Disney, I Can See the Cracks

04 Nov

Do you know what I’ve discovered?   I’m probably one of the few people in the world who can’t fully relax and give myself to the spell of the Disney magic.   Las Vegas has the same effect on me, as do many religious organizations, and most politicians.  At this stage of my life, they all make me feel “played” because I know that what I’m seeing on the surface is not all there is to see—it is not the “authentic” them, and that gives me the willies.

When I didn’t get “raptured” on Oct. 21st as was promised by that false prophet (see blog post, “Don’t Quote Me — But I Think Jesus Is Pissed”), I decided that I’d do the next best thing and go to Disney World.  Growing up with real rats the size of cats, I’ve never been that keen on Mickey Mouse (I know he’s technically a “mouse,” but I don’t do rodents, no matter how cute Disney tries to make Mickey and Minnie seem).   But between the rapture disappointment and the premature snow that ruined Halloween, when the opportunity presented itself (“Hey babe” said my husband of 32 years: “Do you want to go to a conference with me in Orlando and have a romantic weekend since you didn’t get to go to Heaven?”), I thought I’d get the hell out of Dodge and get some sun and some much needed R&R.

I am fascinated by this virtual “Heaven on Earth” that we parents have allowed our children to be “sucked” into while it, in turn, kidnaps the minds of our three-year-olds on up and makes them life-long consumers with a vengeance.  After wandering around the various parks watching numerous children dissolve into multitudinous hissy fits due to over-stimulation, too many sugary treats, and missed nap times in their Cinderella costumes and Mickey Mouse ears, while they beat the crap out of their siblings with their Luke Skywalker light sabers, I am convinced one needs to approach Disney World with a strong measure of caution if one wants to get through life having not turned over half their life’s savings to a mouse with a fat belly and a high voice.  But the major question is how did most Americans fall prey to such inauthenticity?   Why are we so prone to embrace the hype and not look behind the curtain, or in Disney’s case, underneath the Magic Kingdom?

Everything above the surface (the “stage”) at Disney World, which is twice the size of Manhattan, is pristine, uber-colorful, fanciful, instantly likable, beguiling, immaculate, convenient, efficient, and all yours if you just cough up a small fortune.  To enhance the magic, nothing that constitutes “real” life is allowed on “stage.” Below the surface of the Magic Kingdom is another kingdom where everything that pertains to real life is hidden.  The workers (Disney calls them “cast members”) traverse miles of tunnels to do everything from potty breaks to banking while over a hundred schedulers underneath Cinderella’s castle orchestrate who appears here and there and in what costume or cleaning garb for our entertaining pleasure.  (There is nothing like a Haitian maid in a Capt’n Andy/Showboat outfit that makes me feel right at home as she scrubs my toilet.) Most clean-up and repairs are done between midnight and 5 a.m. when we’re asleep, and no “cast member” is allowed to be seen not smiling and fully engaged with the public.  Projected bakery smells and Disney tunes are pumped into the pathways to lull us into believing we’re actually in Italy or on the Boardwalk of the early 1900’s, but in these places there are no Mussolinis, no bootlegged liquor, and no Boardwalk prostitutes.

But as cynical as I was when I arrived at Disney World, within 24 hours, it had worked its magic on me, and as I sang a mash up of “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “It’s a Small World” and “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” as I power-walked around the pristine fake lake along the Boardwalk’s fake seaside, I knew right then and there, I could live in Disney World forever.  I no longer had allergies because there was no cigarette smoke, and I could breathe. Everyone was smiling at me with that inviting look that said, “Welcome, Chocolate Person, we don’t care what color you are, just so long as your money is the color of green”!   And just as I rounded a corner, a perfect (real!) bunny rabbit crossed my path, stopped, smiled, and winked at me before disappearing into the underbrush in which fake cricket sounds were being piped out over the  strains of the tune “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” reminding me that I was having a “my-oh-my-what-a-wonderful day”!  It was a perfect sunshiny 80 degrees with a sub-tropical breeze washing over me like God’s breath that no promised “rapture” could ever duplicate.  As I slowed down to watch as a newly married couple climbed into their Cinderella carriage to be whisked away and live happily ever after, I knew I had died and gone to Heaven.

