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Disney, the Creator, and Christ

By Carl S ~

Is Dumbo more real than Jesus? The answer depends on who you ask. Doesn't every culture have fantasy-fabricated individuals, often with lives of heroic proportions? Haven't celebrities with their real/imagined lives, been around forever? In the beginning, man created gods and keeps altering them. My oldest brother was an artist. He could paint a portrait of someone you'd know, and change the character of that person with a couple of brush-strokes, or make a sculpture of a figure and change its proportions daily, even hourly. He made figures out of Silly Putty, and watched each one as it changed form. Eventually each melted into a puddle. All gods are like that, because they're only as "real" as a person's imagination continues to create them, at whim.

Humans need outlets for frustrations, anger, fear of the future and the unknown. Ergo, in the beginning, man created entertainment, Those seeking explanations for the origins of nature, death, and the meaning of life had no time for conjecture; they were too busy trying to survive. Clever charismatic men create their personal b,s. and watch who accepts it. It figures. There have always been men who will do anything to avoid saying, "I don't know." The wise men, magicians, soothsayers, priests, etc., often are entertainers.

We've all heard the claim religious belief is a human necessity. I disagree. Human nature requires entertainment, and wanting to believe in abstract spiritual beings — but like ourselves — is part of what entertains us. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting has God's fingertip touch Adam's, endowing him with life, right? Nah, this god was jolting Adam's penis to erection. Now that sounds a lot more like real life, doesn't it?

Entertainment is one unique difference between intelligent life forms and the rest of organisms. For example: Male birds display plumage, build elaborate structures, take chances, fight against other males, and act silly — all to impress a female to mate with. Even we're impressed.

Humans crave entertainments, some of them not pleasant to think about. We have songs, dances, heroes, gods and stories of gods and other spirits, etc. Ancient folktales, fables, fairytales, irrational beliefs, including interpretations of dreams and omens. There are those involving cruelty: wars are entertainment for those who aren't affected by them, gladiators vs. lions, inquisitions, public burning of heretics, public hangings of African-Americans. Crucifixions. There's one crucifixion that sanctions cruelty as a wonderful solution for problems.

Cults and religions require constant pretending combined with self and social-contact deception. to perpetuate their entertaining. Don't even try to stop the participants from lying to themselves and one another if that's what turns them on. Even innocent entertainments can become negative under the best of intentions and even turn rotten, if propelled by fabricated fears, phobias and paranoia.

Walt Disney was a man who established his own entertainment empire. During the Great Depression, Disney was there, creating escapism from uncertainty, anger, back-breaking hardships, and loss of fortunes and dignity. Mickey Mouse's antics, with other clever animals acting up, animation itself, were magical welcome outlets. Under the circumstances, the reality of their being no more than drawings made them easy to relate to as much as the audience related to the p.r. images movie stars projected.

In his way, Disney created a religion with talking animals, while elaborating and embellishing traditional fables of a virgin Snow White, died and resurrected, a puppet who sacrificed himself and came back from the dead to become a real boy, a rejected servile daughter whose fairy godmother transformed her so she became a princess, etc. His motion picture, "Fantasia," includes gods, unicorns, and centaurs.

Isn't Dumbo the flying elephant as real as Jesus or Mary? Isn't Dumbo the flying elephant as real as Jesus or Mary or Elias - all of them able to float above the clouds? Disney didn’t tell us we have to believe these fantasy creations, their stories and environments are absolute truths or else we'd be punished. He was honest. He said so, and you knew they were for entertainment.

Sci-fi and fantasy stories are threats to religion. Harry Potter and the Spaghetti Monster are seen as competitors to religions. Indeed they are. Halloween mocks religious superstitions. They are also, you notice, entertainment. They are different interpretations of other-worldly claims, outlets for reality to triumph. Sexual pleasure is the enemy of Christianity and Islam. But religion's biggest threat is the entertainment of humor, especially the liberating humor which reveals how absurd their superstitions are .

Big-time entertainments are costly, involving tremendous amounts of money, time, labor, directors, preparation,. They may require theaters, temples, church-auditoriums, and their contents. Churches, temples, mosques - are only escape from reality venues and their clergy are entertainers. There will always be a market for exploiting people who want and enjoy being lied to,

Televangelists are big-time entertainers; without being entertaining, they'd be out of business. That's it: they have nothing to do with promoting reality. They might suspect that if their theaters are ever recognized for the dedicated pleasure-entertainment venues they are, they would have to pay taxes!

If I had my fictitious character to emulate, it would be Disney's Dumbo, not Jesus. Dumbo is a role model without a malicious pore in his animated DNA.