Friday, April 23, 2010

Oh, those meshuggenah goyim! It's a small, small, small, small world

Maybe this isn't the right place for this, but I feel the need to go rant for a little and this is my platform. If this kind of thing isn't your speed go ahead and scroll down to the Genie or whoever. No hard feelings. But when you feel the need to shout, well, you tend to choose the place you can shout the loudest and this is the best I've got. Sorry folks. This is gonna get a little involved...

There is a rumor out there that Walt Disney was an anti-semite. It's been passed around enough at this point that I'm pretty sure it's accepted as fact now.

It's not true.

I'm not sure how this happened. I've often ascribed this to a case of mistaken identity--the person I think the public is thinking about is Henry Ford. Ford was a contemporary of Disney's and Ford was a RABID anti-semite and nazi supporter. Just an awful human being. So maybe people get them confused?

But the current media seems to go beyond that. Family Guy, in particular has made it a leitmotif (to whip out a big word) that Disney (and by association, the entire corporation) hated Jews, supported Nazi Germany, et al. and I find it hard to believe that the creators of that show are really thinking of Henry Ford. Rather, they must be misinformed some other way, or they're just doing it because they think it's funny to smear people. Tough to say really.

So here's the reality. Evidence that Disney was an anti-semite is slim to none. At the same time Ford was decrying Roosevelt for attacking our Nazi superiors, Disney shut down his whole studio to make animated educational films for the US Armed Forces. Training people to fight Nazis is not the M.O. of a swastica-saluting-semite-hater.

He never said anything anti-semitic that we can find. He was a member of a club that did have some anti-semitic members, but it's unclear if he agreed with them or even knew them. At the time, it was rather gauche to hate Jews. Frankly it's hard to find anyone on Earth who didn't associate with anti-semites in one way or another (even the Japanese joined in, which is pretty funny since it's fairly clear they didn't even know what a Jew was). Many people point to Disney's idea of an "ideal commune" (what eventually led to the creation of EPCOT and later, Independence, FL). But this was more 70s idealism (thus the association with the pristine-in-hindsight 1950s) than facist elitism.

So, no, Disney was almost certainly not anti-semitic. But....

OK, so I was in Disney World last week for a vacation with Mrs. Yakov. A good time was had by all. Really. I genuinely like the place. And if you can go to the Magic Kingdom and not get goosebumps then you're not just a downer, you're a corpse.

Still, I couldn't help but notice how GOYISHE it was. Actually, that's not even accurate. How CHRISTIAN it was. Ever theme park has a Mickey's Christmas store. You can get any character dressed as Santa. As a Christmas tree ornament. Singing a jaunty Christmas tune. Can we got one MF-ing Mickey with a yarmulke?! That would be a negatory.

Here's my thing--I happen to see religion as a personal thing. Your relationship with G-d is between you and G-d, and I'd like to think that the Almighty isn't really into all the PDA. I don't care what you celebrate, just don't celebrate it on my yard. Christmas lights that you can see from the highway, bumper stickers that tell me how much Jesus loves me, any of that stuff I find to be in poor taste. Goyim, don't feel like I'm picking on you. I hate the giant menorahs and chanukah bushes just as much.

So, yeah, if I had my way, Disney World wouldn't have any of that stuff. But they do. If you're Hindu, Islamic, or Jewish you are out of luck my friend. No Mickey with a chai. No Israel in the World Showcase.

One of the things that Disney World does so well is it transports you to another place. You never think of yourself in Florida. You're in a magical land with castles and characters and honest-to-goodness magic. And for some reason, it is also a magical land with no Jews.

And that bothers me. A lot.


  1. OK, i hear you. i am glad to read this news about Walt Disney because honestly i've heard for years about him being anti-Jew. So this was nice to see you refute that.

    Funny, i was just at Disneyland (in Anaheim, California) just this past Monday. i have a year's pass so i try to go every month. i went last November and they already had it decked out for Xmas, which is not that big of a deal.

    But what bugged the crap out of me was that their "Haunted Mansion" ride, which i have loved since i was a kid, was changed completely to showcase "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which of course i have never seen but i've spotted the characters from time to time over the years. It really ruined that ride for me; i was very disappointed.

    The Haunted Mansion, pretty nondenominational as rides go, had all these Christmas-y stuff in there. Ew. Not a fan.

    Disneyland does offer some vegetarian (and likely kosher-ish) fare in some of their "fine dining establishments" (sarcasm, read) so we have to give them credit. I bring my own vittles but that's another story.

    And LOL, have you seen this?
    There's this, too...

    But Anaheim... not so Jew friendly as Orlando, just so you know. Orange County is not a Heeb mecca by any stretch...

    But this is a cute story:

    Thanks for this great post...

  2. I'm actually kind of surprised no Israel in the world showcase.......

    I'd think Orange County, being a rich suburb of a very Jewish metro area, would be more "Jew friendly" than Orlando. Yeah, there's lots of Jews in Florida, but mostly WAAAAAYYYY south of Orlando. I wouldn't call it "hee haw country" like I might Jacksonville or Pensacola, but still....

  3. I was just in Disney World last week. Much to my surprise I noticed that the its a small world ride included two orthodox Jewish dolls dressed in modest clothing and tzitzit under a chuppah. You can watch a video of the ride. They appear at minute 2:20. The world is not such a cold place. See there are permanent Jews in Disney...though it would have been nice if they had a doll with a yarmulke. When I think of a Jew I think of someone with a yarmulke. It would never occur to most goyim that the ultra-orthodox couple in the ride are Jews, because most people don't know what an ultra-orthodox Jew is. I am a goy...I didn't know about orthodox Jews until last year when I held a summer job near an ultra-orthodox area.

  4. Disney WANTED Israel to be part of the Epcot Showcase of nations. They were so certain they would get it, if only because they were actually offering to subsidize it (as they offered for no one else) that all the original advertisements even listed it as a future attraction. But Israel turened them down.

    I have never read the reason why, but it occurs to me: what could Israel put there for 3/4-sized public, secular consumption? Every single famous landmark in Israel is *religious*. As near as I can figure, the Israeli leadership refused to let them trivialize Jewish holy places. Don't blame Disney for this; it's absolutely not their fault.