Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Grump's Opinion: Small World Big Controversy

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

-- James Baldwin

Did you think that a controversy such as the changes to Disneyland's It's a Small World could pass without hearing my 2 cents?

Once I saw that Jeff Pepper dared to touch this rather sensitive subject, I felt it was ok to state my opinion.

I believe that all sides of this argument have valid points.  I don't believe anyone is wrong on either side of the fence because it's not right to say that someone is wrong when it comes to how they FEEL about a subject.  By doing so, all you are doing is telling them that their feelings are wrong.

But, when it comes to how I feel about the subject.  And since this is my blog and my post, it is all about my feelings, right?

When I'm 100 years old and getting ready to breathe my last breath and I'm thinking back to my many, many laps on that little river that carries us through It's a Small World, I'm not going to be thinking longly about the way the attraction looked when it was unveiled in the 1960's.  I'm also not going to be bemoaning any changes that I felt were not to my liking.

What I'm going to remember is the look on the children's faces that I had seen over the years. 

For those who don't know me, my wife and I don't have any children.  But, I have had the privilege of logging some serious time on this great attraction with my niece, Regan, and nephew, Collin, and Billy Devine (son of Tim Devine).

I have also observed countless children of total strangers.

To the average adult, this ride is many things:

  • An attraction with a song that dig into your soul like a parasite
  • A piece of moving art
  • A grand socio-political statement on world unity

But, to a child it's just absolute wonder.

I do believe many of the children will notice that something is different about the attraction when it opens back up.  Many of those same children will also be able to point out those changes. 

But, the only change that I believe will billy1really upset them is one that causes the closing the doors of this venerable attraction.

I can say with 100% assurance that right now with the attraction down for refurbishment, my nephew Collin, who suffers from pretty severe Autism (among many other things), is suffering far more with his inability to get onto his favorite attraction than if the ride was changed to include a few Disney Characters or to include a tribute to America in lieu of the Rainforest Scene.

So my opinion about this controversy can be summarized with a picture


Unknown said...

GREAT article, Ray.

I agree with your thoughts. It is all about perspective.

Paul M. Carhart said...

Well said.

Tim said...

i'm with you also, ray. well put. cute kid... ;)

Unknown said...

George, Paul, and Tim,

Thanks for your comments. I wanted to take a different point of view on this subject

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that perspective. Nice pic.