Emma Curvers: Nobody spits on the floor at Disneyland

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Writer and journalist Emma Curvers tells us Never sleep again About sixty-four roller coaster trains I visited for her book Baby teeth. She talks about the cultural myths, old and new, of the United States, which she came to through the lens of the amusement park, and the semi-authoritarian tendency of a fictional city with no crime: “Nobody spits on the ground at Disneyland.”

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Cultural clichés

Curvers says she believes she has seen much of the country by taking a trip across the United States based on theme parks. “These amusement parks are very American, just like the story being told there.” The author cites the oldest American theme park as an example: Knott’s Berry Farm in California. “This is where the story of the West Village began with a cruel cowboy on horseback, and a wild Indian who of course always gets the worst of it.”

Many ancient attractions such as folklore stories about how Americans like to see their pasts

The writer explains that the romantic story of America, fueled in part by Western movie, has become a kind of cultural cliché common in a roller coaster: “ In many of these ancient attractions, you are an American on a mine cart. Looking for gold, or are you riding a horse across the prairie. It’s kind of a folkloric story about America. How Americans really like to see themselves and their pasts. This is the kind of fairy tale they tell each other about themselves and their country. ”

Old and New Myths

Many Americans also now know that the fairy tale was not a party for the natives as the attractions would suggest. “This is also a thing of past glory.” The writer says that the new attractions tell a different story about America. There is also an image of America that pleases Americans: “Take Main Street at Disneyland, for example. This is the image of America as Walt Disney wanted it to present: America is clean and tidy with white fences in front of the houses, and where every tree is always in bloom. The walls are always freshly painted and there is never anything ugly or unexpected. People behave like this, too, in Disneyland. It is also said to be a place for first-class citizens. This is insane of course. But nobody spits on the ground at Disneyland. ”

Walt Disney City also has a less beautiful side, according to the writer: “ Walt Disney had completely holistic ideas. Curvers mentions Epcot, which opened as an amusement park after Walt Disney’s death, but was envisioned as an amusement park. The city of the future. There were no irregularities there. It was always said: the crime rate is zero. This is, of course, impossible. You have nothing to make a city or country so vibrant, unexpected. There is something ominous about it. ”

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