robertogreco + disney   14

Opinion | The Rich Kid Revolutionaries - The New York Times
"Rather than repeat family myths about the individual effort and smarts of their forebears, those from wealthy backgrounds tell “money stories” that highlight the more complicated origins of their families’ assets. If their fortunes came from the direct dispossession of indigenous peoples, enslavement of African-Americans, production of fossil fuels or obvious exploitation of workers, they often express especially acute guilt. As a woman in her early 20s told me of the wealth generated by her family’s global business: “It’s not just that I get money without working. It’s that other people work to make me money and don’t get nearly as much themselves. I find it to be morally repugnant.”

Even those I have talked with whose family wealth was accumulated through less transparently exploitative means, such as tech or finance, or who have high-paying jobs themselves, question what they really deserve. They see that their access to such jobs, through elite schools and social networks, comes from their class (and usually race) advantages.

They also know that many others work just as hard but reap fewer rewards. One 27-year-old white woman, who stands to inherit several million dollars, told me: “My dad has always been a C.E.O., and it was clear to me that he spent a lot of time at work, but it has never been clear to me that he worked a lot harder than a domestic worker, for example. I will never believe that.” She and others challenge the description of wealth garnered through work as “earned.” In an effort to break the link between money and moral value, they refer to rich people as “high net wealth” rather than “high net worth.”

Immigrants who “make it” are often seen to exemplify the American dream of upward mobility. The children of immigrants I spoke with, though, don’t want their families’ “success stories” to legitimate an unfair system. Andrea Pien, 32, is a Resource Generation member and a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants who accumulated significant wealth in the United States. She spoke of refusing to be “the token that then affirms the capitalist meritocracy myth, the idea that ‘Oh, if Andrea’s family made it, we don’t need affirmative action, or we don’t need reparations.’”

In general, these young people don’t believe they are entitled to so much when others have so little. Many describe feeling guilt or shame about their privilege, which often leads them to hide it. One college student, a woman of color, told me that she worried what other campus activists might think of her. “What a fraud, right?” she said. “To be in those spaces and be acting like these are my struggles, when they’re not.” A white woman who lives on her inheritance of more than $15 million spoke of “deflecting” questions about her occupation, so that others would not know she did not do work for pay.

These progressive children of privilege told me they study the history of racial capitalism in the United States and discuss the ways traditional philanthropy tends to keep powerful people at the top. They also spend a fair amount of time talking about their money. Should they give it all away? Should they get a job, even if they don’t need the income? How much is it ethical to spend on themselves or others? How does money shape friendships and relationships? Resource Generation and its members facilitate these conversations, including one local chapter’s “feelings caucus.”

If you’re thinking, “Cry me a river,” you’re not alone. I have faced skepticism from other sociologists when discussing this research. One colleague asserted that rich young people struggling with their privilege do not have a “legitimate problem.” Others ask: How much do they really give, and what do they really give up? Aren’t these simply self-absorbed millennials taking another opportunity to talk endlessly about themselves?

I understand this view. There is certainly a risk — of which many of them are aware — that all this conversation will just devolve into navel-gazing, an expression of privilege rather than a challenge to it. It is hard for individual action to make a dent in an ironclad social structure. And it is impossible, as they know, to shed the class privilege rooted in education and family socialization, even if they give away every penny.

But like Abigail Disney, these young people are challenging fundamental cultural understandings of who deserves what. And they are breaking the social taboo against talking about money — a taboo that allows radical inequality to fade into the background. This work is critical at a moment when the top 1 percent of families in the United States owns 40 percent of the country’s wealth, and Jeff Bezos takes home more money per minute than the median American worker makes in a year.

As Holly Fetter, a Resource Generation member and Harvard Business School student, told me, “It’s essential that those of us who have access to wealth and want to use it to support progressive social movements speak up, to challenge the narrative that the 1 percent are only interested in accumulation, and invite others to join us.”

Wealthy people are more likely to convince other wealthy people that the system is unfair. And they are the only ones who can describe intimately the ways that wealth may be emotionally corrosive, producing fear, shame and isolation.

Class privilege is like white privilege, in that its beneficiaries receive advantages that are, in fact, unearned. So for them to conclude that their own wealth is undeserved, and therefore immoral, constitutes a powerful critique of the idea of meritocracy.

