Guest column by Patrick Cartlidge
It’s gratifying to live in an age where the dissembling of nation-states can be undertaken by benevolent and blessed corporations like Disney. Until recently, such mundane tasks were only assumed by religious hierarchies and guys with really bad beards. But as entertainment monoliths snatch up media institutions in a delightful Hungry Hungry Hippo-esque game, the little people can watch it happen, and enjoy it too.
Oh, there are some namby-pambies who drone on about the “monopoly of the vehicles of artistic expression,” but it smells more like sour grapes to me. It’s obvious they’ve never watched Pocahontas or The Lion King! Resistance to such a cuddly empire is truly futile.
Instead, we should do our best to speed the day when the warm embrace of the dead frozen guy’s company is felt across this young land. The sooner we “Disnify” our sorry attempt at a country, the sooner we can cast off the shackles of our prepubescent reputation abroad.
First, make this country a better place to do business. We must privatize our perpetually money-losing hospitals and universities. They can be operated a la Disney! Imagine, a nation full of theme park education centres. With the possible exception of “Jorgy’s Enchanted Escalator Land” at Ryerson, I am sure they will all be great fun.
Second, we must put that Disney marketing savoir faire to use with genuinely Canadian people and products. Svend Robinson dolls, Ernst Zundel breakfast cereal, Neil Young laundry detergent – the number of potential products is mind boggling. Best of all, the gentle hands of Disney will ensure that new brands make it internationally.
I concede that the artistic community will have to be pacified. Perhaps Disney will give Canadian directors a try at making those wacky, whimsical films we all adore. Mickey and the gang can be the stars of an animated version of Denys Arcand’s Jesus of Montreal. The mad rush for Disney development dollars should increase the quality of our artists tenfold.
To the naysayers, I urge you to take solace in the humanitarian aspect of the Disney Reich. A corporation as solvent as Disney will no doubt be able to afford literacy programs, humanitarian missions, macrame lessons for seniors, and countless other offerings to better our standard of life.
We are fortunate to have found a political saviour with mouse ears and a large heart. Sir John A., Mackenzie King and Howie Morenz must all be smiling proudly in Heaven today. It is a shame that they cannot be thawed out like Walt to live in this utopia. But let us not forget our traditional Canadian modesty. There is still much work to do before this old monarchy can truly become a magical kingdom.