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  1. #1

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    The hyperreality of Disneyland

    I came across an interesting view towards Disneyland.

    It states that "Disneyland [is] the most real place in the U.S., because it is not pretending to be anything more than it actually is, a theme park." and that "Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyper-real and of simulation."-Jean Baudrillard in the wikipedia article "Disneyfication" (Disneyfication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    I researched more about this interesting quote which lead me to the article "Hyperreality" (Hyperreality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which has it's own subsection dedicated to Disneyland.

    It states: Baudrillard argues the "imaginary world" of Disneyland magnetizes people inside and has been presented as "imaginary" to make people believe that all its surroundings are "real"

    Someone please explain this! It's so interesting! LOL.

  2. #2

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    Now that is a really Meta way to observe Disneyland! Frankly though it sounds like a smart guy just connected some obtuse views about Disneyland and linked it into a definition nobody can understand.

  3. #3

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    There is also a section of Travels in Hyperreality by Umberto Eco on Disneyland.

  4. #4

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    There is also "You Have To Pay For The Public Life" by Charles Moore, who was the first real architect to turn a critical eye on Disneyland and felt "Disneyland must be regarded as the most important single piece of construction in the West in the past several decades."

    All these essays are sort of making the same point: Disneyland only gives us what we want. What we want is to play make believe. Disneyland built us a make believe place, the world's fanciest blanket fort. Cool! Now we can all "play along." Everyone's invited, the world's biggest game of pretend. A splendid time is had by all.

  5. #5

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    Reminds me of the line in The Last Unicorn novel where Molly Grue observes that she and the other human characters aren't real and the unicorn is the only one that is real.

    I think I get the first part of the quote - everyone who comes into Disneyland knows that it's done with facades and effects, whereas other places, people or things that one encounters in the "real" world might be phony. But I'm not quite sure what he's talking about in the second part of the quote. It reminds me of when I was trying to find a collaborator to work on a musical I was trying to write, and a local musican said he was interested but later told me he didn't believe musical theatre existed. And I still have no idea what he meant by that either.
    Last edited by animagusurreal; 03-25-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    That is very interesting, thanks for sharing
    The new Star Wars plot summery:

    Episode 7: Luke discovers that Darth Vader is not his father, and goes on a search for his real father

    Episode 8: Darth Vader is resurrected and goes on Jerry Springer, claiming he is Luke and Leia's father

    Episode 9: Princes Leia is not Luke's sister, making him furious (we all know why...).

  7. #7

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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by choco choco View Post
    All these essays are sort of making the same point: Disneyland only gives us what we want. What we want is to play make believe. Disneyland built us a make believe place, the world's fanciest blanket fort. Cool! Now we can all "play along." Everyone's invited, the world's biggest game of pretend. A splendid time is had by all.
    ​Hmmm..... I think that makes a lot of sense.
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    Re: The hyperreality of Disneyland

    University of Washington professor Dr. Constantin Behler has an interesting definition of hyperreality on his web site:

    hyperreality.
    A term associated with the effects of mass culture reproduction, suggesting that an object, event, experience so reproduced replaces or is preferred to its original: that the copy is 'more real than real'. In the writings of the French social philosopher and commentator on postmodernism, Jean Baudrillard (1929- ), and of the Italian semiologist Umberto Eco (1932- ), hyperreality is associated especially with cultural tendencies and a prevailing sensibility in contemporary American society.

    In Baudrillard's discussion hyperreality is synonymous with the most developed form of simulation: the autonomous simulacra which is free from all reference to the real. In the essay, 'The Precession of Simulacra', Baudrillard writes of Disneyland as 'a perfect model of all the entangled orders of simulation' (1988: 171). Its function is less the ideological expression of an idealized America than to disguise the fact that 'all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and simulation' (1988: 172). Baudrillard therefore sees the hyperreal of selective imitation and image-making presented by Disneyland as the rule rather than the exception. The resulting 'society of the image', prompts a panic-stricken attempt to shore up the real that has been eroded. This, so Baudrillard believes, is futile, since the attempt to produce meaning and save 'the reality principle' in a media-saturated society can only produce its opposite, an exacerbated experience of hyperreality.

    Umberto Eco's theme, in his essay 'Travels in Hyperreality' (1986) is 'faith in fakes' (the American title of the volume containing this essay). He goes 'in search of instances where the American imagination demands the real thing and, to attain it, must fabricate the absolute fake' (1986: 8). His travels take him to the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, where he finds proof that in America 'the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy' (1986: 6), to heritage villages, the Madonna Inn, seven wax versions of Leonardo's ~Last Supper, William Randolph Hearst's museum-castle (the Xanadu of Orson Welles' film Citizen Kane) and Disneyland, the home of the 'total fake' (1986: 43). Unlike Baudrillard, Eco does not suggest the real is supplanted or erased, but that imitations - because newer and more complete - are preferred to their ancient or unavailable originals. He is therefore more critical than Baudrillard (Baudrillard would say in an outmoded fashion). Thus 'the Absolute Fake', writes Eco, derives from the vacuum 'of a present without depth' (1986: 31) and Disneyland he sees as the 'quintessence of consumer ideology' (1986: 43). Moreover, Eco detects a different, more modernist culture and attitude in New York and New Orleans. In the latter he finds that 'history still exists and is tangible' (1986: 29), concluding that, 'The sense of history allows an escape from the temptations of hyperreality' (1986: 30). [from: Brooker, 1999]


    I wonder if Baudriillard's and Eco's views of Disneyland would be any different if they'd done their studies of it in the last five years instead of the 80s -- before the Eisger corporate regime turned it into a franchise brand marketing mall and a mecca for Disney branded-lifestyle consumerism.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 03-25-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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