Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Finding Perfection...


"The perfect is the enemy of the good."

- Voltaire



We all want to find something that fits just right. Everyone loves when you find that special person that makes you feel like everything is right in the universe. Or it could be a movie... one that you go in with geek dreams of fun and wind up leaving the theater shaking your head at the experience you just had. Then there is the theme park, Disneyland in particular, but it could be another one if you like... the idea of walking through the gate, past the berm and with each passing step down Main Street U.S.A. you actual feel like you're in a time machine. Everytime your foot hits the pavement you're a bit younger. Slowly going back to that way you felt as a child. That feeling that it's as it always was... perfect.

Such is the case with what every human strives for but never quite finds. We all tend to settle for things or have to come to terms and accept what they are. Let's face it, we're all human and therefore all imperfect. Usually the nostalgia that we associate with our childhood is usually the filter that makes whatever we remember as a kid seem so right. When we tend to look at it years later we tend to notice faults that we may have overlooked or not even have been aware of before.

When it comes to Disney(the man himself), Disneyland or yes, even Star Wars we have to accept this. Nothing we desire really ever winds up being as good as we want or great as we remember. As much as I love Walt Disney, the man had his faults. And although many of us enjoy Disneyland, if you were go back to there fifty years ago there would be a large amount of entertainmen/attractions/theming that would seem downright bland or dare I say... boring. Not everything is everyone's cup of tea. I know friends that have ridden the new "Nemo Subs" ride and liked it, but not loved it. During the ride as the Sub goes around toward the waterfall they were looking over going "is this all there is to it?". They didn't ride it before it closed down or they would have really been disappointed. Even the classic "It's A Small World" doesn't play well with everyone. It's not my favorite ride, but that's Ok. My best friends sister thinks the world of it... and that's fine. It is what it is. There are many things we look back upon with colored memories. Memories are precious, but they shouldn't color our perspective and make us not accept what we have for the unattainable goal of what we desire.

This goes for Star Wars as much as it does anything with Disney or just about everything else in life we hold value. As much as Star Wars is part of my childhood, even the original films are far from perfection. We all have to realize that the things we love in life are far from perfect. Nothing in life is as wonderful as our minds make us believe.

The point is that we still believe.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

a great post. i'm glad that fan's of today's theme parks didn't visit disneyland during it's first 5 years... they probably would have ripped it to shreds because it wouldn't be up to their high standards. people tend to forget how disneyland evolved into what it is today...

Anonymous said...

Its important to remember that Hollywood has made its money selling ideals. Nothing in Hollywood is perfect because its not real. Locations are sets. People are actors. Problems are fiction. Hollywood is in the business of selling stories and dreams.

The problem is that many Dinsey fans write about their experiences with the brand as a consumer. What did I think of the movie? What do I think of the parks? What do I think of the merchandise?

The problem with this kind of writing is that its already biased to like Disney. They've already made the purchase and are more likely to give a positive slant critique of their Disney experience as a means to rationalize the time and money spent on it.

Disney fans need to write from an anthropological view. They need to remain objective, skeptical, and removed. A blog that utters the phrase "Disney magic" in lieu of describing some of the company's work is not only using the corporate vernacular, but really not doing their readers justice. There are enough Disney shills in the blogosphere. Anyone claiming that Disney or Lucas are perfection are under-cultured.

Spokker said...

What is this post a defense for? The Small World changes? The Pirates additions? The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage? The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh? The Columbia accident? The Big Thunder accident? The years of burnt out light bulbs and chipped paint on Main St.? The wood rot on the Mark Twain? The loss of the Disney Gallery? What?

I understand that things don't always come out perfect. Indy isn't perfect. The Haunted Mansion isn't perfect. The original park wasn't perfect.

But I don't understand what the need is for a refresher course on the matter.

What is the threshold between saying, "Well, nobody's perfect." and getting irritated?

You talk about unattainable goals. I don't think the goals of many of Disneyland's detractors are unattainable.