I pulled out my iPhone 4S and commanded Siri to:  “Send a note to WW (my own White and Wonderful Prince Charming), and tell him to do research on retiring to new master-planned community Disney is building (Golden Oak), because ‘I BELIEVE, goddamnit—I do believe!’”  But before the walk would come to an end, a lizard would run over my foot, which would direct my gaze to a “cast member” sneaking an illegal smoke as she squatted behind a trash can (a Disney no-no), and the craziest son of a bitch I’ve seen in a long time would knock on my hotel room door, scaring me shitless and underscoring what I’ve learned to be true:  reality will always bleed through inauthenticity no matter what one does to try to keep it at bay.

As I was finishing up my breakfast, contemplating if we had enough in our savings to move to Disney World (‘cause I sure do love me some uber-cleanliness, super efficiency, eternal happiness, a crime-free world, and a white-washed existence where a ghetto never existed), I heard a knock at my hotel room door.  When I opened it, there stood a tiny slip of a skeletal man in a 1900’s waiter’s costume.  He had come to remove my breakfast dishes and decided that I was the person he was going to unload his political conspiracies upon.  (You know the kind of people who spend most of their waking hours listening to Rush Limbaugh, or worse, so that when they run into someone who doesn’t fit their ideology (a.k.a moi), they seem to come slowly unglued at the seams when you simply say, “hello”?)  You could tell by the guy’s unsolicited rhetoric that if I didn’t get him out of my room in the next two seconds, I was going to have to hit him over the head with the Mickey Mouse lamp and drag him out by his feet before he offended the royal hell out of me.  (Walt Disney must have been turning over in his grave because this sucker was so “off brand.”)  When I couldn’t get him to stop “slamming my peeps” and the unfair quota system he thought we’d been afforded in everything from the White House to the TSA, I ushered him toward the door as fast as I could and shoved his Rush Limbaugh ass out the room with one hand and slammed and bolted my hotel door with the other.  As I moved one of the chairs underneath the door knob, I looked out my window at the pristine waterfront and said:  “Well, Walt, ‘The Truman Show’ is over; I am fully awake now, and your ‘perfect’ world has a crack in it.”

Savvy eight-year-old kid’s remark to her mother who was in front of me while disembarking the Star Tours ride:  “Why is it that every time we get off one of these rides there is a store we have to walk through just to get out of the place?  What’s up with that Mom?”


“I’ll never forget when we were all fighting for a twenty-five cent raise; it came over the papers that Eisner made a $43 million bonus. And we were fighting for a quarter.” — Unidentified Disney employee, quoted in Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World by Susan Willis


“Only thing I remember was me and Pluto (with the head taken off) sharing a cigarette by the dumpster during our break. We were both so miserable that we smoked our sorrows away.”
(Anonymous Disney employee from Anaheim, CA) Working at Disney—Review by Employees/Jobitorial


Associated Press Headline:  Disney town of Celebration records second violent death in a week — Police investigate gunman’s death in Florida town of Celebration just days after its first ever murder.

In the midst of my musings about resisting being “played” by something that is not authentic but is orchestrated to appear so, I got my first hate mail on Facebook about my blog post “Don’t Quote Me — But I Think Jesus Is Pissed.”  The hater was insinuating that I was an inauthentic Christian because she despised my blog post confronting some of my Christian peeps who speak in the “name of Jesus” but act as if they are Satan’s little helpers (embracing bigotry, hatred, mayhem and lies, and lusting after the Benjamins, shielding pedophiles, or selling their birthrights to neo-Conservative politicians).  I affectionately dubbed her the HSRCHL woman (humorless, self-righteous, Conservative, hater-lady).  At the time of her FB assault, I didn’t have a clue who she was (isn’t it funny how people assume they mean more to you than they do and that this gives them the right to get all in your business?), which means, she obviously didn’t know me well, if at all, and had never been a friend of mine.

The FB conversation went  something like this:

