Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Everybody Tells me I Look Like Aladdin", Confesses Chris Mitchell in New Memoir

Several years ago, I told my friend Mary that I wanted to write a book about folks obsessed with Disney. I'd join all the fan groups, visit all the parks, meet cast members, go to a wedding, a cruise, the whole nine yards.

I now know that the name for this kind of person is a Disniac.

Now that's not exactly what Chris Mitchell, skateboard photographer, obsessive graffiti tagger, all around hipster, had in mind for his book. Instead, Chris ditches SoCal for a gig at Walt Disney World, inspired after meeting another extreme sports dude who has bought into the Disney lifestyle.

And why not? He's lost his job, been ditched by his girlfriend, and his mom has been diagnosed with cancer. Why not go to a place where people never die?

So Chris joins Disney and learns a few things:
Nobody ever dies in the Magic Kingdom
Almost everybody is gay (he is not). (Richard Florida touches on why Orlando and New Orleans are the two cities that contradict his thesis about GLBT populations being an indicator of strong creative cultures.)

And then there is the cardinal rule:

It's a rule that will bite him in the butt numerous times, and more than that, reflects on the folks drawn to Disney in the first place. For they are truly characters--some real, some reimagined.

Pretty good fun and I certainly learned a lot about obscure Disney characters. And yes, no matter how good your hair is, everyone in character must wear a wig.

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