Thursday, January 3, 2008

Manufactured Experiences

I'm not the biggest fan of Disneyland. I realize that this is anathema to many people, one of them who happens to be my sister, but alas, its true. Disneyland is highly over-rated. Maybe its great for children, but for adults I don't understand the allure.

For a while, I didn't know why I was apathetic to the Magic Kingdom, but I've recently realized the cause. When you are at Disneyland (or any Disney theme park), everything is a poor substitute for something real. Instead of climbing the Matterhorn, you ride around a caricature of it in a cart. Instead of visiting various cultures, you glide in a boat listening to an annoyingly persistent song. Every experience at Disneyland is a manufactured one - designed to create a reduced representation of something great. It's called the place "where dreams come true", but its not. Its where contrived versions of dreams are produced and where people settle for less than greatness in exchange for convenience. And the really weird thing is that when you are there, you really are in another world. You can spend an entire day in one of Disney's parks and never venture into the community in which it resides. You were there, without ever making an appearance. This may or may not have been Walt's original intention, but it is what's come to be.

I fear that being content with manufactured experiences isn't exclusive to Disney, We all settle for less - sometimes its cause of fear, other times its because of expense, sometimes its just laziness. God has given us a banquet and we opt for fast food. Instead, may we always experience the bountifulness of His blessings.



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Manufactured Experiences