from the arkives: the disneyland death tour (editorial addendum edition)

EDITOR’S LOOSE-LEAF RAMBLINGS: I found myself unable to sleep last night, and left nursing a pretty sour case of nostalgic leadgut. These episodes do come on from time to time, and have a kind of terminal verve to them; I live in the past less now than I ever have at any other point in my life, but I still can’t help myself when it comes to sliding into warm, inescapable memory.

In this particular installment of the wayback machine, I found myself fixating on a fairly odd point of order: the early 2K years. This was a time of uncertainty and incredibly selfish behavior, of being a piss-class boyfriend and still vainly humping some fallow notion of—oh, yeah—turning my passion for literary overindulgence into some side gig as the indispensible voice of a lost fucking generation. The weapon of choice was the then-burgeoning ascension of what I always deemed the great “ent-rant culture” of the internet’s nerdy adolescence… that slight blip when sites like Matt Cara’s X-Entertainment and Sean Reilly’s represented a brave new outlet for disenfranchised Gen-Why writers, wherein one’s worthless fixation with their ebbing youth could be bent into raw text and toy reviews, which—in turn—were spun into gold by overzealous host organizations like The Underground Online community.

I was living in a putrid, roach-encrusted apartment with the woman who would later become my wife. No future prospects; no sense of purpose. We had a roommate whose guts we would have gladly strung up like Christmas lights given the chance and fought constantly, too tired from working our dead-end jobs (in retail inventory gang-work and middling corporate assistantship, respectively) to do anything but regret the decisions that had brought us to this point of zombified co-habitation. We were broke and filled with a profound kind of sadness, and many nights we’d go to bed without talking and imagine being someone else.

The short of it was an absolute shit-trip into the recesses of our worst, and the first of many “scattershot first; consequences later”-type false starts to both our relationship and my crummy, self-crippling fourteen-step program towards becoming something remotely responsible (the term “grown-up” was almost pasted in here, but the jury’s still out on that one). The long of it was that it was the jump-off point for a series of extremely painful chin-checks and ego bruises, the sum of which was a realization that writing is—of and by itself—a goddamned dalliance that only cures the ills that we’re aware of. Boiled down to its barest bits, it’s a home remedy for narcissism, or a placebo for the things that we might lack on some fundamental level: pertinence, suavitude, moxie.

In any case (and in bringing this ramshackle bit of hindsight to some kind of boil), it’s ironic that this period of time also produced the most popular thing that I’ve ever written. Some twelve years after the fact, through publications and theses, produced and sold film scripts and articles and analytical bits and bobs of all colors, this thing’s grip on the collective reading culture remains completely unchallenged.

I wrote it as a frustrated dalliance, after getting sick of jack-handled assholes smearing me for writing articles that “nobody could understand” during my moonlight hours as a contributor to Dave Macchia’s “” In the too-typical mold of a pissed-off and unrealistic artiste’ trying to fuck with his supposed constituency, I decided to cobble together an article about the most facile and pop of all things: Walter Elias Disney, and his magnificent chokehold on the American id.

Since its original publication, the Disneyland Death Tour has been endlessly re-blogged, reposted, referred-to and run through a strange series of paces (Apparently having been re-printed as well, for an uncredited “cameo” in a British tabloid, circa 2004). It was encased in e-carbonite over at Progressive Boink for a spell, and then resurrected for posterity by a site called the Bob Freeman Show, for the better part of the decade. Through the generous efforts of these various archivists, the original piece managed to not only outlive the two sites that it was originally published on, but also its author’s interest in nipping at the heels of becoming a false idol among the ranks of the real e-Pop Gods.

Anyway. In trying to right this ship and bringing things back into some kind of proactive light, the reason for reposting the DDT (INSIDER RE-REFERENCES) on this particular blog isn’t as much a half-assed effort to reassert ownership—in perfect fucking frankness, the only emotion that one should feel in response to their work finding an online audience (intentional or otherwise) is a hot, fluid wash of gratitude—but rather an attempt to provide it in its original, unalloyed form. The consequent uses of the article replaced the custom photographs with generic e-shots of the old ride posters, which is all swell; however, some flimsy sense of vanity compels me to restore the original snaps. The rest of the piece is untouched, with no Lucasian retro-fuckery applied to the soggy language and no additional material provided for the deaths that have occurred since the Vuong incident has been added.

So; if this is your first time coming across this bit of digi-lit flotsam—or just a Google-redirected redux—I encourage you to kick back, apply some eyedrops, and enjoy a morbid testament to some seriously epic human folly.


About Mel.

The unremarkably epic fingerspinnings of a serial nobody... who spent the first thirty-three years of his life chasing a shadow, and intends to spend the next thirty-three casting his own.
This entry was posted in disneyana related geekery, hindsight 60/40, letters from latitude zero - travelogues. and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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