By Kerry Zagarella
Well before my children were born I had a disdain for Disney. I am not talking about Walt, or The Jungle Book or even Snow White with it’s familiar cringy fem-fatale messaging, but the corporation itself. Disney has certainly contributed to systemic messaging of the desirable 2 inch waistline of the well endowed teen damsel in distress, and every other polished stereotype they include in their movies. I have to admit, they are trying to be more inclusive, but they still are defined by the use of worn out tropes. My personal economic sanctions against Disney are due to the expense a “visit” to the Magic Kingdom is for the average family. Disney has mastered the cradle to grave marketing, so any visit to their land should be free as a gift of gratitude for the world of conscious and subconscious influence they have subjected us to.
Now, everything has changed.
I have grown to become a beer snob. I love a juicy New England style IPA. A beer that you can’t see through, a beer that may change/obscure your world view. As a younger person, a Miller High Life on a hot summer day was heaven, now I choose water over that beer, and any beer like it, including Bud Light.
Now, everything has changed.
One of the happiest days in my young faith-filled life was receiving my first communion in a fancy little kid wedding dress symbolizing my seat at God’s banquet. I fondly remember my veil, my white bobby socks trimmed with crosses made out of thin white ribbon; the shiny white buckle shoes, the gauzy dress. It was like me and all my friends played dress up at the same time and everyone was included in the party. As David Bryne sings in The Talking Heads song, Heaven…”There is a party and everyone is there, Everyone will leave at exactly the same time. It’s hard to imagine that nothing at all could be so exciting, could be this much fun. Yeah, Heaven, Heaven is a place where nothing, nothing ever happens.” As I grew up in the Catholic Church I lived in contradiction to David Byrne’s lyrics. I saw a lot of things happen, mainly a profound cruelty towards children kept secret by the power of the Catholic Church. I have long ago left the Catholic Church and organized religion in general, preferring the spiritual comfort of the natural world.
Now, everything has changed.
And here’s why.
Our current political climate demands action from each one of us to preserve our fragile and imperfect system of Democracy. We must re-examine our own beliefs.
I have to support Disney now, because they are actively opposing the archaic actions of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “The battle between the entertainment giant and DeSantis started last year after Disney opposed the Florida Bill that critics named, “Don’t Say Gay”, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools for kindergarten through third grade. NBC News
Listen, or read on, I should say. I understand that Disney is working on many levels here. One of their main interests is having control of the land surrounding Disney. While Ron DeSantis issued threats to build a prison next to Disney, Disney quietly gained control of the land on February 8th in a special session, signing a deal weeks before DeSantis started his “small world after all” attacks.
But DeSantis doesn't have to threaten Disney with building a jail near them, he has already succeeded in making the whole state of Florida a prison. While he wages a cultural war against whatever he thinks “Woke” means, Floridians suffer. While he brags about Florida being the place where “woke” comes to die, he “campaigned against a succssful ballot initiative to raise the state's minimum wage, which has been stuck at $8.65 an hour.” Clearly DeSantis does not have the people of Florida in mind as he blatantly campaigns for the 2024 presidency. And guess what menace is using this opportunity to take DeSantis down, a Florida favorite good ole Donald, who of course is planning to campaign against him (from prison?). Two small men in one small world, after all. Welcome to the magic King Dumb.
Bud Light, you cannot make me drink you. But, I might buy a Bud Light can Pride wrap for whatever snooty opaque beer I happen to be imbibing. Looking into this outrage a little deeper it is clear that Bud Light has been partnering with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for years. These rainbow cans have been manufactured for Pride month at least since 2019, but now they are controversial. The GOP and alt right searches for hot button topics to rile up their base and divert attention from the country’s real problems, but experts say this will backfire on them. A good reason to toast with a cold Pride filled Bud Light or one disguised to be such, a woke IPA in drag perhaps! YUM!
There is nothing like the celestial promise of spring and it happens all winter long, unseen to us. I suppose I have faith in that. In the patterns of the natural world, the consistency of the seasons. And then there is the miraculous. The awe inspiring details that bombard us at every turn. Nature surrounds us with wonder and miracles. The little flowers erupting through the concrete, the wren’s songs, and the way clouds can simultaneously sit still and make their way across the vast sky, it all waters my little mustard seed. These are the commandments in my religion. I still say, “no thank you”, to the Catholic Church and organized religion in general, but we all must reckon with the “religious” power of the alt-right.
These narrow minded Evangelicals have always been around unnoticed, but they are out now in force thanks to Trump. Remember when feeding the poor was not only a good thing, but also virtuous, doing the work of Jesus? Providing access to food stamps and food assistance with dignity were the actions of the faithful and kind. Instead, there is a growing attitude that it is the poor’s fault for being poor and they should just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” And it is a shame that the unarmed young black boy was shot, but he was running away, wait…I mean jogging. God rest his soul.
I’ll try not to dump all of our current problems on the codependency of Donald Trump and the Evangelicals, but it is hard to avoid. Take a look at gun control. Time Magazine reports that guns are the religion of the right. After every school shooting we witness an outpouring of “thoughts and prayers” but never any action to promote common sense gun laws. Laws that made it harder for a person with a mental illness to get a gun were long ago overturned by Donald Trump.
And now, as the Evangelicals vote against the most basic teachings of Jesus Christ, son of a god, I have to get my Jesus back on. Who is your favorite Jesus? I love Hippy Jesus! And you may remember Ricky Bobby’s favorite: Dear Lord Baby Jesus!
Thank you to my new holy trinity: Jesus, Disney, and Bud Light. They were hiding in the most unexpected place: The GOP platform.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2