Saturday, November 18, 2006
Why It Matters
I received this comment from a reader via e-mail:
"Future World in EPCOT Center inspired me to become an engineer, and the Energy Exchange in Communicore encouraged me to pursue nuclear power."
How much more proof do you need that EPCOT Center mattered, and that the problems of today's Epcot are worth "whining" about?
The old saw says that if you can reach just one person, you've succeeded. So, there's proof. I welcome any of you who were equally inspired in any way by EPCOT Center to let me know. (For what it's worth, I was inspired to my own profession by Spaceship Earth and the story it told of the power and meaning of human communication.)
I can't think of many places in the world -- many, I wrote, not any! -- that could inspire young people the way EPCOT Center could. Did it also inspire adults? I don't know, possibly; but the cynicsm of adulthood could easily get in the way. For young people, EPCOT Center represented everything that lay ahead of them, everything that they had a chance to make real -- whether it was new technology, new ways to work and think, or the possibility of traveling the world and bridging cultures.
It's hard to imagine many people being terribly inspired by today's Epcot. Or, worse, that Disney even considers itself to be in the "inspiration" business anymore.