  • HSRCHL:  “I have come to you on behalf of the reputation of Jesus, and I’ve got a bone to pick with you.  When I knew you 26 years ago you were really something.  You were beautiful, uber-religious, a role-model to me, and a real credit to Jesus’ name.  What happened to you?  Do you still love Jesus, the precious one?  The Eleanor I knew would never lower herself to foul language or make coarse jokes.  And to make matters worse:  you’re not even funny!”  You were my idol and I had you on a pedestal.  Well, I’ve certainly kicked you off that pedestal, that’s for sure!  What happened to your life?  You probably won’t respond to my criticism, but maybe you’ll learn something by reading what I have to say.”
  • The Hated One:  “Excuse me, who the fuck are you?   I didn’t “go anywhere.”   If you had been in contact with me “at least once” over the past 26 years, you would know I am more in love with Jesus than I have ever been, and that I’m a lot more mature today about the subject of who God is than I was when we apparently knew each other.  I have simply grown in unconditional love and grace for those who can’t see God because of Christians whose self-righteousness and cruelty have caused them great harm.  I have to be authentically me, and I’ve shed everything that doesn’t support that authenticity!  I appreciate your concern regarding my humor.  But since Jesus is the boss of me, I can only do what I feel he has given me freedom to do.  I realize that this does not fit into what you thought you knew about me.  I haven’t changed.  I would suggest that you only knew what I allowed you to know about me because I couldn’t trust you with the “entirety” of who I am in the setting where you met me. (I daresay your response then probably wouldn’t have been any more accepting then it is now.)  I wish you all the best, HSRCHL.  Please, please don’t follow my blog because it reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly of who I am, and in the words of Jack Nicholson from A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!”  It would simply blow your mind, HSRCHL, Baby!

I am discovering that to be authentic one has to show what lives above the surface and what resides below.  It is okay for Disney to create a world that is just fantasy above the surface, just so long as we never forget that it is only fantasy and never mistake it for real life.  But it is downright sinful for us to demand that our fellowman be other than authentic.  Authenticity is what makes us human—this is what makes us real.  It doesn’t mean we have the right to become entrenched where we are, but it does mean that if we are to grow and be grace and mercy to those who are hurting or struggling on this planet, we can’t strut around with rods up our asses.  We can’t be holier than thou, self-righteous, or duplicitous in our presentation of ourselves.  I’m also discovering that others (mostly people who don’t really know us) will try to define us by their own limitations and cultural and spiritual biases.  We must fight this with all of our might and look for the grace that counteracts those lies about us.


As is always the case with “grace,” it snuck in from a place I least expected it.  I received a lovely note from a blogger in Australia by the name of Karyn within two hours of the HSRCHL’s FB note.  She is a successful freelance writer, copy writer, and blogger, and a person whose blog I’ve come to really enjoy.  She cited me for a “Flamingo Award” for “building community with your comments.”  But it was her sweet one-line tribute to me that really brought tears to my eyes:  I nominate “Eleanor, from How The Hell Did I End Up Here?—The kind of woman I hope to be when I’m a little older. Fun, energetic, full of fascinating stories and gorgeous!”  Attach this to the 99% of responders who wrote to tell me that they were touched and moved by the authenticity of my blog and me, and I was able to pick myself up, flush the self-righteous biotch’s words down the toilet, and sing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-yeh; my-oh-my-what-a-wonderful-day. . .” as I skipped through the rest of my Disney vacation.

The Author:  I am who I am

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”  ―May Sarton

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” ―Mother Theresa

This above all:

To thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

~ Hamlet, Shakespeare

All text and photos by Eleanor and John Tomczyk copyrighted © 2011 except where otherwise noted

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


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34 responses to “Disney, I Can See the Cracks

  1. An Observant Mind

    November 4, 2011 at 5:05 am

    No surprises here, I love this post! The biggest shame of the Disney masquerade is that it simply isn’t possible. Wherever there are people there will be nasty behaviors – comments, sneers, back talking, bigotry, bad treatment and more. It’s a sad indictment on human-kind, and one I’m certain that my God feels much sorrow over. I hope that women felt better for getting that off her chest, because that’s all the power she will ever get from that statement.

    It’s interesting to me that there are many people who choose to spend their time bringing other people down. If I don’t like or agree with something someone says or does, I move on – why waste energy on it? But then there are those self-righteousness ones that think pulling the speck out of someone’s eye, might help wedge the plank out of their own – to them I say – you may want to read that passage again, I think you have it wrong! I once had a commenter (my stalker that I mention on my about plage) make the comment; “You must have a big ass by the way you write.” WTF is that? I thought about it for a day or two, leaving the comment up, and after picking up my self-esteem from the floor I responded with “No, I have a big ass from all the delicious cakes I choose to eat.” Whose looks like a sad and pathetic person in this situation?

