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A hipster’s dilemma

July 14, 2008

I consider myself to be something of a hipster, for better or worse. I listen to a lot of “indie” bands (though would never cite indie as a genre of music — one of my pet peeves). I Put product in my hair. I’m a foodie. I listen to NPR. I watch BBC News America over my breakfast in the morning. I read the New York Times and the Washington Post regularly. I think modern-day hippies are completely silly, trivial people who should consider more fruitful pursuits that would benefit society as a whole — and no, participating in a drum circle doesn’t count. I enjoy a microbrewed domestic or import when I’m out but never a Bud, Miller or Coors. The stack of magazines on my coffee table includes Newsweek, Esquire, GQ and Food and Wine. I’d like think that I enjoy the finer, more intellectual things in life without being a completely insufferable, pretentious tool. I’m a sarcastic cynical person, a condition that is probably only exacerbated by my job — I’m a journalist and what’s worst, I’m a twenty-something journalist who covers the police and our courts system. I’m a completely snarky, cynical person — except when it comes to Disney World.

This is an interesting duality in my being that I’ve been thinking a lot about since adding The Disney Blog and the aptly-titled ImagiNERDing to my list of blogs that I read  everyday. Disney World should be everything that I’m opposed to as a cynical hipster. It should represent everything that I think is wrong with America, an embarrassing, garish cultural export. But I don’t. I love being in those parks.

When I told my girlfriend about the idea for this post, I expected her to tell me that I was an idiot but she totally agreed with me, saying, “That’s true. You’re so cynical but at Disney World you’re a totally different person.”

I’ve been going to Disney World every year since I was about 12. That’s more than 12 years of annual and bi-annual visits to the Happiest Place on Earth. “Don’t you get tired of it?” In a word, no. To me, it’s the fountain of youth. I step through those gates and I’m 13 again. It’s tough to care about the economy, failing foreign policy or how bad the Eagles are drafting when you’re more worried about how long the wait is at Space Mountain or making sure you get over to Splash Mountain before the parade starts. In a lot of ways, it’s just nice to be in a place where those are your biggest concerns.

There’s something carefree about walking to the bus stop at Old Key West or wolfing down some chicken fingers, the map to the park unfolded before you, trying to plot out the night’s movement like a battlefield strategist.

I may never figure out a way to acquiesce my Disney love with my other tastes and I don’t really care to. The sheer contrariness of it is beautiful to me and if walking through the parks and feeling as if all is well in the world even for a few hours isn’t cool, then I guess I’ll never be cool. And I’m pretty alright with that.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2008 5:08 pm

    this sounds like a conversation that i have quite often with some of my friends. you said it best: as soon as i get there, i’m 13 again.

  2. July 15, 2008 2:54 am

    This is how my life is, too. People are generally surprised that Disney is so important to me and my family, but there is something to be said for that happy mix of nostalgia, romance, magic, family and hope.

    I understand ‘hope’ is making a comeback.

  3. July 15, 2008 7:12 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    People ask me all the time what I find so fascinating about Walt Disney World and I try to explain it to them (albeit nowhere near as well as above), but they just don’t get it.

  4. optimax permalink
    July 15, 2008 4:02 pm

    It’s a small world.

  5. July 15, 2008 4:13 pm

    I’m with you on the whole Disney thing, in fact we will be heading there in December, for our first look at the parks around Christmas time – I can hardly wait!!

  6. July 16, 2008 8:21 pm

    I very much relate to this post. Somehow Disney blogs have become a huge percentage of my bloglines subscriptions over the past year. My friends don’t get it at all.


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