We want a Small World without characters. We want to see the park running on all cylinders every day for every guest. Things fall through the cracks occasionally, but Disney charges high prices because of its supposedly high standards. People pay 8 bucks for the worst burger in the world. Where is that money going? The park isn't going to be perfect, but it should be damn close for those prices.

One goal we wanted to see realized was a Mark Twain without wood rot. The goal was to see at least one nightly shift work on the boat, as they have in the past. It eventually happened.

Was that an unattainable goal? We're the "foamers" being unreasonable?

Anonymous said...

Where exactly did Honor call anyone a "foamers" ? I think you're reading into his post what you want to hear, not what he wrote. Take a chill pill, Spokker. He's saying that life is short and nothing is going to be perfect and we shouldn't take anything too seriously.

Something you might want to think about before ranting on him for saying things he didn't say.

Anonymous said...

I think TOT is the perfect theme park attraction, within the context of a theme park.

Things can be perfect in certain contexts, like a circle can be perfect in theory, a situation can work to your advantage perfectly, your dinner can taste "perfect!".

Also, my girlfriend is perfect for me.

Spokker said...

"Where exactly did Honor call anyone a "foamers" ?"

I never said he did.

But so-called foamers are often criticized for expecting unattainable goals and perfection from Disney. I just want to know if when many parts of Disneyland were just rotting away in plain view of guests in the late 90s and early 2000s, if we just whining.

Well Behaved Krissy said...

Great post. I'm enjoying reading your blog. :)

KINGCRAB said...

Where exactly did Honor call anyone a "foamers" ? I think you're reading into his post what you want to hear, not what he wrote. Take a chill pill, Spokker. He's saying that life is short and nothing is going to be perfect and we shouldn't take anything too seriously.

Something you might want to think about before ranting on him for saying things he didn't say.


I totally agree. Spokker needs to stop being so negative starting right now! And he needs to quit spamming these blogs.

Paging Honor Hunter, paging Honor Hunter...

Anonymous said...

"But I don't understand what the need is for a refresher course on the matter."

Wow your comment illustrates exactly why its time for a refresher. You're complaining about prices, chipped paint, and wood rot. You're beyond a concerned customer.

You leave no room for error. Find another company in the same industry that has the same scale and figures as Disney. Then tell us if they're able to successfully avoid all of your Disney's mistakes.

If you find that company, then consider giving them a look over too. I'm sure there is some rotted wood and a loose shutter somewhere too.

Spokker said...

"You're complaining about prices, chipped paint, and wood rot."

Wood rot on the boat that Walt Disney mortgaged his family to buy, is not a valid complaint?

The pictures were posted on MiceAge and "just by coincidence" the Mark Twain was given an unexpected refurbishment, with a sign that stressed the importance of keeping old river boats such as the Twain in top condition.

Wood rot on the Mark Twain? Well, nobody's perfect.

Spokker said...

Also, the Mark Twain used to see nightly shifts in order to keep it in top condition.

Those shifts were eliminated as part of budget cuts and only after last Summer's Twain wood rot fiasco has a shift been scheduled nightly to work on the boat.

We're not asking for Disney to reach unattainable goals. We're asking Disney to live up to the high standards set by its very own company.

Honor Hunter said...

Spokker, play nice...

No need for everyone to get all excited. I didn't mean to start an argument... I was just making a comment based on my perceptions.

Hehe...

Anonymous said...

Platonic "Disney" hugs all around. : )

Spokker said...

Let me ask you, Honor Hunter, what did you think of the park during the Pressler/Harris era? Were you as optimistic as you are today during the Iger reign of sunshine and rainbows?

It just seems like all this forced positivity is somehow meant to disparage the comments by concerned Disney fans. It would seem to me that everything we were complaining about was not for nothing, and that the Disney company, in some ways, has learned from their mistakes, especially the mistakes surrounding DCA.

You talk about a burnt out light bulb here and there, fine, that's to be expected. The problem is vastly improved over the old days. But how many lightbulbs are too many? How many burnt out lightbulbs did you have to see before you wondered where your money was going?

