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Hippos, Pirates, and Indians

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  • Rob
    Indian Comics Irregular #85 Last year Disneyland took another step toward the 21st century. As an article in the LA Times (9/3/01) reported: They took away
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2002
      Indian Comics Irregular #85

      Last year Disneyland took another step toward the 21st century. As
      an article in the LA Times (9/3/01) reported:

      They took away the wench-chasing pirates. Now, they've stopped
      shooting the hippos.

      No more do the wise-cracking skippers reach for their Smith &
      Wessons and fire a few blanks at hippopotamuses emerging from the
      river bottom. These days, they don't even try to scare the
      mechanical creatures with a few haphazard gunshots skyward.

      The news upset Disney fans, including one Times reader who remembered
      another "fun" attraction:

      I will never forget the attack of Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer's
      Island. I watched in awe as actors dressed in Native American
      costume raided the fort as guests were taking a few minutes to
      drink something cool. Carrying tomahawks they sure looked like a
      mean bunch. Shortly thereafter the cavalry troops rescued the
      fort, with guns blazing, from those villainous Indians. The
      soldiers helped us kids handle the pretend rifles, defending the
      fort from the next group as they crossed the Rivers of America.
      It was the magic of Walt Disney back then that made one feel as if
      one were in another land, during another time, that is sorely
      lacking from the park these days.

      Pretending to kill Indians...a perennial source of amusement. What
      fun! What joy! What magic!

      Another Times reader defended Disney's moves:

      [F]ormer employee Mike DeForest asks, "What's next, disarming the
      Pirates of the Caribbean?" Good question. Perhaps a better
      question is why anyone ever thought the marauding activities of
      pirates to be amusing family entertainment? If you really want to
      know about the pirates of the Caribbean, I suggest you read James
      Michener's "Caribbean." The descriptions of rape, torture and
      other acts are appalling. That we should celebrate such behavior
      is a sad commentary on a sick society.

      So, I suggest that the disarming of the Jungle Cruise boats is one
      small step toward rehabilitating a dysfunctional culture.
      Glorifying violence and putting toy guns in the hands of toddlers
      is surely responsible to some extent for the slaughter plaguing our
      schools and our streets across the nation. Let's look at violent
      behavior for what it truly is and stop desensitizing ourselves to
      the toll that it takes on our lives.

      For more on Disneyland's deadly hippos and Indians, go to

      Natives in Neverland

      Pirates and Indians were prominent in Disney's version of "Peter
      Pan." The 1953 movie made piracy something to aspire to. Captain
      Hook and his men were like seagoing cowboys: rule-breakers who took
      what they wanted and trampled anyone who got in their way.

      The hook-nosed, half-naked Indians were something else: pure
      evildoers with no redeeming qualities. They kidnapped children
      because, well, that's what Indians do. The movie reinforced the
      notion that Natives are fantasy figures from a distant time and
      place--an archetype of wildness and savagery.

      Thankfully, this year's sequel to "Peter Pan," "Return to
      Neverland," omitted the brutish Indians. Maybe some Neverland
      soldiers herded them onto a reservation. But Disney still broadcasts
      the original "Peter Pan," incorrect Indians and all.

      PEACE PARTY Story Debuts

      Our illustrated 9/11 story is now online at
      http://www.bluecorncomics.com/pp911.htm. It earned PEACE PARTY some
      good notices and a National Native News radio interview. Thanks for
      the support, everyone.

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
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