he stood for as a man, more than for what his productions convey?
You haven't given me even ONE reason for changing my mind about Walt Disney, whereas I have at least given you a few for why I admire him.
~ Jackie Jura
BYE, BYE AMERICAN PIE
Communists active in Hollywood (propaganda central to Stalin). WashPost, May 25, 2003. Go to 16.Ministry of Truth & COMMUNISTS COINED MCCARTHYISM
WALT DISNEY WAS A TRUE AMERICAN HERO
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