View Poll Results: Should Tomorrowland be Utopian or Romantic?

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  • Utopian

    40 60.61%
  • Romantic

    26 39.39%
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  1. #46

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding of both terms in this entire thread. Just to recap:

    * A utopia is perfect. In most cases, the idea of a utopia turns out to be a paradox, because the so-called perfection actually leads to imperfection and self-destruction. Outside forces can also contribute, but those outside forces are not part of a utopian world and thus don't fit what the OP suggested for Tomorrowland.

    * A Romantic view of things is not perfect or idealized, despite common misuse of the word. It's a complex topic, but I'd highly suggest reading the Wikipedia article at the very least. Romanticism isn't about perfection. It's about drama and emotion. Yes, bad things sometimes get glossed over a bit because of the emphasis on said drama and emotion, but Romanticism isn't at all about removing the bad.

    Most of Disneyland appeals a lot more to Romantic views than utopian ones. Walt pushed somewhat toward the utopian direction for Tomorrowland, I think...but then again, the land really didn't reach an acceptable level of excellence in my mind until Space Mountain and, later, Star Tours came into play. Those came decades after Walt's death. Could it be that this is simply one case in which he was slightly wrong?

    Let me put it this way. If you think being nearly captured by headhunters, melted by Dip, crushed by the abominable snowman, or tossed maliciously into a briar patch are hallmarks of a utopian society, there is a serious misunderstanding going on this thread. Disneyland is about Romanticism. Tomorrowland should follow suit instead of showing us a hopelessly sweet future that could never happen.


  2. #47

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Two specific things I wished to address.
    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    *A utopia is perfect. In most cases, the idea of a utopia turns out to be a paradox, because the so-called perfection actually leads to imperfection and self-destruction. Outside forces can also contribute, but those outside forces are not part of a utopian world and thus don't fit what the OP suggested for Tomorrowland.
    Those forces, external or internal, would be the whole point of having an attraction in Tomorrowland. There is only so much excitement that could be generated by Scientific Discovery. Otherwise it would be pretty boring.

    * A Romantic view of things is not perfect or idealized, despite common misuse of the word. It's a complex topic, but I'd highly suggest reading the Wikipedia article at the very least. Romanticism isn't about perfection. It's about drama and emotion. Yes, bad things sometimes get glossed over a bit because of the emphasis on said drama and emotion, but Romanticism isn't at all about removing the bad.
    Romantic is complex, but as mentioned it glosses over the imperfections and as a general rule does NOT highlight them. When you gloss over all imperfections you have Utopian. When you don't gloss over anything you have Realism. So by default the "in between" is Romanticism. And the closer you get to either end of that spectrum, the harder it is to tell Romanticism apart from that extreme. THAT was my point. An increased Romantic concept could easily be confused with a Utopian concept because the "flaws" are subjective and not everyone would notice them.
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  3. #48

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Those forces, external or internal, would be the whole point of having an attraction in Tomorrowland. There is only so much excitement that could be generated by Scientific Discovery. Otherwise it would be pretty boring.
    Good, we agree on that. However, I must redirect you to the OP's original premise: "Concentrate on showing a wonderful future world with no serious problems." These threats to the society are most certainly problems, by nature.

    Romantic is complex, but as mentioned it glosses over the imperfections and as a general rule does NOT highlight them.
    Not true. It often exaggerates them. It may gloss over the "bad" quality of the imperfections, making a spectacle of them, but it doesn't downplay them. That significantly differentiates Romanticism from utopianism. An extremely Romantic approach looks nothing like a true utopia.

    I'd like to conclude this post by pointing out that the word utopia itself is derived from the Greek for "not place." Sir Thomas More, who coined the word, didn't think a truly utopian society could exist.


  4. #49

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Good, we agree on that. However, I must redirect you to the OP's original premise: "Concentrate on showing a wonderful future world with no serious problems." These threats to the society are most certainly problems, by nature.
    They are only problems if the society choses to recognize them. In many cases the "never going to happen" scenario often led to demise by outward forces.

    Not true. It often exaggerates them. It may gloss over the "bad" quality of the imperfections, making a spectacle of them, but it doesn't downplay them. That significantly differentiates Romanticism from utopianism. An extremely Romantic approach looks nothing like a true utopia.
    It does gloss over them. In some cases it may highlight them, but in other cases it simply omits them and the reader is left with "rose colored glasses". Why did people want so badly to be cowboys? Not because of the facts, but because of the myth and fiction surrounding them. When enough imperfection is removed the subject moves from Romantic to Utopian.
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  5. #50

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Why did people want so badly to be cowboys? Not because of the facts, but because of the myth and fiction surrounding them.
    Correct. But that's a perfect example of what I was talking about--there were plenty of problems in the real world cowboys-and-Indians scenario as well as the Romanticized version, but in the Romanticized version, the "badness" of the problems is glossed over. The scares, skirmishes, and scalpings all show up in the mythology, but the fact that they were very real and very bad doesn't carry over. That's a separate issue. The mythology doesn't gloss over the fact that both sides killed each other brutally.

    On a side note, techskip, I've never encountered anyone else online with whom I enjoy debating like I do with you. Usually, online disagreements just escalate into ugly arguments that I tend to avoid, but it's different with you--I actually enjoy letting you know that you're wrong!


