Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I went to Disneyland last weekend, with reservations because of my loathing of consumerism and forced fun. When we arrived, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was worse than I had imagined. The most frequent message one sees as one walks around the park is on the sides of the garbage cans: "Waste please." At any given moment I could count four or five garbage cans bearing that message. I had known going in that I would be the target of clandestine attempts to get me to spend, but the flagrance of this message was preposterous! Only one trash can I saw bore a different message, but it was the same instruction, just less congenial: "Waste." I still struggle to believe it. The Disney Corporation has to have known what it was doing when it ordered thousands of trash cans with that message. The saddest part is that it seemed to be working; throughout the park people were paying exorbitant amounts of money on mundane objects like hats, frozen yogurts, water, and photos. People were wasting hours in lines for cheesy, boring rides. Many of them were wasting space and oxygen with their Mickey-Mouse-in-a-maze mentality (and also they were blocking my view of the fireworks). I considered dressing up as a Disneyland employee and standing at the exit gates, trying to awaken the consumers to a sense of responsibility by saying, "Thank you for wasting here at Disneyland," but I decided the effort would have been wasted.