The fact that the system is immoral, of course, does not make individuals immoral. One person I spoke with, a white 30-year-old who inherited money, said: “It’s not that we’re bad people. It’s just, nobody needs that much money.” But judgments of systems are often taken as judgments of individuals, which leads white people to deny racism and rich people to deny class privilege.

So even the less-public work of talking through emotions, needs and relationships, which can seem self-indulgent, is meaningful. As Ms. Pien put it, “Our feelings are related to the bigger structure.”

One huge cultural support of that structure is secrecy around money, which even rich people don’t talk about.

Wealthy parents fear that if they tell their kids how much they will inherit, the kids won’t develop a strong work ethic. Yahya Alazrak, of Resource Generation, has heard people say, “My dad won’t tell me how much money we have because he’s worried that I’ll become lazy.” One man in his early 30s recounted that his parents had always told him they would pay for his education, but not support him afterward until they revealed that he had a trust worth over $10 million. Parents also have a “scarcity mentality,” Resource Generation members said, which leads them to “hoard” assets to protect against calamity.

Secrecy also often goes hand in hand with limited financial literacy. Women, especially, may not learn about money management growing up, thanks to gendered ideas about financial planning and male control of family assets. Some people I met who will inherit significant amounts of money didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond.

When wealthy parents do talk about money, they tend to put forth conventional ideas about merit: They or their ancestors worked hard for what they have, scrimped and saved to keep and increase it, and gave some of it away. When their children reject these metrics, parents’ sense of being “good people” is challenged.

When one woman told her immigrant parents she wanted to give their millions away, it was like “a slap in the face” for them, she said, because they felt they had “sacrificed a lot for this money.”

Parents — and the financial professionals who manage family wealth — also tend to follow conventional wisdom about money: Never give away principal. Charitable donations should be offset by tax breaks. And the goal of investing is always to make as much money as possible. As one 33-year-old inheritor said, “No financial adviser ever says, ‘I made less money for the client, but I got them to build affordable housing.’”

Talking about how it feels to be rich can help build affordable housing, though. Once the feeling of being a “bad person” is replaced by “good person in a bad structure,” these young people move into redistributive action. Many talked about asserting control over their money, pursuing socially responsible investments (sometimes for much lower returns) and increasing their own or their families’ giving, especially to social-justice organizations. And eventually — like the people I have quoted by name here — they take a public stand.

Finally, they imagine an alternative future, based on a different idea of what people deserve. Ms. Pien, for example, wants to be “invested in collective good, so we can all have the basics that we need and a little more.” In her vision, this “actually makes everyone more secure and fulfilled and joyful, rather than us hiding behind our mountains of money.”"
abigaildisney  wealth  inequality  activism  legacy  2019  rachelsherman  affluence  security  disney  merit  meritocracy  inheritance  privilege  socialjustice  justice  redistribution  morality  ethics  upwardmobility  immigrants  capitalism  socialism  fulfillment  joy  charity  shame  guilt  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  power  hierarchy  secrecy  hoarding  scarcity  abundance  money  relationships  isolation  class 
may 2019 by robertogreco
The CalArts Story on Vimeo
"This is a historical video about the founding of The California Institute of the Arts."

[via: https://eastofborneo.org/archives/the-calarts-story/

"Disney produced this amazing video in the 1960s as a promo for the yet-to-be-built CalArts. The squeaky clean, utopian vision of tomorrow’s art school doesn’t disappoint."]
losangeles  calarts  1960s  art  design  education  history  disney 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Fangirl Jeanne on Twitter: "Let's talk about my complicated feelings about calling Moana's box office success a win for representation of People of color in media. https://t.co/efgAGqMBou"
"Let's talk about my complicated feelings about calling Moana's box office success a win for representation of People of color in media.

Western media likes to see indigenous people in a particular way. Usually in fantasy past of their imagining, that distances us from them.

So of course white people, and many world wide audiences heavily influenced by white supremacy and colonialism influence on storytelling are

going to find a grass skirt wearing indigenous girl of color lead story set in a white man's imagined version of Pasifika history.

Especially if the brown girl is a child/has no romantic relationships. She's the perfect avatar for white folks to dress up in, like Lilo.

Note: Desexualizing women of color by coding them as strong or as a child is still controlling our sexuality. It's not feminist, it's racist

Moana not having romantic relationships extends her appeal to white women who, don't look like her & won't be threatened by her sexuality.