When Main St. still looked all cracked and broken, did you wonder about the track on your favorite roller coaster? Did you wonder if anything was going to fall off the coaster cars and derail the train?

The way Disneyland looked during those dark times was alarming, and I thank the Disney fans who stepped up and made their concerns known, rather than succumb to all this forced positivity.

I'm glad that people like Al Lutz and Kevin Yee exist, not only to call Disney on their follies, but praise them on their achievements, such as Yee's review of Toy Story Mania which ran today.

The complainers have a place, and they are speaking out for a better Disney experience, not just for them, but for you as well.

Honor Hunter said...

And we're getting a better "Disney" experience, Spokker...

I don't think I have to say another word about the Eisner/Pressler Era. I've written post after post Spokker, so I know you know my position on him/them.

My opinion is clearly stated in these post, so I'll let the blog speak for me.

I know you're passionate, Spokker. We all our here... I'm just saying be calm. Be patient and enjoy this time of "sunshine and rainbows" as you call it.

Life is too short. Love the good. Condemn the bad. Encourage the better...

Spokker said...

"I'm just saying be calm."

Another myth surrounding anybody who has anything negative to say, that we're not calm. My heart rate didn't go up one beat while typing any of these posts.

vules Jerne said...

Your heartrate may not have gone up, but I bet your blood pressure did Spokker.

I think Honor's been much more tolerant of you than I would have been. I'd of stopped allowing you to post months ago.

That kind of negativity, glass always half-empty can be destructive. We don't all get depressed and have to go see a shrink like you do everytime Disney does something you may think will cause your whole world to crash in on you.

My validation has nothing to do with what happens in Burbank, but it appears you live and breath whatever they do and say far too literally. I believe what Honor was trying to get across was that passion can sometimes be misplaced. Perhaps you should look for yours in the "Lost and Found" department at Disneyland?

Anonymous said...

"Another myth surrounding anybody who has anything negative to say, that we're not calm."

Calm isn't the right word. You're a complainer. A downer. A lobbyist. You dribble out spin more than a politician. You have no power to change anything you're complaining about. That's why you're annoying.

Spokker said...

"I'd of stopped allowing you to post months ago."

Definitive proof that you wish to silence anyone you disagree with.

"That kind of negativity, glass always half-empty can be destructive."

I have said that I am looking foward to Radiator Springs Racers and the Little Mermaid dark ride because it looks to be a turning point for Disney attractions. Most advanced audio animatronics to date? High budgets? I'm there. Far more exciting than digital projections and meaningless additions to classic attractions.

"We don't all get depressed and have to go see a shrink like you do everytime Disney does something you may think will cause your whole world to crash in on you."

My demeanor in real life has never changed because of anything Disney has ever done.

Again, you paint people who have a different opinion as crazy. That's your strategy.

"You have no power to change anything you're complaining about."

So? Praising Disney for everything they do has no purpose either and accomplishes nothing. This is the Internet. The discussion is fun, something to do between studying or working. That's pretty much it. I'm having fun here.

You seem to be taking it far more seriously than I am, where anytime anyone says anything the least bit negative about Disney *your* world comes crashing down.

jaded in H'wood said...

Spokness: "The pictures were posted on MiceAge"

This isn't MiceAge

"blah, blah, blah..." in response to every response doesn't exactly show a lot of calm.

-----------------------------------
HH: great post. life is short and should be enjoyed. let the great memories live on. make new "child-like" memories.

-----------------------------------
anonymous: what do you mean about stuff in H'wood not being real? dream killer!

jaded in h'wood said...

btw: Raiders of the Lost Ark is the perfect movie!

Anonymous said...

"I'm having fun here."

It's tickle me Emo!! "I hurt myself to feel alive!!!!"

Sheesh. Even if you are having fun, having fun by being so negative all the time must be a real downer and is not healthy.

Look at you, someone makes a comment to you and you get paranoid exclaiming- "Definitive proof that you wish to silence anyone you disagree with."

Do they make mickey ears out of tinfoil? Ya might wanna buy some thinking the way you are.

Spokker said...

