Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury on Disneyland

 Ray Bradbury has passed on. He was a brilliant author, a visionary futurist, and a really big fan of Disneyland.

 As part of a larger essay, The Machine-Tooled Happyland, Mr. Bradbury once wrote:

 “Disneyland liberates men to their better selves. Here the wild brute is gently corralled, not wised and squashed, not put upon and harassed, not tromped on by real-estate operators, nor exhausted by smog and traffic. “What works at Disneyland should work in the robots that Disney, and others long after him, invent and send forth upon the land. I rest my case by sending you at your next free hour to Disneyland itself. There you will collect your own evidence. There you will see the happy faces of people.

“I don’t mean dumb-cluck happy, I don’t mean men’s-club happy or sewing-circle happy. I mean truly happy.

“No beatniks here. No Cool people with Cool faces pretending not to care, thus swindling themselves out of life or any chance for life. Disneyland causes you to care all over again.

“You feel it is that first day in the spring of that special year when you discovered you were really alive. You return to those morns in childhood when you woke and lay in bed and thought, eyes shut, ‘Yes, sir, the guys will be here any sec. A pebble will tap the window, a dirt clod will horse-thump the roof, a yell will shake the treehouse slats.’ And then you woke fully and the rock did bang the roof and the yell shook the sky and your tennis shoes picked you up and ran you out of the house into living. 

“Disneyland is all that. I’m heading there now. Race you?”

Beautiful and true. See you there, Mr. Bradbury.