In this issue...
In this column, DIS' 'n' DAT gives some more members of the FDC the opportunity to tell the readership of this newsletter just who they are and how they came to .Rd in the first place. Their responses, slightly edited, follow:
The FDC Morgana was born and bred in the great state of Alabama along the shores of the beautiful Lake Martin. She likes the big city atmosphere, however, which is why she fought to find a job in New Orleans after graduating and having to return to her home town to wait for the job offers to pour in. [She reports that she's still waiting, by the way - Ed.]
Morgana first made a pilgrimage to Walt Disney World (WDW) in the spring of 1983, when she was in the 5th grade. She still remembers most vividly the crazy tea cups and Space Mountain - which was the first roller coaster she had ever ridden. She really can't remember being a crazy Disney fan when she was a kid, but the first movie she remembers seeing in the theatre is _Bambi_, which she saw in Mainz, where her step-father was stationed in what was West Germany, when she was 3. Morgana's life changed completely in the Spring of 1992 when she attended "Disney Night" with some friends at the Methodist Center on Tulane's campus. During that night, she and the others present watched a total of about 12 Disney movies. Morgana/Griz was absolutely floored and astounded that she had missed out on these treasures. Since this time, she has expanded her video collection, which now contains about 15 of the Disney Animated features, and 4 or 5 of the live-actions, and she's slowly working on the others. Her fondest (recent) Disney memory occurred a year later in the Spring of 1993. While visiting friends in San Diego and Los Angeles, Morgana had the opportunity to visit the Place Where It All Began. [Morgana pauses for dramatic effect, bowing her head, taking off her mouse ears hat, and presenting arms (a.k.a. SuperSoaker)] It truly was the Happiest Place On Earth.
After returning to her humdrum life as a student in New Orleans, Morgana stumbled across the newsgroup of her dreams - .Rd . She lurked for a week or so, then posted her opinions of Disneyland - adding her thoughts to the debate that was raging about whether WDW was better than Disneyland or visa-versa. Over the summer, she noticed a couple of people who had the term "FDC" in their .signature. She wrote to one of them, Sean Squier, to inquire as to the meaning of the anagram (or is it an acrostic?), and she received information about the illustrious company known to one and all as The Future Disney Cabinet. She sent a message to Sean asking to be included as the Executive Prince Tester and as VP of Casting and Personnel. Despite the fact that she never received a response, she assumed that she was accepted.
Sometime during the next year, she noticed a post by some Quacked-up person who claimed to be the "Official Duck - all of them"... and she suddenly remembered one of her favorite characters from the Disney Afternoon. Therefore, she sent off a message to this Duck person, asking if he would mind sharing the title and allowing her to perform the duties of Quack-around Morgana Macawbre. Although he didn't want to let her at first, he finally agreed, and she's been attempting to get Darkwing to notice her ever since. As a member of the Justice Ducks, Morgana fights against the FDC Bad Guy Coalition (BGC), and her human counterpart attempts to do the same whenever possible. She hates seeing injustices done to anyone, and prides herself in her honesty. (She hates being lied to, so she tries not to lie to anyone herself - even inadvertently.) She believes whole-heartedly that Robert Fulgham is right when he claims that the world would be much better if everyone would meet for milk and cookies at 3:00 and then lay down for a nap. [So, did Fulgham work for Nabisco, then? - Ed.] She also believes that the world would be a better place if everyone were a Disney fan and dedicated to the propagation of Pixie Dust throughout the world. [But, will it help global warming? - Ed.]
She also reports that she tends to talk too much.
Since we know that our readers want the real low-down on this, DIS' 'n' DAT presents, from the home office of "I'll Sue" City:
Some kind of trick for Picard, Riker, and the rest of the Enterprise crew to see _Fantasmic!_ without waiting? Perhaps they wanted to get told they couldn't park-hop in 3D?
Well, if you thought this, then you'd be wrong!
