09 March 2008

Fake/Facade/Fantasy/Farce

....or, "In four words only, describe your weekend."

Last Saturday night, I went to a frat party. At this point in my life, I really have no interest (or business, for that matter) in going to a frat party, and I'm not going to get into the where, how, or why....suffice it to say that I have a friend who is involved with one and we thought it would be entertaining. And it was....it actually felt a little like I was on the Discovery Channel doing a show about Africa, like I had my safari hat on and I was taking pictures to document the wildlife. If Africa were a fraternity house and the "wildlife" were drunk undergrads in bathing suits.

On Sunday morning, after only a few hours of sleep, I got up and boarded a train to Anaheim for a visit to Disneyland. I have been to Disney World before, but with my friend Liz visiting, we decided it would be a great opportunity to see the original Happiest Place on Earth. It was, overall, a very pleasant day.....Disneyland is extremely well-kept, clean, and full of vibrant imagery pertaining to all of its rides and characters. And, despite the fact that half the rides we wanted to go on were closed (Space Mountain closed as we reached the front of the 45-minute-long line, in an ironic redoux of the time I tried to ride it in Disney World), we amused ourselves with people-watching, frozen treats, and a trip down Big Thunder Mountain.

While Liz and I dodged crowds - and strollers - at Disneyland under the gorgeous California sun, it occurred to me how similar our experience there was with the frat party the night before. I mean, it's all human theater, isn't it? The partiers were at their glitziest with make-up, jewelry and skimpy outfits while they reveled underneath lasers and bouncing beach balls meant to evoke a springtime theme. At Disneyland, people ate, drank, rode rides, and watched shows with characters meant to evoke a "happy" theme. Except both were false, in a sense, since both environments placed people in an unnatural context and encouraged them to "perform" in various ways. Both events were, in that respect, also exhausting - we can't walk around in giant heels and bikinis all day every day, just like we can't subject ourselves to roller coaster excitement constantly (at least I can't, without massive quantities of Dramamine).

But, as I like to say, each to his own. Despite the curiosity with which I approached both events, I did enjoy myself. And that's probably all anyone asks for, right?


frat party photo courtesy of Lisa...did you think I was kidding about the lasers?


What do you think Walt Disney is suggesting to Mickey, anyway?


fake wildlife, as opposed to the "wildlife" I saw Saturday night


This may have been the best thing I saw all day. People waited in line for 30-45 minutes to ride "Autopia", Disney's "funny-cars-on-a-track" ride. Except there was a traffic jam, which meant that people waited in line to simulate what they do every day in California - sit in traffic.

3 comments:

liz said...

WWMBD*?

*what would michael barry do?

kristin w. said...

man oh man, I haven't been to a frat party since I was 16!

Donna said...

Daddytypes today covered the tragedy that the original It's A Small World ride is being "updated" with the addition of Disney characters into the design, by a very talented woman named Mary Blair.

It saddens me. I recall IASMW being non-commercial and celebrating the children of the world - not being yet another ad for Little Mermaid. Sigh. Link here:
http://daddytypes.com/2008/03/13/imagineers_set_to_screw_up_mary_blairs_its_a_small_world_ride.php