I live and work in Boston. This time last week, I’d spent the day at home, complying with a “Shelter-in-Place” request from my city, as law enforcement was searching the suburb of Watertown for one of the men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing. They eventually found him, a couple miles from my house.
Now, my Jentasmic! column for StudiosCentral usually comes out every other Friday, so usually I’d post a link to it here that same day, but somehow I just couldn’t think about Disney Parks in the midst of such turmoil. But now, two things come to me.
Since the Marathon bombings, discussions swirl around me about security and danger, and what price we do or should pay in privacy and/or convenience in order to protect our physical security. Somehow in light of these discussions, my StudiosCentral column last week analyzing Disney Parks’ OSHA accident investigation reports from 2002-2012 feels quite fitting. I want Disney Cast Members to have a safe workplace, and I’m willing to put up with an unattractive tarp now and then, or miss a chance to experience a favorite attraction, if it will keep Cast Members safer on the job. Life and health are precious, and often fragile. They’re well-worth protecting.
I’m also struck once again by how I long for the sort of simplicity and optimism expressed through Disney’s Parks and many of their films. I fell in love with Disney as a kid growing up in Northern California, in the midst of the 1970`s Marin County cultural revolution. Disneyland was a place where the rules were clear, magic was afoot, and the good guys always won. Unlike, well, real life.
Truth be told, I don’t want the world to be as simple and optimistic as Disneyland. and I’m not willing to contort my worldview to make myself believe it is. But at a time when much of my city is still emotionally reeling from the bombing and subsequent manhunt, when everywhere I turn it seems something or someone is reminding me to be “Boston Strong” (a phrase I loathe for reasons I cannot express), I’m glad that I’ve got a shelf full of gorgeous, entertaining Disney movies (and countless campy vintage footage) to amuse me tonight if I so choose, many happy memories of trips to Disney Parks in which to luxuriate, and another Disney trip on my calendar for later this year. Tink, take me away.