    For what its worth I posted your “Don’t Quote Me – But I think Jesus is Pissed” link from on my personal Facebook page, and a great friend of mine who is a ministers wife and currently working in Africa (I love her and her husband – what awesome people to choose to go work and live amongst poverty-stricken Africans – they moved from their lovely house in Australia to a mud-hut!) responded under the link the following comment: “This needs to be said – Bravo!” So it seems people I would consider “authentic Christians” – you know – the ones who are out there feeding the poor and treating “the least of these” as Christ would – not the ones spouting out religious phrases while decimating people’s lives, careers and self esteem – think you and your opinions are ‘ a bit of all right’ (that’s “awesome” in Australian slang!)

    As for the compliment, never a truer word was spoken my dear – you rock! – and don’t let anyone tell you different!

    NB. thank YOU for the compliment on my talents! Also My post “You Say Tomato” was freshly pressed today, and it links to your blog – so you may see an increase in visitors, what’s not to love about that?! xx

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

      Karyn: Wow! Where do I begin? This is one of those comments where I could pick up the phone and chat for several hours, but I was supposed to be in bed 3 hours ago, and you live in Australia 🙂 You are so right, of course, about the small-mindedness of my uber-religious smack downer.

      That is so wonderful (and courageous) that you posted my story on your FB page. I am blown away by the response of your missionary friends. Wow!

      As to you being Freshly Pressed — congratulations! I hadn’t checked out that page yet so it was a surprise when you mentioned it. And how lucky for me that you had mentioned my blog in that post. “Everythings coming up roses!” Thank you so much.

      As to your Aussie phrases, I am having a bumper sticker made of “a bit of all right”! That’s a title for a book, if I ever heard one (there’s your next idea).

      All the best, and thanks so much for the “a bit of all right” encouragement. 🙂

  2. debbie

    November 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I love the blog. I live an hour from Disney and love going there, but it’s not as fun as it used to be . Love the analogy, with the fake and real people. Most of the people I met when I wasin my 20’s were definitely putting on an act. To act Christian, they must be getting tired, acting their whole lives, so fake. I could probably name the blogger!!!!The one that slammed you. Keep up the good work. Make’um think!

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Deb. Thanks so much for your comment. Being “inauthenic” is very seductive–like being in Disney–because it doesn’t make waves. Most of the time when a person is just who they are in the moment in which they are living, if it goes against the grain or to the beat of a different drummer than the mob rule–then look out!

  3. Mal

    November 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    After reading all this, there’s a niggly numero uno question… Did you get to wear the Mickey Mouse ears??? 😀

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      YES I DID! And I got figurines of Cinderella, Goofy, Mickey, and Nemo! Fortunately, I have a grandson. Instant stocking stuffers! Thanks for stopping by. Take care. Eleanor

  4. Hudson Howl

    November 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    OH, my! Wow! Holly smokes! That was some read -‘above and below the surface’.

    I will keep this short. How reaffirming it is to find someone who thinks as I regarding ‘da’ Disney experience. Thankfully you made it out intact. Am so happy for you.

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Yes, Hudson, I did indeed! I actually wrote my blog the entire time I was there while hubby was in his conference and it turned out to be quite inspirational, which is rather ironic. Thanks for stopping by and especially to take the time to leave a comment. Cheeers!

  5. DesiValentine

    November 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old, and while my older daughter prefers Dreamworks media products, my son adores Disney’s Lightning McQueen and The Disney Store, and has secured my firm commitment to take him to Disneyland when Cars Land is finished. We’re sort of anti-consumers. So, we will be that family refusing to buy the carefully staged mementos and photo opportunities. But I really, really hope they see only the magic, when we’re there. We only get so much magic, you know? Whatever the source.
    My Grandma Lucy, before she passed, said something interesting to Mum about atheism: “God put you here to question Him, because He knows how people get distracted by material things and forget what we’re doing here. You’re one of His gifts to us.” I think you would have liked her 🙂

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Hello Desi! Yes, I think I would have liked your Grandma Lucy. I think you’re right about children and an auro of magic, as well. It is actually the merchandizing that “interrupts” the magic, I think, and the more sensitive kids pick up on it. That little girl who was behind me that made such an astute observation about there being a store we had to schlepp through after every ride was one of those. I think the parents just simply have to be on guard to protect the wonder, but isn’t that the way it is with guiding kids through life in general?

  6. Sondra

    November 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Once again Eleanor you hit the nail on the head!

    Here is the thing….no matter how hard we try to put on a self righteous, holier than thou demeanor….guess what fellow peeps God sees below the surface so just who are you trying to fool!

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Sondra: Here, here. . . .

