The Oncoming Storm: Losing Norway, Culture, and EPCOT’s Vision
On October 5th 2014, EPCOT’s Maelstrom will close and Disney will begin to revamp the Norwegian pavilion to include the characters, music, and narrative from Frozen, last year’s hit animated film.
I’ll put this simply, because it’s too soon to think of anything else to say: I’m angry. And I’m sad.
World Showcase’s original intent was supposed to be so much more than another repository for Disney’s brands and intellectual property. World Showcase and all of EPCOT was created out of Disney’s once unerring ability to be a company that showcased things, and showcased things that mattered. World Showcase was a permanent (if slightly stale) World’s Fair that existed to be an exhibition of the diversity of man, uniting and captivating visitors with the beauty and drama of the human difference. World Showcase was bravely dedicated to cultures that have defined what our world civilization had done throughout time. Does this description sounds grandiose and overzealous? Good. It should. For a very long time, EPCOT Center inspired these thoughts and these feelings with the content that it had on display. Norway and Maelstrom fit this theme like a glove.
While madcap and quirky and often downright puzzling, Maelstrom at least showed off the sinew of Norwegian myths and legends and culture. Brave vikings, mystical trolls, the barren wilderness of the arctic… The idea of Norway was encapsulated in a short ride. It was a romp. It was a short experience in the “genre” of Norwegian culture.
And now? It’ll be replaced by singing princesses that are “inspired” by the Scandinavian culture. This is a problem. Disney can not showcase culture vis-a-vis something made in their own image. Disney’s Frozen is more a reflection of Disney Animation than it is a reflection of culture. Aesthetic and narrative cues might come from Norway, but they were used to create a place called Arendale… a place that is fictional. A place based in pop culture fantasy. To show off Norway as it really is, Disney needed to extrapolate upon the underlying archetypes that existed within our collective unconscious about the place. Maelstrom already did that. Frozen will not. Frozen is a narrow narrative that uses Norwegian aesthetics and adapts one Norwegian story into a fairly enjoyable film.
Frankly, I like Frozen. I saw it in theaters, twice. But this enjoyment of it doesn’t broker any acceptable vision of EPCOT that includes shoehorning a modern film into a space that was meant to speak to the greater aspects of culture and mythology that define an entire country.
EPCOT, which has undergone a tumultuous trajectory over the past decade or so, is now faced with yet another thematic rift. Norway and Maelstrom now join The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Journey into your Imagination and Innoventions and other attractions that do not support a coherent and cogent vision of what EPCOT once was and should be. Some gems in the park will still exist, of course, but this is a large step in misaligning EPCOT’s focus and making the park less unique. Things like the alleyways of Morocco and Impressions of France and Living with the Land can only do so much on their own to support what EPCOT was and is supposed to be.
EPCOT faces an oncoming storm in removing Maelstrom. I hope it can weather it. I am an optimistic person, but a loss as large as this hurts. And it even hurts to admit that. With the removal of Maelstrom and the inclusion of Norway, there is no stopping what Disney can decide to do with other original and cultural attractions. Disney is now crossing a line into synergizing what was meant to be above and beyond what could be found in a magic kingdom park, or any other Disney park.
It’s a wicked storm, indeed. It’s a maelstrom.
Yo, this is long, but it’s important if you’re into a vision of the perfect tomorrow. You ARE into a vision of the perfect tomorrow, aren’t you?
Now nobody better be saying they don’t know how to make tofu.
Go make it, bub.
can we just talk about the biggest plot twist in doctor who history
Can we talk about how I’m still not over this plot twist.
you can see the realization in the doctor and martha’s eyes as they’re smiling and it dawns on them that Jack is going to become a giant face
Just one line and I lost my shit.
Second best scene in dr who to can Van Gogh
According to yourfaveisproblematic:
- That tiny little thing where her entire damn TV show has no POC in it
- POC cast in Girls play only “the help”, random people:
- Sidné Anderson as “Jamaican Nanny”
- Jermel Howard as “Young Black Guy”
- Moe Hindi as “Roosevelt Hotel Bellhop”
- Jo Yang as “Tibetan Nanny”
- The time she added a black actor (Donald Glover, who is very problematic in his own right and will be getting a post soon) for a couple episodes, during which she accused his character of fetishizing her as a white woman, and declaring that she “doesn’t see race” and “doesn’t see him as black”. Pro tip: erasing people’s identities and experiences is still racist.
- About the lack of POC on Girls: “We really tried to be aware and bring in characters whose job it was to go “Hashtag white people problems, guys.” You know, because it’s the job of POC to go “hashtag white people problems” all the damn time.
