Lest you get the wrong idea, I am not a fun guy.
In fact, I am one of the least fun guys in the world. I’m convinced of this.
In spite of appearances. This selfie of yours truly taken at Disneyland yesterday is horribly unrepresentative of the darkness that bloats my heart and coats the countryside. Disneyland is the worst fit for a person like me. Disneyland is make believe. Disneyland is where people go to escape and have hollow fun amid the facades of a world which is a bunch of overpriced make believe. It’s a vicious, virulent circle of fantasy, this place. Disneyland requires a certain personality for its visitors to enjoy and embrace fully. I don’t have that personality. I’ve ceased trying to find that personality or faking it, although, judging by this photograph, I certainly seem to fake it quite well.
But really, I am a ham.
I am a big ol’ attention whore, but I have this psychotic ambivalence that attends my attention whoring because I absolutely despise attention and human interaction. On the one hand, I take photographs like this, but on the other, once the shutter clicks, I am an inhibited, pathologically pensive, somber, withdrawn person. After almost 50 years, I have perfected the fine art of absolutely disengaging from the external environment, especially one such as Disneyland’s where there are too many people who seem intent on placating a predisposed definition of “fun” and “happy” that I can’t begin to understand. I retreat and try to look at as few obnoxious faces as possible.
But still, I look. And because I am “this way,” my mind does not burden itself with frivolity, and instead, continues thinking and examining and dissecting this morbid existence called humanity and society. I am a vigilant reclusive misanthrope. If I could boast of completely ignoring people and shunning their obtrusive trespass upon my reality, I would feel a man of principle; but as it is, I go on about how people bother me but I realize that I still pay too much attention to them, even at a place like Disneyland, and this straddles the line of hypocrisy.
While Disneyland visitors are having fun, eating suicidal food, yelling and talking and pointing, I just sit, the eternal outsider, and watch them and study them and I cannot let it go.
Gravity is my fixation, levity is my adversary. I relish my ability to reach into a Zen zone of displaced reduction, that place where I ensconce my psyche within the lone tunnel that leads to the outside world while failing to scale its length. From here, I peer out at the foolishness of this mad human race that can never just simply not be, and in fact, spends its last ounce of energy trying to figure out how to be through its numerous artificial contrivances and mindless diversions. I cannot “be for the sake of being,” something it appears about 97% of my fellow humans have perfected to a repugnant degree of smug indifference.
In California Adventure, which is really just a mini, alternative Disneyland a few strides outside the main exit, there is the “Cars Land Radiator Springs Racers ride which was my favorite. The ride sets you up in a faux sports car that winds and races through a series of imaginary Southwestern Canyons. There are a few winding drops, but nothing so revolting that you’ll feel as you left your intestines behind. It’s a down-scaled roller coaster with lots of additional Disney movie-props-come-to-life that are guaranteed to please kids and dubious adults.
After you exit the ride and walk toward the exit, there is a panel of screens displaying automated photographs of all the cars as they made their final drop. If you search, you’ll find the photograph of your own car and the g-forced pressed face image of yourself which you can purchase. Since it’s so expensive, the photo is usually taken home by park-goers in the form of a personal phone- or digital-camera image. It didn’t occur to us to take a photo of our own car because we were too busy laughing at ourselves. By the time I fished the camera out of the bag and took the photo, a whole new panel of photos filled the screen and replaced ours. I clicked on the shutter too late. Instead of capturing our own wailing faces, I ended up with an image of the one the cars from a later race that replaced ours. Rather than deleting the photograph, since it didn’t relate to me, I dwelt on the damn thing. I found myself analyzing and mocking it. Of course.
My first reaction was that of curiosity, since you don’t see Asian male/White female couples very often, and at first glance, that is what you have here. But I remembered that these cars only fit 3 across and Disney offers a “Single Rider” option in which you can choose to board rides alone for the sake of speeding up your wait. This made sense now. Asian dude was not with the White chick. That shit is a stretch.
No, this Asian family of 4 (parents and two children) chose to split up the crew so each child would be accompanied by a parent and a couple of single riders filled up the spare seats (a couple of lunatic White ladies). The poor kids, judging by their barely visible foreheads, had no idea where they were going, either. I would like to delete this photo now, but it continues to entertain my derangement.
Another observation: I should have stood in front of that panel of photographs and seen how much time would pass before a Black family popped up on the screen.
I might still be there.
There are very few Black people at Disneyland.
To clarify, there are even fewer Black families. It seems most of the Black people I saw were younger, presumably single, and with non-Black groups. The rarest sight was a Black-Black family with children. This was not a common sight. Now don’t get me wrong, the admission to Disneyland is formidable…about $100 a pop. Parking is $17, the food is never less than $5. Poor people can’t afford Disneyland, and they shouldn’t try.
But Disneyland was full of Hispanics. There were as many Hispanics as there were Asians. The average Mexican-American household income is just shy of that of Black families, yet Hispanics appear to flock to Disneyland. Surely there are enough affluent Black family units to make a respectable showing at the happiest place on earth. But you wouldn’t know it. There were no Blacks. Yet, my people were all over the place…and my people were inordinately represented by families. Mexican families abounded at Disneyland. You might get the impression Mexican-Americans are mired with disposable incomes judging by this strange Disneyland Paradox.
I have some theories:
-Blacks don’t like to spend money on “clean” fun.
-Mexicans are more likely to spend their “last dime” on the family unit.
-Blacks aren’t into “Disney frivolity.”
-Mexicans are not sensible about their money despite being poorer than Blacks.
Ah, Disneyland was good for something, after all.