Again, making a woman of color non-sexual is neither feminist nor is it subversive. It's how you make her acceptable to racist white women.

Is Moana an important representation? Or is it Disney doing what it's always done, repackaged POC to make us acceptable to white folks?

Here's the completed part. Moana does put Polynesia on a global stage in a way no other movie ever could because this is Disney.

It goes a long way to normalize us in western media, especially because of all the Pasifika performers involved with the production.

The fact that a multiracial Samoan man is People magazine's sexiest man alive is nothing to sneeze at, but it's also not that surprising. [image: The Rock]

If we please and are pleasing to white folks we always get to play, but is that true representation? Or is it the same old tether dressed up

in faux "tribal" patterns like a hipster white boy's shitty bicep tattoo he got in Waikiki on Spring Break?

While Disney got Pasifika people, even anthropologists, to advise on Moana, two white man wrote the story and controlled the production.

Disney bought an island in the Pacific (capitalist colonial consumption) and has opened a resort on it, Moana is part of its marketing.

Moana mashed up the cultures of multiple very different islands/nations. Twisting folklore & stories of our ancestors to make us marketable.

Yes, a brown girl sits at the top of the box office, but in many ways it's white supremacy & colonialism that got her there. We're complicit

Should you see Moana? That's a choice I can't and won't make for others. But you should educate yourself and support Pasifika people.

Support Pasifika performers, support and promote media created by Pasifika creators. Use the momentum of Moana to signal boost our voices.

I'm going to see Moana. I've bought merch for myself and my nieces. We are American, raised in Disney and feel the hunger to see ourselves.

I won't shame myself or any other Pasifika people for a natural reaction to our oppression. Our joy is always wrapped in pain and sorrow.

But we need what little joy we can find. I need to see a (Moana) doll with my body and hair, since I began hating myself as a young child.

If you're non-Pasifika person of color Moana provides you an opportunity to see how racism affects us, and how it may work inside of you.

People of color are not immune to consuming each other's culture. It's part of how white supremacy works on us, wears us down and harms us.

If you visited Hawai'i you were on occupied indigenous land that was stolen from its people by America and capitalist interest.

You were taught to consume us since you were a little kid BY DISNEY! [images]

Your were to taught to mock our language and culture by Finding Nemo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDnz360m28Q

You are complicit in our erasure, dehumanizations, and commodification. We all are. This is what Western media does to all of us.

If you have the privilege to look away, to not see you MUST force yourself to look, to acknowledge and do something to help us.

We don't get to walk away from Moana. White men graffitied our home. There is no escaping it. We will make the best of it as we always do."

[via: https://twitter.com/edyong209/status/803000729816494080 ]
moana  disney  race  racism  colonialism  sexuality  whitesupremacy  pasifika  media  poc 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Lemming Suicide Is a Myth That Was Perpetuated by Disney
"We've all heard that lemmings jump into the sea every year, drowning themselves because they are just following the herd. Except they don't. That's actually a myth invented for a Disney wildlife documentary, and it has blinded us to the truth about the weird lives of lemmings for decades.

Lemmings are small, fluffy rodents that live mostly in the Arctic, thriving on the snowy tundra in places like Norway, northern Alaska, and Siberia. One of the great mysteries of lemmings is their odd population cycle. Like many rodents, their population expands every few years. But among lemmings, this explosion is dramatic — every few years, their population grows 100 to 1000 times larger in just one winter season.

These events are often called lemming outbreaks because the rodents will migrate all over the place looking for food, even swimming across rivers and lakes to find plants and mosses to eat. Occasionally, they fall off rocks or cliffs as they scramble to find sustenance. Then, just as abruptly, their population crashes into near-extinction.

For centuries, legends have formed around this odd cycle. Where do the lemming outbreaks come from? And what happens to all of the rodents afterwards? One popular myth was that they all just jumped into the ocean and died. Back in 1958, Disney was making a documentary about Arctic wildlife, White Wilderness, and decided that legends were as good as facts. So they brought in a truck full of lemmings to throw into the Arctic ocean. First, they put a bunch of the lemmings on a big, snowy turntable to film them "running" toward some cliffs. Then they shoved hundreds of these poor little guys over the cliff, into the ocean, where they (not surprisingly) drowned after trying to swim.