- This Islamophobic tweet:
- The super Orientalist essay she wrote about a visit to Japan. Choice quotes include:
- “She weighs about seventy-three pounds and has hands like paper cranes”
- “I can’t imagine a passionate affair with a native man”
“Yellowish Fever: I know I said I could never imagine a Japanese affair, but I’ve changed my mind. Kazu, the art handler hanging my mom’s show, is gorgeous like the strong, sexy, dreadlocked Mongol in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (causing my sister to email the instruction: “Yeah, girl. crouch that tiger, hide that dragon. P.S. That’s a Chinese movie”)”
- “Japanese people look so young — fourteen year olds in ill-fitting suits. What kind of business could they all be doing? When they cross the street it looks like a music video, or the cover of Abbey Road. They are so orderly and leave a foot of space between themselves and the next office escapee.”
- “The White Man Cometh: Being the only Caucasian in a room, you almost feel invisible because you are so visible. When you’re in Mexico or someplace, at least they want your paper dollars. But here, we are uncouth, smelly, hairy. We have swine-flu. Our currency is inferior and our history is short. Yet the Japanese also love Sid Vicious, cowboys, birthday cakes, bagels.”
- “Her former colleague (a word she pronounces cawl-eee-gew) had an affair with Kazu, art handler crush, and it was a great dishonor, not only for that woman’s husband but for everyone who knew either cheater”
- “Sometimes, when you’ve been in Japan for ten days, you start to get a little funny… You will start bowing to people who hold open a door or sell you a honeydew yogurt or inform you that there are fish flakes on some crackers you’re not sure you want. You will flash a peace sign and assume a pigeon toed stance whenever someone aims a camera at you.”
- “Remember that L’s sound like R’s and vice versa”
- “Tada asks my age. I say “23, last week.” He’s excited. “HOPPY BIRSDAY!””
- "A random guy in a French maid’s apron says, “You so sexy, RENA.””
- “I had this dumb, Western idea. Like, I’m going to go to India and it’s gonna be so transcendent that I’m not gonna be afraid of death anymore, and I’m going to lay down so many of my Western anxieties and embrace a new kind of knowingness and bring it back to the U.S.”
- “We do a really good job in this country of basically sealing off sick people and sealing off toilets and sealing off everything that lets us know we’re animals. And in India not only do they not do that, there’s no interest in doing that.”
- During her trip to India, she said she sympathized more with “the stray dogs she saw than the poverty-stricken people.”
- “I hated India. I know you are not allowed to hate India. But I did. I wasn’t happy. And I felt crazy. I am a hypochondriac. I saw too many puppies that I thought needed me. So many moms and I got in a big fight and I left India. Early.”
- On the cost of her apartment: “It was this cheesy thing where they listed the prices people bought homes for. And its said something like Nicole Richie, 5.3 million dollars, Lena Dunham 430,000 dollars. It was my proudest New York Real Estate moment.” Are we supposed to be impressed that she spent ~only~ half a million dollars?
- How Girls constantly includes scenes of rape or sexual assault, and then depicts them as totally fine and no big deal
- “The world’s getting more and more full. Our generation is not just white girls. It’s guys. Women of color. Gay people.” Well that about sums it up. Those are all the existing types of people. There are NO others. And none of those categories overlap, either.
- The huge amount of nepotism on that show, which makes her assertion that the all-white casting was “a complete accident” seem very unlikely.
- “I’m not super thin, but I’m thin, for like, Detroit” which is almost definitely racist, and classist as a bare minimum.
- “The vet was a young, sweet man. Definitely Jewish, which is something I care about only in times of crisis”
- “I want to date a male flight attendant. Everyone I’ve slept with is gay anyway”
- “She was always doing cleanses, yet she still had an inner tube of flesh around her middle—something that I wouldn’t begrudge if her son hadn’t once told me that he thought Nancy and I had ‘the same genre of body’.”
- “Jonah didn’t have a very specific style beyond dressing vaguely like a middle-aged lesbian”
- About a girl she knew and bullied as a child: “Cassie was a very fat girl we knew who we had nicknamed fat Cassie because she also wasn’t that nice.”
- This fuckin tweet:
..,this old pigeon shit
It’s not over, don’t forget
At 20, Davidson is the 3rd youngest cast member in the history of ‘SNL,’ after Anthony Michael Hall who was 17 and Eddie Murphy who was 19. He ties Robert Downey Jr. who was also 20.
Deadline is also reporting that Mike O’Brien will return to just being a writer and that Davidson is the only new hire for this year.
rosalind franklin discovered the double helix in dna but her research was stolen by two men before she could properly share the information and now watson and crick are famous for what she spent years studying
Plus she developed ovarian cancer that was most likely caused by radiation from the HUNDREDS of hours spent using x ray crystallography to ascertain the structure. She literally worked herself to death to be a footnote in most genetics textbooks.
"I don’t understand bisexuality, I don’t think it exists"
well I don’t understand physics but you don’t see me floating off into space because gravity no longer applies to me