Good news! I may have just reached the most important milestone of my lifetime — on Monday, I reached the Happiest Place on Earth™.
My arrival filled me with a new-yet-familiar sensation — as soon as I arrived, a wave of ecstasy swept over me, followed by an even more dazzling wave of marching bands, parades and bountiful merchandise. Every step I took, I basked in the omnipotent presence of The One Who Started It All, Mickey Mouse, the image of whom was plastered, painted, sculpted, and adorned upon the scalps of his most fervent devotees. At times, even the ambiance became still when the voice of Mickey resounded through the park.
And then I saw him. There he was, Mickey Mouse, leading an impeccably uniformed band as they trumpeted their hymns in his honor. He conducted them as he conducts the deepest of our hearts’ desires — a theme solidified in the glorious fireworks display and accompanying anthemic score. A vague surge of reverence overcame me when I saw the icon in the flesh, as it were. Though I’ve traveled with the impression that Mickey is always somewhere nearby, it was something else entirely to be immersed in his Kingdom.
Sociological observations aside, I actually had a very good time. I was reluctant to visit Disneyland — I mean, it‘s a theme park that insists a little too sincerely that it‘s the happiest place on earth. So I was anxious because I really wanted to enjoy myself for Ashley’s sake. It was her birthday, after all, and I didn’t want to put a dampener on her day.
Actually, this last thought was the one that kept me enthusiastic — I realized the day wasn’t about the capitalist manipulation of emotional needs or the borrowed religious motifs. It was about taking joy in the company of the girl I love and in the rides that were actually pretty freaking awesome.
You know, I was going to continue this post with how my progress in the networking world is going, but I think I’ll hold off for now. I feel this subject can stand on its own, and I’d just like to wrap it by concisely tackling how I can apply this lesson to my worldview as a whole. Yes, there are plenty of things to be pessimistic/cynical about. But really, even if something seems fishy in the big picture (be it Disney, Apple, Microsoft, the whole “Hollywood system” or Red Lobster) most of the individual people found within are genuine, hard-working human beings.
The artists who conceptualized Mickey’s pals and the architects who designed the buildings are people who took great satisfaction and pride in what they achieved. And their audience really did sit enthralled at the greatest of their masterpieces — I know I was indebted to Disney when I first watched Fantasia, the single greatest influence on my young imagination.
Now, a few days later, my empty bank account tells me that debt is repaid. But though Monday’s adventure gave me a nauseatingly high balance on my credit card, I feel very proud to have celebrated Ashley’s birthday at a place we could both lose ourselves in excitement. And you know, maybe those tourists with the mouse ears were onto something.