Here is the original clip from White Wilderness, below. Knowing that these lemmings were deliberately shoved over the cliff and drowned makes this pretty upsetting, so be warned before watching.

This film is what gave rise to many sayings about how lemmings follow the herd no matter what. And of course it's misled many people into thinking that lemmings commit mass suicide on a regular basis.

The reality is actually just as mysterious as the legends. Lemmings are one of the only true Arctic rodents, and they prefer to reproduce in winter. During especially cold winters, or at chilly high altitudes, they will have far more offspring. Lemming population booms, according to researchers' observations, are dependent on icy cold weather. There are likely a few reasons for this, but most important would be that they've adapted to cold weather systems — when there's a long, intense winter, these little guys breed like crazy under the snow.

As for what causes the lemmings' massive population crash — we still aren't completely sure. We know for certain that it's not mass suicide, but we also know that more adult lemmings die during outbreak years. So the population is huge, but a lot more of the animals are dying than during a typical year.

This high lemming death rate could be because the expanded population suffers food shortages, or it could be caused by predators chowing down on these tasty creatures that are suddenly everywhere underfoot. Another possibility is that there is a lot more infanticide because so many males want to mate with females — and killing a female's brood will make her ready to mate again.

Because the most intriguing part of the lemmings' lifecycle takes place under the Arctic ice, it's been hard to observe them and find out what's driving their population flux. But one thing is for certain. With the Arctic warming, there are likely to be fewer and fewer lemming outbreaks. And nobody is really sure what that will do to the typical lemming population.

For now, lemmings remain a strange and adorable mystery of the tundra."

[I never bookmarked this when I used it in January: "In 1958, Disney made a film about big data. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMZlr5Gf9yY More info: http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.asp + http://factually.gizmodo.com/lemmings-dont-commit-mass-suicide-disney-pushed-them-o-1614038696 "
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/556196381258293248 ]
lemmings  disney  1958  nature  animals  propoganda  data  bigdata  herdmentality  slander  arctic  tundra  annaleenewitz  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Medium
'Living under permanent surveillance and what that means for our freedom'



"Put a collar with a GPS chip around your dog’s neck and from that moment onwards you will be able to follow your dog on an online map and get a notification on your phone whenever your dog is outside a certain area. You want to take good care of your dog, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the collar also functions as a fitness tracker. Now you can set your dog goals and check out graphs with trend lines. It is as Bruce Sterling says: “You are Fluffy’s Zuckerberg”.

What we are doing to our pets, we are also doing to our children.

The ‘Amber Alert’, for example, is incredibly similar to the Pet Tracker. Its users are very happy: “It’s comforting to look at the app and know everyone is where they are supposed to be!” and “The ability to pull out my phone and instantly monitor my son’s location, takes child safety to a whole new level.” In case you were wondering, it is ‘School Ready’ with a silent mode for educational settings.

Then there is ‘The Canary Project’ which focuses on American teens with a driver’s license. If your child is calling somebody, texting or tweeting behind the wheel, you will be instantly notified. You will also get a notification if your child is speeding or is outside the agreed-on territory.

If your child is ignoring your calls and doesn’t reply to your texts, you can use the ‘Ignore no more’ app. It will lock your child’s phone until they call you back. This clearly shows that most surveillance is about control. Control is the reason why we take pleasure in surveilling ourselves more and more.

I won’t go into the ‘Quantified Self’ movement and our tendency to put an endless amount of sensors on our body attempting to get “self knowlegde through numbers”. As we have already taken the next step towards control: algorithmic punishment if we don’t stick to our promises or reach our own goals."



"Normally his self-measured productivity would average around 40%, but with Kara next to him, his productiviy shot upward to 98%. So what do you do with that lesson? You create a wristband that shocks you whenever you fail to keep to your own plan. The wristband integrates well, of course, with other apps in your “productivity ecosystem”."



"On Kickstarter the makers of the ‘Blink’ camera tried to crowdfund 200.000 dollars for their invention. They received over one millions dollars instead. The camera is completely wireless, has a battery that lasts a year and streams HD video straight to your phone."



"I would love to speak about the problems of gentrification in San Francisco, or about a culture where nobody thinks you are crazy when you utter the sentence “Don’t touch me, I’ll fucking sue you” or about the fact this Google Glass user apparently wasn’t ashamed enough about this interaction to not post this video online. But I am going to talk about two other things: the first-person perspective and the illusionary symmetry of the Google Glass.