"Even if you are having fun, having fun by being so negative all the time must be a real downer and is not healthy."

LOL he said that he would have stopped allowing me to post a long time ago.

Even when the positivity around Disney fandom reaches such saccharine levels, I would never tell somebody to stop posting, or physically remove their ability to post, even if I could

Even if the lovefest does make me want to gag :)

Anonymous said...

Lovefest?

Man, maybe he mentioned he'd stop you from posting because you're creepy in your pessimism. Again, not healthy.

Why does it make you gag? Do you think that the people involved in the 'lovefest' so as you put it are below you in some way?

If this makes you gag, again, why spend your time here? It's creepily unhealthy and sad for you to do so.

Spokker said...

"Walt had the idea that guests could feel perfection. I once complained to him about the construction of some new stagecoaches. Walt had asked that the cab be suspended by leather straps as early western stagecoaches had been. I thought that this was too much and told Walt, 'People aren't going to get this, it is too much perfection.' 'Yes, they will,' he responded. 'They will feel good about it. And they will understand that it's all done for them.' He went on to lecture me, 'If they don't understand it, if you do something and people don't respond to it, it's because you are a poor communicator. But if you really reach them and touch them, they will respond because people are okay.' He then insisted that there were 'no bad people; some act badly because of incorrect information.' I knew then that he expected us to give our guests good information in both design and story."

John Hench
Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of the Show

Spokker said...

"Man, maybe he mentioned he'd stop you from posting because you're creepy in your pessimism. Again, not healthy."

Man, if you're that bent out of shape from my negative posts you should see some of the real purists out there that make even me cringe.

There's one guy whose posts I've read who condemns Main St. today because they have modern electronic cash registers in the shops.

Now that's hardcore. :)

Anonymous said...

If this makes you gag, again, why spend your time here?

Anonymous said...

Why does it make you gag? Do you think that the people involved in the 'lovefest' so as you put it are below you in some way?

Anonymous said...

Spokker, wasn't it you who trolled on Micechat a couple months back before they deleted you?

Spokker said...

"Spokker, wasn't it you who trolled on Micechat a couple months back before they deleted you?"

Yup. Those guys don't have the best sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

So you're an admitted troll. Noted.

Mouseinfo keeps their eyes on you, and honor probably does too. Hopefully someday you'll get so stupidly riled up you'll go out trolling again and get banned. I'm sure it'll be hilariously pathetic when you do it.

Oh, nice job ignoring questions there too. Guess you have no answers... so you're spweing out crap with no reason. Also noted, but we already knew that.

Spokker said...

"Mouseinfo keeps their eyes on you"

I'm already banned from MouseInfo for making light of the recent Disneyland Hotel suicide. Apparently they are the only ones who have lost somebody they loved and God forbid anyone make light of such a serious situation!

I was never riled up. I was laughing the whole time.

Spokker said...

I'm not sure I'm a troll however. Everything I say is my personal opinion and I say none of it with the intent and riling people up. How people react to it is their own problem. A lot of people on Disney forums are pretty sensitive.

It would be nice to discuss Disneyland for once though.

Anonymous said...

Suprised I didn't notice before, oh well, good riddance. Shows what a sick person you are.

Again, you'll likely make a similar mistake on here before too long and be banned from here.

Anonymous said...

Banned from various Disney sites one might think you'd get a clue.........

Spokker said...

"Shows what a sick person you are."

Haha someone who posts negative things about Disneyland is sick? I usually reserve that title for pedophiles and murderers, but I guess you've got your priorities straight.

Spokker said...

"Banned from various Disney sites one might think you'd get a clue........."

Oh boy, no more reading stunning posts like "OMG TOY STORY MANIA IZ GUNNA BE SO KEWL CAN I BREASTFEED MY DS ON IT????!!!!" over and over again. What a loss. At least when Honor Hunter shills for Disney it's interesting to read.

Anonymous said...

Haha someone who posts negative things about Disneyland is sick?

No, but someone who makes fun of a death is. Thus why you were banned, you're a sick person.

