The Representation of Amusement Parks in Amusement Parks: Meta-Attractions at Disney Parks

 

Disney Parks have a couple of meta-attractions, attractions that include representations of miniature amusement parks. Visitors can see how Disney, the most famous of amusement parks, represents its own business. I am going to look at two examples, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, which ironically warns the visitor against amusement parks, and It’s a Small World, which presents the amusement park as a unifying symbol of humanity.

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Actors Playing Themselves

What does it mean when stars portray themselves? Are we getting a glimpse of  “the real person”? Far from it! We learn instead that the actor and the image are not the same person. Few performances are as artificial as those in which actors play themselves.

In an interview with the acclaimed actor Michael Cain, Michael Parkinson said, “Yours is the most impersonated voice in the business.” Cain responds, “Oh yeah, everyone– I– I can do it.”

“Can you do it?”

“Yeah, yeah . . . ‘Ello, My name is Michael Cain.” (When he says his name, it sounds like “my cocaine.”) The interviewer and the studio audience laugh. Michael Cain does not. He says, rather seriously, “I sound like a bloody moron.” What does it mean when an actor criticizes his own image?

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Metamucil: Making Meta-Shit Happen

(Photo borrowed from the hysterical website de-motivational.com.)

If metafiction is fiction about fiction and metapainting is painting about painting, “Metamucil” must be mucil about mucil, right? But what is mucil?

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Watching the Watcher: McMenamy x M.A.C., a Meta-Movie

In this short metafilm by Miles Aldridge, the viewer watches supermodel Kristen McMenamy, “the cosmetics muse,” watching a movie. We never see what she is seeing. We only see her face (and bold makeup, hair and clothing). We are the watchers that watch the watcher. We enjoy her enjoyment and get off on her catharsis.

McMenamy x M·A·C on Nowness.com.

(Read more about metafilms in this post by Omar Rodriguez Rodriguez: Metafilms: An Introduction.)

A Meta-Island or a Meta-Lake?

Is this a meta-island? Or a meta-lake? Can nature be self reflective? Look down these photos from Taal Volcano in Taal Lake in the Philipines to see: “An island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island within the ocean.” And we can add one more island, as the earth is often called an island. We often compare space to water with metaphoric language like “The earth floats through space.” Couldn’t we also call the solar system an island? Could interstellar star dust be called a lake? What about a galaxy floating in dark matter? How far out could we zoom?

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The Lack of Blank Spaces: Cage’s 4’33” and Rauschenberg’s “White Paintings”

Well, that didn’t work. I intended to leave this post blank — thirty empty lines followed by the “more” function (“Read the rest of the entry”), then two hundred and sixty three blank lines, another “more,” and one hundred sixty lines, each line representing a second of silence in John Cage’s famous song  “4’33,” three movements of no music totaling four minutes and thirty three seconds, composed for any instrument or combination of instruments. However, WordPress will not allow any blank lines. Although cyberspace is relatively cheap and there is an apparently limitless supply of it, the program edits out the empty spaces. On WordPress, I can write anything I want, except nothing. So, I will have to break the silence Cage created.

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The Conventions of Unconventionality: An Overview of Metafiction

An overview of major themes I found while studying metafiction for the Metaclass, a self-study course for a masters of literature at San Francisco State University. This summary will also serve as a guide to the posts I have written over the last four months (with notes about a few others I intend to write). It is not meant to be a comprehensive list of meta conventions, but an addition to the the list found under Meta-Meta and Metafiction. (Nor is this intended to be a summary of themes I developed about writing and teaching, the metaclass aspect. Those themes may be found in Putting It All Together: Collaborative and Integrated Reading and Writing.)

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Futurestates: A Metafilm

This short film is very meta as it plays with and blurs the distinctions between the fictional and the “real” world. There is no real distinction, you know. We filter all of our experiences of “reality” through a web of fictions and fictions are inarguably part of reality. Stories and films exist. Virtual reality is reality. Enjoy!

Futurestates (ITVS)