First the perspective from which this video was filmed. When I saw the video for the first time I was completely fascinated by her own hand which can be seen a few times and at some point flips the bird."



"The American Civil Liberties Union (also known as the ACLU) released a report late last year listing the advantages and disadvantages of bodycams. The privacy concerns of the people who will be filmed voluntarily or involuntarily and of the police officers themselves (remember Ai Weiwei’s guards who were continually watched) are weighed against the impact bodycams might have in combatting arbitrary police violence."



"A short while ago I noticed that you didn’t have to type in book texts anymore when filling in a reCAPTCHA. Nowadays you type in house numbers helping Google, without them asking you, to further digitize the physical world."



"This is the implicit view on humanity that the the big tech monopolies have: an extremely cheap source of labour which can be brought to a high level of productivity through the smart use of machines. To really understand how this works we need to take a short detour to the gambling machines in Las Vegas."



"Taleb has written one of the most important books of this century. It is called ‘Anti-fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ and it explores how you should act in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile. According to him, we have allowed efficiency thinking to optimize our world to such an extent that we have lost the flexibility and slack that is necessary for dealing with failure. This is why we can no longer handle any form of risk.

Paradoxically this leads to more repression and a less safe environment. Taleb illustrates this with an analogy about a child which is raised by its parents in a completely sterile environment having a perfect life without any hard times. That child will likely grow up with many allergies and will not be able to navigate the real world.

We need failure to be able to learn, we need inefficiency to be able to recover from mistakes, we have to take risks to make progress and so it is imperative to find a way to celebrate imperfection.

We can only keep some form of true freedom if we manage to do that. If we don’t, we will become cogs in the machines. I want to finish with a quote from Ai Weiwei:
“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”
"
aiweiwei  surveillance  privacy  china  hansdezwart  2014  google  maps  mapping  freedom  quantification  tracking  technology  disney  disneyland  bigdog  police  lawenforcement  magicbands  pets  monitoring  pettracker  parenting  teens  youth  mobile  phones  cellphones  amberalert  canaryproject  autonomy  ignorenomore  craiglist  productivity  pavlok  pavlov  garyshteyngart  grindr  inder  bangwithfriends  daveeggers  transparency  thecircle  literature  books  dystopia  lifelogging  blink  narrative  flone  drones  quadcopters  cameras  kevinkelly  davidbrin  googleglass  sarahslocum  aclu  ferguson  michaelbrown  bodycams  cctv  captcha  recaptcha  labor  sousveillance  robots  humans  capitalism  natashadowschüll  design  facebook  amazon  addiction  nassimtaleb  repression  safety  society  howwelearn  learning  imperfection  humanism  disorder  control  power  efficiency  inefficiency  gambling  lasvegas  doom  quantifiedself  measurement  canon  children 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney - NYTimes.com
[Don't read this here, go read the entire article.]
[Update (20 Sept 2014): Now Radio Lab has done a story. http://www.radiolab.org/story/juicervose/ ]

"Owen’s chosen affinity clearly opened a window to myth, fable and legend that Disney lifted and retooled, just as the Grimm Brothers did, from a vast repository of folklore. Countless cultures have told versions of “Beauty and the Beast,” which dates back 2,000 years to the Latin “Cupid and Psyche” and certainly beyond that. These are stories human beings have always told themselves to make their way in the world.

But what draws kids like Owen to these movies is something even more elemental. Walt Disney told his early animators that the characters and the scenes should be so vivid and clear that they could be understood with the sound turned off. Inadvertently, this creates a dream portal for those who struggle with auditory processing, especially, in recent decades, when the films can be rewound and replayed many times.

The latest research that Cornelia and I came across seems to show that a feature of autism is a lack of traditional habituation, or the way we become used to things. Typically, people sort various inputs, keep or discard them and then store those they keep. Our brains thus become accustomed to the familiar. After the third viewing of a good movie, or a 10th viewing of a real favorite, you’ve had your fill. Many autistic people, though, can watch that favorite a hundred times and seemingly feel the same sensations as the first time. While they are soothed by the repetition, they may also be looking for new details and patterns in each viewing, so-called hypersystemizing, a theory that asserts that the repetitive urge underlies special abilities for some of those on the spectrum.

