Chapter five thread–Ritualizing Spectacle

Courtesy of Michaela Hansen

I think that chapter five has been the biggest question mark on this project for a while now. I wouldn’t say that it has given me the level of anxiety that the one I’m working on now has. It has simply been a blank. Although I’ve been relatively sure what the topic was going to be, I really didn’t know what I was going to do as far as structure/subtopic went. Yesterday I watched a short promo film downloaded from iTunes titled Disneyland Resort: Behind the Scenes. The film was actually quite interesting. It must have been made pretty recently, because when they interviewed Marty Sklar, they listed him as retired. They also showed quite a few concept drawings for the work at DCA that I hadn’t seen. FUN STUFF!!

Anyway, watching it made me think about concepts of ritualized spectacle.

I’ve been struggling with how much theoretical writing I’ve been doing for a while now. I’m not talking straight theory, I’m talking my own theoreticals. Like, when do I get down to the details about the park. I would imagine that some of my peeps would say that I could and should be doing that already. But, me being the straight lines Dutch girl, I feel like I need to make my theoretical case first before I move on to other kinds of specifics. That presents itself as a challenge, because it jumbles the structure up a bit. Buuuuuuut, I think in this case, I’m going to throw caution up in the air like the little tissue cut out Mickey heads that flutter all over Main Street during a parade.

It occured to me that I could break apart the chapter into sections on the different spectacles I want to cover, and that I could write about each of these as ritualizations of a certain facet of the overarching Disney myths.

Candlelight Procession-placing the spectacle in the realm of the sacred

Mickey Mouse Club-the myths of nostalgia and family

Parades-Celebrating YOU

Main Street Electrical Parade-Disney and technology

Fantastmic-the triumph of good over evil

World of Color-Creativity/transformative power of love.


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Filed under Reflections on the Dissertation Process

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