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  1. #31

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    It's authentic architecture operates as a visual touchstone--a symbol of simpler, more carefree times which, in turn, bred a hopeful optimistic attitude toward the future. Who wouldn't long for that, even if it only ever existed in our collective imaginations?
    Thank you. Eloquently said!

  2. #32

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    As I always mention in threads about Main Street, the best treatise written on the American Main Street and it's effect on our culture is "Main Street Revisted."

    It's very scholarly, i.e., not light reading, but it does have a fairly lengthy chapter on the Disney Main Streets.

    http://www.amazon.com/Main-Street-Re.../dp/0877455422

  3. #33

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by PleaseRemainSeated View Post
    I have to disagree with you, there. I think the park as a whole is meant to bring optimisim and happiness, yes, but Main Street is meant to evoke 'the fond memories of yesteryear' (quoted because it sounds like one, right?) a homey, American feeling - some have called it nostalgia, and in the longing for a 'never-had' as opposed to a 'gone-by', I think that fits. But Disney didn't theme it to 1900 just because it was better than the 50s. It wouldn't have made (and still doesn't make) sense to just create an idealized street of the present and plunk it in the front of Disneyland - it would cease to be charming and become nothing but a long row of gift shops.
    I never said that 1900 was better than the 50s. All I was trying to say was the 1900 was a time period where technology was in a state of flux and there were no adverse ramifications from the techmologies developing at that time. Therefore this time period was much more optimistic than the 50s were -- this is not the same thing as saying it was better.

    Main Street functionally is the most important land in DL in that it serves as the first act if a multi-act play. Main Street must convey a feeling of happiness, optimism, and escapism once the guest enters the park in order for the rest of DL to work.

    Reconstructing it now to reflect the 1950s makes sense in that these optimistic feelings exist for this time period. However, the 50s also had some serious issues bubbling underneath the surface, which I previously mentioned. So Main Street imo should be kept at 1900 in order to prevent any ambiguity in presenting a generalized feeling of happiness and optimism.

  4. #34

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I think if the 50s actually was an optimistic time period in our hisrtory then Walt would have made Main Street to look contemporary to the 1950s instead of theming it to a time period that he thought would instill a feeling of optimism and hapiness in his guests.

    The 50s, while displaying huge optimisim for life, also was a period of huge underlying paranoia. For every hula hoop and poodle skirt there was Godzilla, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and The Blob. Movies like these reflected the underlying fears of things such as the nuclear bomb -- a technology that might not make one's life easier after all -- in fact for the first time it was realized that a new technology may equally destroy lives. And McCarthyism was in full swing -- this was a time where people found out that you cannot always trust your fellow man -- and Walt Disney was in the middle of that, being in the movie industry.
    Good post, I can't believe there are many people nostalgic for the 50's except for the few who came of age during it with direct, positive experience. Ahhh, the 50's... woman were expected to stay at home and obey, people of color were kept separate and suppressed, political witch hunts and fearmongering, rise of the boob tube as shallow entertainment, etc... no thanks...

  5. #35

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    I just want to say that I think MrLiver has made an excellent, interesting point here by asking "how can one be nostalgic for something they have never experienced?", and people have been snide and uppity to him in response.

    We all know what he meant by "nostalgic" for crying out loud.

    Also, let us not forget that our "collective memory" is a little cloudy and rose-colored, something that, ironically, my art history teacher used to blame... On Disney!

    I've seen Steve bend Walt Disney into a "historically accurate storyteller" countless times, and while I shouldn't be surprised to find that opinion on a Disneyland forum, I highly doubt its veracity. I may not have been around in 1955, but I've seen enough of his Disneyland to know that even back then, it was more about fantasy than reality.

  6. #36

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by pussnboots View Post
    I just want to say that I think MrLiver has made an excellent, interesting point here by asking "how can one be nostalgic for something they have never experienced?", and people have been snide and uppity to him in response.

    We all know what he meant by "nostalgic" for crying out loud.

    Also, let us not forget that our "collective memory" is a little cloudy and rose-colored, something that, ironically, my art history teacher used to blame... On Disney!

    I've seen Steve bend Walt Disney into a "historically accurate storyteller" countless times, and while I shouldn't be surprised to find that opinion on a Disneyland forum, I highly doubt its veracity. I may not have been around in 1955, but I've seen enough of his Disneyland to know that even back then, it was more about fantasy than reality.
    Liver's comment about nostalgia is without merit. He ascribed to the word a requirement that simply does not exits. Another definition of the word is "a sentimental yearning for the past." Again, there is absolutely no implication that one need to have lived through that past.

    You can doubt the veracity that Walt Disney wanted his Park to educate all you want. The proof just isn't in the way Walt talked about his Park ("dedicated to the ideals, dreams and HARD FACTS," "...a museum of living facts" etc.). And while I've never said "historically accurate" in describing broad swaths of Disneyland, I would say much of Disneyland is "historically suggestive." Actually, many of the details of Disneyland themselves are historically accurate--because Walt wanted them that way. There is a classic story about Walt inspecting the stagecoach that was being built before the Park opened. Walt wondered why the stagecoach didn't have a "thoroughbrace" (a type of leather strap shock absorber). The manager he was with told Walt they saved money not using it. Walt basically threw a fit because without it, it wasn't accurate. A thoroughbrace was quickly installed. Another story says that Walt Disney stayed up nights because the brake air compressors on the train had to be full-size ones, not accurately-scaled versions.

    The fact is much of DL's design derives from the historic--from the gas lamps on Main Street to the stockade, Columbia and Mark Twain in Frontierland to the details of New Orleans Square. And it was even more so in the 1950s, with the Conestoga wagons, stage coach, Main Street fire wagon and horse-drawn surreys and lamplighter. While there is an element of fantasy, it's the attention to historic detail (in the realms that demand it) that makes the fantasy seem "real."
    Last edited by Steve DeGaetano; 06-11-2008 at 12:47 PM.

  7. #37

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by pussnboots View Post
    Also, let us not forget that our "collective memory" is a little cloudy and rose-colored, something that, ironically, my art history teacher used to blame... On Disney!
    Pseudo-intellectuals always like to blame Disney for the decline of civilization.

    Trust me...People were wearing rose-colored glasses when looking at their past LONG before Disney came around. Hence neoclassical architecture.

  8. #38

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano View Post
    It makes a lot of sense, but why are you in so much pain?
    We don't know. I hope the MRIs they're doing the end of the month will show why my arm and wrist hurt so much. So far we know it's not nerve damage. I refuse to take Vicadin during the day so I deal with the pain. Sometimes I get cranky, and none of it improves my cognitive functions.
    And the discovery yesterday that I have cataracts adds to the feeling that this is, 'The Year Lynn Fell Apart'.
    Ah, well. I plan on hanging in there and as soon as we have these things fixed I hope to get back out to a Sunday Meet.

  9. #39

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    Re: Main Street USA, circa...?

    Sorry to hear that. I sure hope you feel better!

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