Disney provided raw material, publicly available and ubiquitous, that Owen, with our help, built into a language and a tool kit. I’m sure, with enough creativity and energy, this can be done with any number of interests and disciplines. For some kids, their affinity is for train schedules; for others, it’s maps. While our household may not be typical, with a pair of writerly parents and a fixation on stories — all of which may have accentuated and amplified Owen’s native inclinations — we have no doubt that he shares a basic neurological architecture with people on the autism spectrum everywhere.

The challenge is how to make our example useful to other families and other kids, whatever their burning interest. That’s what Team Owen seems to be talking about. How does this work? Is there a methodology? Can it be translated from anecdote to analysis and be helpful to others in need?"



"The room gets quiet. It’s clear that many of these students have rarely, if ever, had their passion for Disney treated as something serious and meaningful.

One young woman talks about how her gentle nature, something that leaves her vulnerable, is a great strength in how she handles rescue dogs. Another mentions “my brain, because it can take me on adventures of imagination.”

A young man, speaking in a very routinized way with speech patterns that closely match the “Rain Man” characterization of autism, asks me the date of my birth. I tell him, and his eyes flicker. “That was a Friday.”

When I ask the group which Disney character they most identify with, the same student, now enlivened, says Pinocchio and eventually explains, “I feel like a wooden boy, and I’ve always dreamed of feeling what real boys feel.” The dorm counselor, who told me ahead of time that this student has disciplinary issues and an unreachable emotional core, then compliments him — “That was beautiful,” she says — and looks at me with astonishment. I shrug. He’d already bonded in a soul-searching way with his character. I just asked him which one.

It goes on this way for an hour. Like a broken dam. The students, many of whom have very modest expressive speech, summon subtle and deeply moving truths.

There’s a reason — a good-enough reason — that each autistic person has embraced a particular interest. Find that reason, and you will find them, hiding in there, and maybe get a glimpse of their underlying capacities. In our experience, we found that showing authentic interest will help them feel dignity and impel them to show you more, complete with maps and navigational tools that may help to guide their development, their growth. Revealed capability, in turn, may lead to a better understanding of what’s possible in the lives of many people who are challenged."



"For nearly a decade, Owen has been coming to see Griffin in this basement office, trying to decipher the subtle patterns of how people grow close to one another. That desire to connect has always been there as, the latest research indicates, it may be in all autistic people; their neurological barriers don’t kill the desire, even if it’s deeply submerged. And this is the way he still is — autism isn’t a spell that has been broken; it’s a way of being. That means the world will continue to be inhospitable to him, walking about, as he does, uncertain, missing cues, his heart exposed. But he has desperately wanted to connect, to feel his life, fully, and — using his movies and the improvised tool kit we helped him build — he’s finding his footing. For so many years, it was about us finding him, a search joined by Griffin and others. Now it was about him finding himself.

“Owen, my good friend,” Griffin says, his eyes glistening, “it’s fair to say, you’re on your way.”

Owen stands up, that little curly-haired boy now a man, almost Griffin’s height, and smiles, a knowing smile of self-awareness.

“Thank you, Rafiki,” Owen says to Griffin. “For everything.”

“Is friendship forever?” Owen asks me.

“Yes, Owen, it often is.”

“But not always.”

“No, not always.”

It’s later that night, and we’re driving down Connecticut Avenue after seeing the latest from Disney (and Pixar), “Brave.” I think I understand now, from a deeper place, how Owen, and some of his Disney Club friends, use the movies and why it feels so improbable. Most of us grow from a different direction, starting as utterly experiential, sorting through the blooming and buzzing confusion to learn this feels good, that not so much, this works, that doesn’t, as we gradually form a set of rules that we live by, with moral judgments at the peak.

Owen, with his reliance from an early age on myth and fable, each carrying the clarity of black and white, good and evil, inverts this pyramid. He starts with the moral — beauty lies within, be true to yourself, love conquers all — and tests them in a world colored by shades of gray. It’s the sidekicks who help him navigate that eternal debate, as they often do for the heroes in their movies.

“I know love lasts forever!” Owen says after a few minutes.

We’re approaching Chevy Chase Circle, five minutes from where we live. I know I need to touch, gently, upon the notion that making friends or finding love entails risk. There’s no guarantee of forever. There may be heartbreak. But we do it anyway. I drop this bitter morsel into the mix, folding around it an affirmation that he took a risk when he went to an unfamiliar place on Cape Cod, far from his friends and home, and found love. The lesson, I begin, is “to never be afraid to reach out.”

