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Thursday, August 26, 2010

How I use Disney Resource Material

Originally posted June 17, 2010

I realize that I am taking the chance of losing readership, but this is as much an exercise in flow of consciousness as it is an exploration of Disney, and I think it important that the people following this blog understand how I process information and proceed with interpreting it. That and I have what I like to call ‘intellectual ADD’. Curiosity is a wonderful thing to possess; it is a much more difficult thing to manage. On any given day, my mind floods with fleeting curious thoughts and wants desperately to go chasing each them down their respective rabbit hole. It is a constant challenge to remain focused. I think that may be why I have developed such a fascination with Walt Disney. From all that I have seen so far, He too was a very curious man moving quickly from one idea to the next.

It is, of course, my dreams, that one day this blog will have a huge following. Who does not dream of their 15 minutes of fame? But right now my following is small cadre of close friends, both online and in real life, who are allowing me to abuse them. I do want you all to know how much I appreciate you, and hope not to bore you too much with a lot of superfluous detail. But, I want these thoughts on the record for possible future readers to be able go back to and understand how I choice pursued this endeavor. Again, I think this is something Walt understood and part of the reason we have so much material of his own from which to draw.

So please bear with me as I lay the groundwork, I promise we’ll be getting to the good stuff soon.

I am primarily an observer, and analyst, if you will. I digest as much information as I can, and then try to interpret it. It has been my observation that actions speak louder than words, and in the absence of action you need to read multiple accounts of same events to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. Even where we read, hear, or watch Walt’s own accounts of events in his life, we must be mindful that we are getting views that a based on his interpretations and biases of the time and not always completely accurate. There are few historians that do not inflict their own interpretations of event as facts in their works, and even fewer individual accounts of events that are not skewed to some extend to the teller of the story. Hence the real need for multiple accounts. I will also try to include so understanding of the views and social morays of the period that sound events took place. I think we often judge past events based on current standard and as a result taken actions that claim out of context.

There is a vast array of information on Walt Disney’s life and the company he co-founded. I have no intention of recreated those works, but most of it has been very helpful to me in developing my understanding of Walt Disney, the Man, the Myth, and the Company. It is my desire to give you my interpretation of the man, the myth, and the company based on these works. I will not necessarily be citing particular works (except where I find appropriate) in support of my conclusions. I views are based on the totality of the information I have at the moment, and as that information base grows, some views may change. You will be the first to know when that happens.
You will notice a couple of new sidebar sections which will start to provide you with lists of the places I have obtained my information. So today I kick that off by adding a link to The Walt Disney Family Museum as my first “Useful Link.” First because, Diane Disney Miller (Walt’s Daughter) and Richard Benefield (Executive Director) have created a first class museum with in my opinion every bit the experience one would expect at any Disney venue. Second, for anyone interested in Walt Disney, the museum is a cornucopia of artifacts and information not to be missed. You may also want to keep a watch on the website because they have a new about Walt Disney section under construction which will make available more online content. It appears that they plan to cycle in some of the great content developed under guidance of the Greene’s (Richard and Katherine), curators of the online Walt Disney Museum that preceded the brick and mortar (quite literally) museum at The Presidio. I’ve had opportunity to view quite a bit of that content, and it is very well done and both entertaining and informative. We are very fortunate that Walt Disney managed to document so much of his life through voice, video, and the written page. We are also fortunate that so many of the people that worked with Walt have been willing to share their experiences for the record.
I am also putting the museum up as the first and top link because, as I have said, I am a member and not above putting in a plug for place I love.

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