Oh boy, no more reading stunning posts like "OMG TOY STORY MANIA IZ GUNNA BE SO KEWL CAN I BREASTFEED MY DS ON IT????!!!!" over and over again. What a loss.

Wow. Jeez. So... uh... why were you there in the first place? This is just you exhibiting how much you're upset about it. Why are you here? Last time you said it makes you gag.

At least when Honor Hunter shills for Disney it's interesting to read.

Shill huh? Sheesh, why do you even go to Disneyland??? You make no sense, you're some sort of Disney masochist. If this is a shill to you WHY DO YOU READ IT?

Again, keep it up, you'll make the same mistakes as before and be banned. Then you can read, and not be able to respond, a win win situation for all.

Spokker said...

"No, but someone who makes fun of a death is. Thus why you were banned, you're a sick person."

Well, death is kind of a jerk most of the time, so I don't see why we can't make fun of him.

"So... uh... why were you there in the first place?"

I enjoy talking Disneyland. Unfortunately I seem to be the most interesting subject to you (people?). Since you're posting anonymously and don't have the courage to show yourselves, I have no idea who or how many people I am talking with.

I on the other hand provide my AIM SN and you could take this little squabble to instant messaging anytime :)

"Sheesh, why do you even go to Disneyland???"

Because the Haunted Mansion didn't have an Eddie Murphy AA placed in it. I love that ride, and it seems to be worth spending $160 bucks a year for the privilege of riding it :)

Honor Hunter said...

I shill for no one, Spokker...

Spokker said...

"I shill for no one, Spokker..."

"Scrubs! Coming soon to ABC!"

Come on, I really enjoy the vast majority of your articles, especially your excellent Tokyo history lessons, which lured me to your blog in the first place.

But let's be honest here, some of these posts could honestly be Disney spam to the untrained eye. And listen, I stay out of the comments for the posts that don't interest me.

No big deal.

Honor Hunter said...

I happen to like "Scrubs", so sue me. Nothing wrong with telling people where they can find it since it's moving networks.

Go to bed, Spokker...

KINGCRAB said...

I'm glad that people like Al Lutz and Kevin Yee exist, not only to call Disney on their follies, but praise them on their achievements, such as Yee's review of Toy Story Mania which ran today.

Folks like you would be a lot wiser to curse their existence rather than be happy about idiots like them.

There's nothing good about Lutz or Yee or about who they are or what they do. They don't deserve to be defended--THEY DESERVE TO DIE...for their crimes against Disney and for turning too many Disney fans into a bunch of loonies who will never ever be statisfied with what Disney does, no matter what they do!!!

Spokker said...

"There's nothing good about Lutz or Yee or about who they are or what they do. They don't deserve to be defended--THEY DESERVE TO DIE"

Now who's the sick one? Haha.

Well, Al's about due for a heart attack so maybe you'll get your wish. I'm surprised it didn't happen when they dragged him kicking and screaming into DCA for the first time.

I'm not sure about Yee though. He's Asian, and those Asians live a long time. He seemed pretty healthy when I used to hang out with him years ago.

Berkeley said...

You can’t be overly-positive all the time. It’s ok to criticize Disney and shed light on the negative, too. Like how bad of a movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” will be. Or how bad last year’s Underdog was (which is ironically another movie about talking dogs…hmm…aren’t they releasing another dog movie, Bolt, soon…?). I don’t recall reading anything about that here.

But it’s also sometimes refreshing to hear something positive after reading sites like MiceChat/Age, where you hear about every single ridiculous negative detail from dead light bulbs to unthemed trash cans.

Spokker said...

"MiceChat/Age, where you hear about every single ridiculous negative detail from dead light bulbs to unthemed trash cans."

In Kevin Yee's recent review of Toy Story Mania he actually praises the attraction for having themed trash cans.

KINGCRAB said...

In Kevin Yee's recent review of Toy Story Mania he actually praises the attraction for having themed trash cans.

Do you always have to come up with flimsy excuses to support those hacks Al Lutz and Kevin Yee, who happen to be very bad boys like you?