Tag Archives: Night of Joy

Night of Rowdy Debauchery?

18 Sep

Now, here’s something that’s just sat in my blogreader for days, because I couldn’t figure out what to make of it. Mousevine posted last week that the Night of Joy Christian music event at Walt Disney World is being moved from Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Not a big deal to me . . . my fondness for Christian music is pretty much centered in Bach chorales, Gregorian chants, and similar golden oldies. So, what caught my eye was Mousevine’s commentary on the event itself:

. . . some who have attended previous NOJ festivals, as well as Cast Members who’ve worked it, claim that of all the separate-ticket events held at the Magic Kingdom, it’s the most unruly. Tales abound of the Magic Kingdom overrun by mobs of drunken teens, petty thievery in the shops, as well as an overworked security dealing with fights among the crowds of young concert attendees. Not exactly the kind of behavior one would expect to find at a Christian music festival. The discussion then devolves into those who swear the stories are true and those who accuse people of being anti-Christian posting their false stories.

It’s hard to assess the veracity of the tales of debauchery involving NOJ unless one witnesses it for themselves. I have read of one Disney fansite who had members attend the concerts to see if the stories were true or if it had become another Disney urban legend to add to the pile. And for the most part, the group found the stories to be true. And it’s hard not to believe the stories when you read the accounts by cast members who’ve worked NOJ and the majority are negative.

Wow, I had totally missed this Disney fan controversy! Almost makes me want to attend NOJ and see for myself. (But hey, it doesn’t take much to make me want to go to Disney World, now does it?)

Bittersweet US Naturalization Ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort

4 Jul

Once again, thank goodness for the interweb. Right now I’m watching the naturalization ceremony at Walt Disney World Resort, webcast live.

As I watch, it strikes me that there’s a certain irony to swearing in new citizens in front of Cinderella Castle, the architecture of which draws heavily on Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle. And what sort of beautiful post-modernism is at work if our newest citizens hop on the monorail for Epcot’s World Showcase, and visit the pavilion of their country of origin?

I’ll confess, I’ve never been a big fan of the Fourth of July. I’ve seen some terrible things done in the name of our country, and I am not proud of how our forefathers obtained the land we now live on. And was it perhaps not a coincidence that the skies let loose with a brief, torrential rain after a recorded greeting was played by our current President George Bush? (Maybe the weather gods are as cranky as I am about ScooterGate.)

I almost reached my limit with Lee Greenwood came out to sing “God Bless the USA,” in jeans an a polo shirt no less. (Good Lord man, you couldn’t have put on a suit for such a solemn occasion? Jimmy Rogers would have.) But I’m glad I kept watching, because moments later Meg Crofton announced that our new citizens would participate in a special parade down the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA, a beloved icon perhaps because of its celebration of a place that has never truly existed. And much to my surprise, that’s when I welled up with tears.

Because, despite my anger with my country and its leaders, I still feel lucky to be a US citizen, with my dissent and freedom of expression protected by our First Amendment. And I do know how hard our new citizens have worked to come to our country, and the tremendous obstacles some of them have overcome. I have sat with friends and loved ones when they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to stay in our country, in the homes they had built and loved. I know there are many, many more who’d make great sacrifices to sit with them this morning, becoming new United States citizens. I know there are many who long even for safe haven within our borders, for political asylum. Our country is not perfect, but it is ours, it is my well-loved home, and I welcome our new citizens with my best wishes for a happy Independence Day.

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