Friday, January 27, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Post for a New Year

It is no secret that our family spent a week before Christmas at Walt Disney World in Florida. It seems that this has become a bit of a tradition for us, as we have visited that spot 7 times in the last 10.5 years (and are already in the planning stages to go in May of 2013). When we arrived this time, I had the big idea to write a paper on the experience, to try to decipher why I find it so appealing to return to the same theme park year after year (and, potentially, every second year for the rest of my life).

The point of such a study is the relationship between power and desire at Walt Disney World. My idea is that power (Disney power) is what elicits desire (at least in the opinion of this researcher). Foucault might ask where biopower fits in to this. Is there anything in terms of what society needs from its people? Does Disney contribute to biopower, the requirements of modern society? I also thought about Paul Virilio, r regarding speed and spectacle, two elements of the Walt Disney World experience that often results in overstimulation (so much so that the girls needed to stay at the hotel for a morning to "decompress"). I'd also love to respond to Jon Pahl's various criticisms of the "public theology" of Walt Disney World. I think I agree with some of his criticisms. I'm just not sure that they are so problematic (maybe Disney can be "redeemed").

Consider the Disney monorail for a moment: it is a kind of site of conflation of globalization and postmodernity (or maybe modernity, more accurately). I'm thinking about Harold Innis' notions of space/time bias as well as concepts such as space/time compression in globalization. Typing this out, I'm not sure if this works theoretically (or what my original thoughts were).

So, here are some keywords at the end for consideration: biopower, speed, "secular" public theology, space/time compression in a Baudrillardian space. I'm not sure this will go anywhere, but it's a blog entry for a new year, in any case.