  7. imagesbytdashfield

    November 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Disney is most fun when you are A. a kid and B. taking a little kid. I’ve been to both Diz World and Diz land. If you go in knowing it’s so much zippity doo doo then you fare better. Even with the kids in tow I refused to stand in line to watch those parades. WTH for???? My kids – like their mom – were all about getting on the fast and scary rides and not the cutesy stuff. Now I am toooo old to stand in those damn lines.

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Yes, it is definitely better as a kid. But I am fascinated how Disney’s aim is to capture you from cradle to grave. I knew a couple who moved to the first planned community (Celebration). It cost them everything but what was really sad is that they thought their stepford wives town was really living. We know adults who go to Disney every year–come hell high water– and one of these foolish women came back one year with a picture of the Little Mermaid tatoo’d on her entire foot, ankle and lower leg! Yikes! And then, of course, nothing says “kids we’re going to have a good time” lie when the three-year-old in the group looses it. I watched a three-year-old hold Tomorrow Land hostage with his screams two days ago. Jiminy Cricket! Anyone who could, fled to another park as fast as they could. I think that kid had definitely lost the magic 🙂 All the best.

  8. Tina

    November 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Never been. Never will. Imagine my delight when my 9 year old girl child chose not to dress as a princess for Halloween this year. She chose to dress in Chicago Cubs gear. Oh wait, that’s another dream with a lot of cracks. If you’re a Cub fan that is. Thanks again for your straight up in site and taking the time to put it all into words. I know where I’m stopping on Thursdays now for sure.

    • etomczyk

      November 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Tina. We never took our kids, either. Just couldn’t deal with the commercialism and consumerism. Baby-girl who is now 27 went to Disney for the first time with her girlfriends a couple years ago and had a blast. She decided that my lack of parenting in this area was going to need at least a couple years in therapy. Ha! I decided she’d survive and she got to do it on her own dime. Take care.

  9. SzaboInSlowMo

    November 6, 2011 at 12:02 am

    I’m still lovin’ your blog AND your authenticity! You captured exactly what I feel at Disney World…fun, but just not real. That is, except for the REAL money you spend just to eat a burger and fries, haha. I enjoyed the Rapture blog too…favorite line “I’m gonna tell on your ass”…Classic!

    • etomczyk

      November 6, 2011 at 3:24 am

      Szabolyn: Thanks so much for your gracious comment. I’m glad to be back home and out from under the spell of the mouse. Cheers!

  10. Doc

    November 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I think I’m in love with you! Well, at least with that part of you that we are allowed to see. But then, I’m in love with your husband, too, who suggested that, since you didn’t get to heaven, he might take you there. And after 32 years of marriage. I’m sure you’re aware of this but you ARE funny. And honest, and a dang fine writer. I’m working on a blog which relates to the “N” word and kept wondering what Elinor might think. I was even contemplating emailing yo in private to get your thoughts about the topic. But after reading this blog, I’m not worried one bit. If I ever do complete it, you would comment honestly, from your experience. You are who you are. “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”!

    • etomczyk

      November 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      Hi Doc! Good to see you in my neck of the woods again. Thanks for your encouragement about my writing. I got beat up a little bit last week by a “hater” via Facebook. No one likes to be disliked, so it helps to balance everything out when I get encouragement such as yours. Feel free to send me anything you feel needs a fresh set of eyes before you post. Nothing of mine is posted without my focus group reading it first (4 people: my husband, my friend, and my two grown children). You would be amazed at what doesn’t get posted. LOL!

  11. A. DesMarais

    November 6, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Great post. 🙂 I actually encountered something similar a few years ago. I had my own personal HRSCHL and when I finally confronted her about her judgmental, self-righteous attitude, she justified it by saying she was doing the Lord’s work and ‘keeping me accountable.’ Thank goodness that at the end of the day, the only person we’re held accountable to is God…and thank Goodness He is merciful. 🙂 I love your genuine heart and the fact that you always say it like it is. I think your blog is a good ministry to reach those who are afraid to be their self out of fear from judgement. Being in ‘the burg’ has taught me a thing or two about the value of being yourself instead of conforming to the mold that is expected of you from other self-righteous people. Keep up the good work. ❤

    • etomczyk

      November 7, 2011 at 3:32 am

      Amanda: I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me. I’ve had multiple comments in the same vein as yours and it has pretty much pushed the HRSCHL into the abyss. Have a great week and keep on being real! 🙂

  12. Shonnie

    November 7, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Well … disney kinda makes my head hurt … so I am not sure I ever fell for the dream. I think I have had a few too many bad experiences or I am just too jaded. LIttle too much of the shine came off of life pretty early.