He cuts me off. “I know, I know,” he says, and then summons a voice for support. It’s Laverne, the gargoyle from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“Quasi,” he says. “Take it from an old spectator. Life’s not a spectator sport. If watchin’s all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without you.”

He giggles under his breath, then does a little shoulder roll, something he does when a jolt of emotion runs through him. “You know, they’re not like the other sidekicks.”

He has jumped ahead of me again. I scramble. “No? How?”

“All the other sidekicks live within their movies as characters, walk around, do things. The gargoyles only live when Quasimodo is alone with them.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because he breathes life into them. They only live in his imagination.”

Everything goes still. “What’s that mean, buddy?”

He purses his lips and smiles, chin out, as if he got caught in a game of chess. But maybe he wanted to. “It means the answers are inside of him,” he says.

“Then why did he need the gargoyles?”

“He needed to breathe life into them so he could talk to himself. It’s the only way he could find out who he was.”

“You know anyone else like that?”

“Me.” He laughs a sweet, little laugh, soft and deep. And then there’s a long pause.

“But it can get so lonely, talking to yourself,” my son Owen finally says. “You have to live in the world.”"
autism  learning  parenting  comics  disney  health  movies  communication  fables  myths  legends  morals  ablerism  capabilities  abilities  differentlyabled  capacities  howwelearn  howweteach  neurotypical  psychology  dignity  interestedness  connection  love  howwelove  friednship  teaching  listening  folklore  via:timmaly  ronsuskind  interested 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Disney's Aireal lets you feel the imaginary | The Verge
"The researchers think that this kind of new haptic technology could be used not only to provide feedback for computer interfaces and video games (like the soccer goalie game pictured above), but also allow for new kinds of experiences like the butterfly on your houseplant — what they call "transient haptic displays." They envision a movie watcher getting hit with vortices when there's an explosion onscreen, possibly knocking papers off the living room table. And when combined with new, immsersive display technologies like Microsoft's Illumiroom, the possibilities get even more exciting. "We have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible," says the team."
disney  aireal  haptic  technology  haptics  interaction  matthewglisson  2013 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Now serving Los Angeles
"Nanna mobile app was created privately for a high profile family in Los Angeles. The app was tailored for 4 nannies, 7 kids and 5 parents to communicate and exchange alerts and updates. The parents can track categories such as pickup/dropoff, calendar, medication and finding playmates. At the end of the day, nannies can summarize all the entries and send to the parents in a formatted email. As part of my research, I spent 3 days with the family to observe in their natural environment rather than in a formal research setting."

[via: http://storkbitesman.blogspot.com/2012/01/nanna.html ]
[See also: http://daddytypes.com/2012/01/12/nanna_bespoke_kid_management_app_by_jackie_ki.php ]
interactiondesign  communication  children  parenting  disney  wealth  nannies  iphone  ios  applications  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Edward Copeland on Film: When a Cartoon Aimed to Be Art
"In honor of the 70th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Fantasia, film critic Matt Zoller Seitz watched and discussed the film with his daughter, Hannah, age 13. The format was somewhat less than ideal — an old VHS cassette that hadn’t been touched in more than a decade — but it was enough to jog dad’s memory. However, the authors did not expect that peculiarities of the format would complicate the project; more on that in a moment."
film  waltdisney  fantasia  conversation  art  edwardcopeland  mattzollerseitzhistory  tv  television  disney  culture  miyazaki  parenting  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Future Is So Yesterday [via: http://blog.longnow.org/2008/07/23/the-future-is-so-yesterday/]
"It was very surprising to me, getting to the future, that nobody was all that interested. Things just started to happen so fast, we were overwhelmed. With the microchip, we stopped being able to imagine the future -- we had so much trouble handling what
future  history  sciencefiction  scifi  dannyhillis  disney  tomorrowland  us  society 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Disney | Magic restored | Economist.com
"What accounts for this renaissance? Iger's management style is said by many to have unlocked Disney's creativity....[Eisner] meddled in detail of Disney's parks & movies. In contrast...“Bob pushes creative decisions to the people below him.”
disney  pixar  creativity  via:kottke  leadership  management  administration  organizations  business 
may 2008 by robertogreco

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