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Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World

by

Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Three decades after it began bulldozing the cow patures and draining the

marshes of rural Orlando, Disney stands as by far the most powerful

private entity in Florida; it goes where it wants, does what it wants,

gets

what it wants. It's our exalted mother teat, and you can hear the sucking

from Tallahassee all the way to Key West.

The worst damage isn't from the Walt Disney World Resort itself (which is

undeniably clean, well operated, and relatively safe) or even from the

tourists (although an annual stampede of forty million Griswolds cannot

help but cut an untidy swath). The absolute worst thing Disney did was to

change how people in Florida thought about money; nobody had ever dreamed

there could be so much. Bankers, laywers, real-estate salesmen,

hoteliers, restauranteurs, farmers, citrus growers--everyone in Mickey's

orb had to drastically recalibrate the concepts of growth, prosperity, and

what was possible. Suddenly there were no limits. Merely by showing up,

Disney had dignified blind greed in a state pioneered by undignified

greedheads. Everything the company touched turned to gold, so everyone in

Florida craved to touch or be touched by Disney. The gates opened, and

in galloped fresh hordes. The cattle ranches, orange groves, and cypress

stands of old Orlando rapidly gave way to an execrable panorama of

suburuban blight.

One of the great ironies upon visiting Disney World is the wave of relief

that overwhelms you upon entering the place--relief to be free of the

nerve-shattering traffic and the endless ugly sprawl. By contrast the

Disney resort seems like a verdant sanctuary. That was the plan, of

course--Team Rodent left the park buffered with thousands of unspoiled

acres, to keep the charmless roadside schlock at bay.

As Orlando exploded, business leaders (and therefore politicians)

throughout the rest of Florida watched and plotted with envy. Everyone

conspired for a cut of the Disney action, meaning overflow. The trick was

to catch the tourists after they departed the Magic Kingdom: induce them

to rent a car and drive someplace else and spend what was left of their

vacation money. This mad obsession for sloppy seconds has paid off

big-time. By the year 2000, the number of tourists visiting the Orlando

area is expected to reach forty-six million annually. That's more than

the combined populations of California and Pennsylvania storming into

Florida every year, an onslaught few places on earth could withstand.

Many Disney pilgrims do make time to search for auxiliary amusement in

other parts of the state. High on the list are the southernmost chain of

islands known as the Keys, where I live, and where only one road runs the

length of the archipelago. Maybe you can appreciate my concern.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345422804
Author:
Hiaasen, Carl
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Entrepreneurship
Subject:
Commerce
Subject:
Corporate History - Strategies
Subject:
Walt Disney Company
Subject:
Corporate & Business History - Strategies
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Library of Contemporary Thought
Publication Date:
19980531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8.24x5.54x.28 in. .26 lbs.

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Team Rodent: How Disney Devours the World Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345422804 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Who is more powerful — Disney or God? It's a tough call, but no one...has grappled with this spiritual question more hilariously than Carl Hiaasen."
"Review" by , "Comic novelist and investigative reporter Hiaasen combines his talents to dis Disney....Hiaasen urges resistance to the conglomerate's hijacking of American culture, leaving it to inspired readers to build a better mousetrap."
"Review" by , "[H]ilarious and venomous....Hiaasen, in addition to being one of our best popular novelists, is a longtime investigative reporter with the Miami Herald, and he details goings on [in this book] that would do the con men and sleazebags in his mysteries proud....If you've ever read one of Hiaasen's mysteries, you know he can be killingly funny (if you haven't read one, for God's sake, stop wasting time with this). Team Rodent is a swift, hilarious read....But the laughs shouldn't disguise that there is a serious and complex subject here, the same one addressed in the early X-Files episodes and The Truman Show: the ability of power to create its own reality....People do not want to believe that, because it's selling Mickey and Donald, an obscenely large conglomerate actually behaves like one. But has any company that has set its sights on transforming the way the world looks, and going about that master plan with autonomy, ever summed up its philosophy any more honestly than 'It's a Small World After All'? And isn't it about time to change the name of that tune to 'Mickey Über Alles'?"
"Review" by , "As summer looms and families plot their vacation destinations, Team Rodent serves as a timely warning to canny parents. The book is fascinating and darkly hilarious. Hiaasen chronicles Disney World's foibles with equal parts malicious glee and wincing lament. My sole complaint is that it's a tad too short; I could have devoured twice as many essays without feeling even half full. I had to pace myself toward the end, lest I finish too quickly." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Synopsis" by , "Disney is so good at being good that it manifests an evil; so uniformly efficient and courteous, so dependably clean and conscientious, so unfailingly entertaining that it's unreal, and therefore is an agent of pure wickedness. . . . Disney isn't in the business of exploiting Nature so much as striving to improve upon it, constantly fine-tuning God's work."

--from TEAM RODENT

TEAM RODENT

How Disney Devours America

"Revulsion is good. Revulsion is healthy. Each of us has limits, unarticulated boundaries of taste and tolerance, and sometimes we forget where they are. Peep Land is here to remind us; a fixed compass point by which we can govern our private behavior. Because being grossed out is essential to the human experience; without a perceived depravity, we'd have nothing against which to gauge the advance or decline of culture; our art, our music, our cinema, our books. Without sleaze, the yardstick shrinks at both ends. Team Rodent doesn't believe in sleaze, however, nor in old-fashioned revulsion. Square in the middle is where it wants us all to be, dependable consumers with predictable attitudes. The message, never stated but avuncularly implied, is that America's values ought to reflect those of the Walt Disney Company, and not the other way around."

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