Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"Future Schlock," by P.J. O'Rourke


Apologies to readers of EPCOT Central for a long delay since the last post. Chalk it up to the holidays, partly, but also to wondering if everything that can be said about EPCOT has, for now, been said.

And then ... this happens:

A wonderful, incisive, observant article by P.J. O'Rourke in The Atlantic that is not about EPCOT, but easily could be. It's about Disneyland's "House of the Future," and is well worth a careful read. A meaningful excerpt:


"Disney’s Tomorrowland is deeply, thoroughly, almost furiously unimaginative. This isn’t the fault of the 'Disney culture'; it is the fault of our culture. We seem to have entered a deeply unimaginative era."

It can only be assumed what Mr. O'Rourke would make of EPCOT and its squandered promise.

(As an aside, the picture doesn't necessarily correlate with this post, it's just another example of the sad decline of EPCOT -- and, perhaps, "Disney Parks" in general.)

16 comments:

IncrediBill said...

"also to wondering if everything that can be said about EPCOT has, for now, been said."

On the contrary and now more than ever: "In economically challenging times like these, I would imagine there will be a whole lot more soul searching on the part of executives, creatives and guests that will drive the company to reconcile with Walt's principles, dovetailing into the prologue Lasseter and others have already ushered in." RestoreDisney

bluesky said...

Great article! There seem to be a great deal of dreamers in this time. There is also a lot of "Do'ers." The problem is that there are very few that possess both attributes.

Future Guy said...

For quite a while now, I've believed that optimism about the future is at its lowest point since the Great Depression. As late as the early 1990s, there was an honest belief that technology would magically solve all of our problems. Now, though, it's obvious that a bright future depends on a fundamental shift in the behavior of the human race, and most people doubt that we're up to it. So instead of looking eagerly towards the future, we want to hide from it, to insulate ourselves from reality. As Mr. O'Rourke pointed out, the problem lies, not with Disney, but with our society as a whole.

Gene Roddenberry used to say that he believed that humanity had a grand future, but that first our civilization as it currently exists would have to fall before we started to do things differently. He may have had a point.

Anonymous said...

"everything that can be said about EPCOT has, for now, been said."

Not even by a long shot.

Epcot82 said...

I just wondered -- and have been wondering. But it's not a defnitive statement!

simmer said...

I know I'm going to be bashed for this, but, if you are wondering if everything has been said about the park, why not do a review of every single attraction and entertainment in EPCOT Center past and present? I know that there are millions of this but maybe you could add your own spin to it.

Anonymous said...

"Chalk it up to the holidays, partly, but also to wondering if everything that can be said about EPCOT has, for now, been said."

I agree with the poster above that everything has NOT BEEN SAID. Epcot Center is such a diverse and interesting place that we could talk, read about it for many years to come.

And the photo does say 1,000 words. My first impressions when I see it are: It is dirty, so clean it. Why is there a space at the top, we can fill it with something anything. I like Mission Space and Test Track (please do not hate me), so to me it shows progress. Yes I would love for Horizons to be in the blank space but that will never happen.

Anonymous said...

EPCOT Center is in the past; The glory days are over. There's only going to be more Kim Possible, more Nemo & more crapola in order to retro-fit an once wonderful experience into just another roller-coaster park that just so happens to have a large silver sphere as it's main icon.

EPCOT Center, to tell you the truth, still really does inspire... To appreciate what it was before Eisner took over.

P.S. How long before we can begin to wonder if the Lasseter hype that he'll ride into town & fix things is unjustified?

Anonymous said...

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Now that I think you have been aware of the content, feel free to click the link below:


WARNING - THIS LINK IS EPCOT HUMOR - TAKE LIGHTLY AND DO NOT GET OFFENDED!!!!!!!!

Simmer said...

^That's just sad.

Foy Lyndstrom said...

I have to admit, as much as I love reading your posts, I like looking at them better. The pictures you have of EPCOT - especially the ones taken during a sunset or at night - are absolutely astounding, and frequently find their way onto my computer's background. Please - keep up with the pictures. Even if you find that "everything that can be said about EPCOT has, for now, been said", you can still turn the blog into an EPCOT photo blog. No one would complain. : )

Thierry said...

The only difference is, that today, with what we know and what we're learning to do, we really can put our dreams to life. It takes a lot of work. But the truth is, if we can dream it, we can do it.

Foy Lyndstrom said...

^^^You're correct. The concept of "rags to riches", exemplified by Walt himself, is more possible than many believe.

"We keep moving forward"

DeeJay said...

As long as you are linking to things, here is a story about Siemens, the current sponsor of Spaceship Earth.

I haven't seen the NYT article that the story mentions, but with all those dollars floating around, one would think Siemens could bribe a better finale for SSE out of WDI than what was installed last year.

Regards

EPCOT Explorer said...

Come on.....Post something new! I love and miss this blog! LOL!

Jeff Wilder said...

PJ O'Rourke did write an article about EPCOT in its early days. It was written not long after its opening in 1982/93 and appears in O'Rourke's book Holidays In Hell.