  6. #51

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    On a side note, techskip, I've never encountered anyone else online with whom I enjoy debating like I do with you. Usually, online disagreements just escalate into ugly arguments that I tend to avoid, but it's different with you--I actually enjoy letting you know that you're wrong!
    Thank you and I return the compliment in turn. However... if Romanticism specifically glosses over or removes the flaws, and Utopian is without flaws... how do you get Utopian without Romanticism?
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  7. #52

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    However... if Romanticism specifically glosses over or removes the flaws, and Utopian is without flaws... how do you get Utopian without Romanticism?
    It doesn't gloss over or remove the flaws! It keeps them all intact and often glorifies them as part of a grand drama. Since the drama is appealing to us, we don't feel horrified by the flaws so much as...well, interested in them.

    While a utopian society in real life would be nice, in theory, it just doesn't work for Disneyland, IMO. Every story has conflict of some sort. It can be external, internal, whatever, but there's conflict. In stories about utopias (utopiae? ), the conflict arises from the utopia not being a true utopia--it's not truly perfect. Problems arise.


  8. #53

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Talking to you two is like going to class...geez.


    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Thank you and I return the compliment in turn. However... if Romanticism specifically glosses over or removes the flaws, and Utopian is without flaws... how do you get Utopian without Romanticism?
    Techskip...didn't you answer your own question by saying...

    Romantic is complex, but as mentioned it glosses over the imperfections and as a general rule does NOT highlight them. When you gloss over all imperfections you have Utopian. When you don't gloss over anything you have Realism. So by default the "in between" is Romanticism. And the closer you get to either end of that spectrum, the harder it is to tell Romanticism apart from that extreme. THAT was my point. An increased Romantic concept could easily be confused with a Utopian concept because the "flaws" are subjective and not everyone would notice them.
    You sight that the genres are similar and on the same spectrum. You state Utopianism is one one end of the spectrum and Realism is on the other with Romanticism somewhere in the middle.

    However, most people in the field would sight Realism and Romanticism as complete opposites with Utopianism as a completely different beast. Utopianism and Romantisicm definately share many similarites and be related thematically...but in reality (no pun inteded) Romantisicm and Utopianism are different things entirely. This is from a language arts P.O.V.

  9. #54

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    I agree with that, definitely. Such futures have a place in fiction, but Disneyland ain't it. But...
    aww. True enough Bladerunner has no business in tomorrowland. BUT if Bladerunner had a Peoplemover...that would be a different story right?


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  10. #55

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronpaulcustoms View Post
    aww. True enough Bladerunner has no business in tomorrowland. BUT if Bladerunner had a Peoplemover...that would be a different story right?

    That all depends if there is a real Harrison Ford AA.

  11. #56

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Per the definition of the OP, I'd say "Romantic", definitely. Show the fact that there are possible dangers to the abuse of technology (even if it's in a cartoon or Darth Vader form), but that the future is "bright with possibility".

  12. #57

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Two things:

    First, what romanticism glosses over is whatever is dull, ordinary, or complicated. If you compare the romantic myth of the old west to the actual historical accounts, one thing you will notice is that the romantic myth is an absolute bloodblath compared to the historical accounts. The outbreaks of violence are played up to the point where there hardly seems to be anything else. What's played *down* is the ordinary day-to-day living that connected them.

    Second, utopias rarely last in science fiction because science fiction is a very romantic genre, and utopias are so unromantic that few science-fiction writers will devote much time to describing them. This means that the utopia will likely be immediately attacked, or turn out to have some terrible flaw, or simply be kept offstage as the protagonist goes and has romantic adventures elsewhere.

  13. #58

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinjones View Post

    What we don't need at Disneyland is Hollywood's bleak, apocalyptic view of the future as seen in Blade Runner, Alien, Tomorrowland '98, etc.
    TL '98 wasn't post apocalyptic nor bleak. It actually had an optamistic, and quite unintriguing, throughline to the design. An earthly future with eadible (sp?) plants growing in every planter and buildings made from more warm rustic materials (copper and bronze). The bleak TL was the proposed TL 2055 that featured metal catwalks, mineral fields, and Alien Encounter. And while it does sound dark and cold, it also does sound interesting and explorable, something that TL hasn't been to me since I've been born.

  14. #59

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    First, what romanticism glosses over is whatever is dull, ordinary, or complicated. If you compare the romantic myth of the old west to the actual historical accounts, one thing you will notice is that the romantic myth is an absolute bloodblath compared to the historical accounts. The outbreaks of violence are played up to the point where there hardly seems to be anything else. What's played *down* is the ordinary day-to-day living that connected them.

    Second, utopias rarely last in science fiction because science fiction is a very romantic genre, and utopias are so unromantic that few science-fiction writers will devote much time to describing them. This means that the utopia will likely be immediately attacked, or turn out to have some terrible flaw, or simply be kept offstage as the protagonist goes and has romantic adventures elsewhere.
    Yes. Techskip, take notes.


  15. #60

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    Re: Should Tomorrowland show a romantic or utopian view of the future?

    I think it should be romantically utopian, yet progressively retro at the same time. Sorta mild spicy, you know?

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