Thursday, December 26, 2013

How Disney saved Christmas

I used to get into a lot of fights on the Internet, but I matured out of that. (Mostly) If someone is spouting bullshit talking points, I'll sometimes include a link from Snopes or something, but only under specific circumstances. I know I'll never persuade the kind of person who posts those things, but if a low-information reader comes across the post and concludes "Yes, duck Dynasty guy DOES have a Constitutional right to a TV show!", I'll do my best to explain why it's not a first amendment issue at all.

I got in a disagreement over this very issue. Briefly, it's not a First Amendment Issue because the government is not a actor in the dispute; it's between two private parties. He's free to act like an asshole, and everyone else is free to point out that he's acting like an asshole, and base their decisions on this knowledge.

It's hard to separate cluelessness from malice in his case, but he really did seem to pine for the halcyon days when the coloreds knew their place and singing songs from Song of the South, and men were men who did not lie with other men. Ridiculously obtuse and lacking in empathy is probably the most charitable reading.

I said what I had to say, and even managed to stay halfway civil, and then didn't think about it too much until Christmas Day.

We were watching the Disney Parks parade. Lily was on the couch with the kitten.

I was kind of halfway paying attention, horrified by the number of disney Channel stars which I recognized and of whom I actually had an opinion. The program was interrupted for a number of Disney infomercials for their properties and parks, and for some lines from people in the park on why they like attending.

Now listen, Disney is a big corporation. I didn't like them as a teenager and a young adult, because I thought they were old and stodgy and didn't make anything interesting. This was the 90's and they just weren't EXTREME enough for 90's Josh. Whatever. I think there are legitimate criticisms to be made of of Disney as a company, but in general, they're not better or worse than any conglomerate of their size, and they do produce their brand of entertainment better than anyone else in the world.

They tend not to take controversial stances on social issues, which only makes sense. Why alienate a potential customer? Support the the things everybody can agree on, make sure the public sees you doing it, and get to work making more money.

That's why I was surprised by how gay-friendly this special was. It featured an openly gay host in the form of Neil Patrick Harris, who showed pictures of his kids and his partner, and some of the testimonials were from gay couples.

And if a company as staid as Disney is as supportive of equal rights in such a public venue and unambiguous way, I think our side is winning, no matter what the swamp folk say.


  1. Two fun facts:

    A&E is part owned by Disney.

    Except for the end credits excursion with Dark Vader and the Stormtroopers, I saw none of NPH, in the last hour, unless he became a black man cosplaying the Fifith Doctor.

    1. Did you just call him DARK Vader?! Omigod! Turn in your nerd card!

      I imagine it's just a typo, but some mistakes are simply unforgivable.