    I love life — as I believe you do — so we are GOOD! 😀

    Sorry about the hate mail. That completely stinks. Why can’t we just dissagree without the nasty?? Maybe it is just unrealistic to believe that we can ever speak about the passions of our heart without being mean to those who have opposing views–guess I am still a romantic and I long for that.

    HUGS! Forget that person!

    • etomczyk

      November 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks for the HUGS Shonnie. You’re a doll and it does make up for the hater! Take care. ET

  13. nonnie9999

    November 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

    i live in floriduhhh, and i only went to disneyworld once. my prince didn’t come, so screw it, why should i go back?

    • etomczyk

      November 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Nonnie, you’re a hoot! 🙂

  14. afrankangle

    November 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Hey hey E-Tom. Sorry I’m late, but i was riding the Caribbean waves on Serenade of the Seas. Meanwhile, count me in as one of the few people who has not only never visited a Disney park, but doesn’t have the desire. … and congratulations on being the first post I’ve ever read referencing Limbaugh, Disney, Mickey Mouse, and Jesus.

    • etomczyk

      November 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Frank. Good to see that you got some R&R. I’m sooooo jealous! I can hardly wait to read about your time away. All the best.

  15. Tim Hougland O.D.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Eleanor, I recently discovered your blog on the Freshly Pressed page. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Jesus is Pissed” post, and this one is spot-on as well. I guess I’ve always found theme parks to have a creepy undercurrent and Disney is the king of them all. I think the fear comes from the same reasoning that people are afraid of clowns – they just seem TOO happy.

    I could go on and on all day regarding a lot of the subjects you touched on – the capturing of our children by subliminal marketing, the projection of a fantasy land with a questionable underbelly, and the inexplicable drive that some people have to force their opinions upon others. A lot to think about.

    You have an insight into these matters that is lacking in the vast majority of Americans, and that’s why some of the above topics are so frightening. Most people really never stop to just think about the world. They’re just on autopilot. This actually rings a similar bell as a speech given by one of my favorite authors – David Foster Wallace. He delivered a commencement speech at a college graduation ceremony that touches upon issues related to these.

    Anyway, keep up the outstanding work. You are way too much fun to read.

    • etomczyk

      November 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Hi Tim. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such gracious comments. That is high praise coming from you. I’m almost too embarrassed to tell you that I’ve perused your blog a couple of times but didn’t leave a comment because you seemed so “official” that I didn’t want to say anything stupid — especially the post on the potential of one’s skin melting. Yikes! See that’s what I’m talking about. The best I can do is “yikes!” 🙂 In fact, I have your favorite author’s 1996 book downstairs (Infinite Jest), and I keep wondering if I’ll ever be that smart to get Wallace’s humor (the endnotes alone make my head explode).

      But now that you have been so kind, I will venture out, I will be brave, and I will not only visit your blog, but I will comment, damnit! 🙂 Thanks again. ET

  16. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

    December 7, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Escaped the Disney experience when the in-laws took our children there. But succumbed with g’kids to a Disney Cruise. I’m working on that story for my next blog, but I was left with the thought, after being force fed the sugary tones of staff members, and those flashy white teeth smiles, that I couldn’t wait to get home and hear some good old fashioned grouchy voices!


    • etomczyk

      December 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      I know what you mean, Ronnie. I think a genuine person can only take it 3 days and then one has to return to reality. On the fourth day, you want to scream to the heavens: bring on the salad bowl and let’s hear some real problems and tears!

  17. talesfromthemotherland

    January 2, 2012 at 2:30 am

    I’m with you… love the sanitized, right-up-front fakeness of places like Disney and Vegas. My husband hates both, but I love that I go there knowing just what’s in store, but ready for some crazy ass adventures. Love reading your posts… just discovered you, via another blogger. Mine have been less humorous of late, due to some heavy stuff, but in general I see life in many of the same ways you do. No doubt, a heaping dose of humor softens even some of the heavier days.
    Nice job!

    • etomczyk

      January 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Hi “Tales from the Motherland.” I’m just getting back in grove although I’ve been hit by a seasonal bug that is kicking my butt. Thanks for stopping by. Please drop by and read some more. The blog started out of coping with “hard times.” I figured if I didn’t laugh, I’d really fall apart. Hope the stories help. Cheers!


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