No, HoloDisney isn't some far-off futuristic toy for the indulgence of Starfleet personnel. HoloDisney, or HD for short, is the new technological brainchild of a pair of computer buffs, both with information superhighway ties to the mighty Mouse's corporate muscle. The idea sprang from the minds of Mr. Tim Pickett formerly of AusneyLand Melbourne, and Mr. Geoff Thomas of New Kiwiland, who were dissatisfied with the current state of Disney theme parks,
The concept behind HoloDisney is very simple: a virtual reality system operating on powerful computers transports you into a world of cartoon characters and comics, with a different experience awaiting you in each one. These experiences, known as "modules," are the heart of the system; they are what makes each experience unique. There are currently over 20 modules available, with more being added just recently. Guests can experience almost anything their heart desires in these modules, from ballroom dancing with the charming and elegant partner of their choice, to sorcery with a super-villain, all with their favourite Disney characters in their favourite Disney locations.
"These aren't just fancy video games," says Mr. Thomas. "They're the future of theme park entertainment - of all entertainment. We envisage a HoloDisney-capable machine available to the general public within 5 years for below $2000."
Mr. Pickett has left the HoloDisney team after many hours of work on the mermaid arm of the operation. He wishes to pursue his blossoming career in a Private Investigator, tracking down an elusive young red-headed woman in a blue dress. Consequently, Mr. Thomas has assumed full control of the HoloDisney system, and is pleased with trends to date. At its premiere near EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Mr. Thomas was quoted as saying: "Damn! They've beaten us to it." He was of course referring the queues of people lined up to try out the new attraction.
The initial module in the attraction is a magic carpet ride over the mythical city of Agrabah, which featured in Disney's smash hit movie Aladdin, and the ride offers as much of a whole new world of excitement as was present during this scene in the movie. Guests don headsets and gloves, and fly through virtual Agrabah on a carpet especially for them, with a computer generated version of the movie character Iago, Jafar's parrot sidekick, to guide them.
Mr. Thomas has had many dealings in the field of magic carpets, with his own carpet nearby at all times. He has formed a venture with his fiancee and business associate, Miss T. N. Kerbel, a relation of the pixie movie star Tinker Bell, in an air-carrier service between Agrabah and Never Never Land, where Mr. Thomas' carpet assists in bodyguard duties for Miss Bell. This close relationship with carpets and air-borne beings of all sorts gives Mr. Thomas a unique insight into the problems and issues to be overcome in the creation of the first HoloDisney module.
When asked about future plans for the HoloDisney system, Mr. Thomas was tight-lipped, "in the interests of commercial sensitivity," but did say that he intends to travel to the Orlando area soon to oversee further development of the system.
"If the prototype system proves successful in Orlando," says Mr. Thomas, "we intend to phase it in to all the existing parks except AusneyLand, progressively replacing the current attractions with the new system." This move is a long-awaited god-send to the failing Euro Disneyland/Disneyland Paris site, which has been suffering from financial hardship since opening day. Mr. Thomas informed DIS' 'n' DAT that the reason for this changeover was to avoid a repeat of the Small World incident, in late July 1993, when a fellow native New Kiwilander almost lynched Disney officials while shouting "Not bloody small enough!"
After its installation at Disneyland Paris, the HoloDisney system will be brought into the other parks, beginning with Tokyo Disneyland followed by Disneyland itself, and finally the Walt Disney World theme park complex. AusneyLand has no plans to adopt HoloDisney to replace the Mermaid Simulator system they have installed there, as they believe HoloDisney could not bring in a competitive revenue as is currently gained from the MS. They will however be acting as agents for the Pacific nations to purchase HoloDisney systems for use in shopping malls, amusement arcades, movie theatres, convention centres, and the home. Direct to module experiences are expected, following the success of Disney's Return of Jafar video movie, that was not released in theatres prior to its video release. The home market is expected to be the largest for HoloDisney, and a number of modules have been designed especially for leisure and education to suit this financially lucrative market.
HoloDisney(TM) is proud to announce that the following new HoloDisney modules are available, from any authorized HoloDisney distributor, or your neighborhood Disney Store.
[Editor's note - This module has been temporarily delayed as of pressing time due to an infringement dispute with Id Software's upcoming virtual reality game DOOM II, which also features Hell On Earth.]
This module should not be confused with the existing `Bibbity "Bobbitt"-y Boo' module, also produced by HoloDisney. Although both involve fiery females and sharp cutting instruments, that is where the similarity ends. HoloDisney is offering both of these modules in a "Buy one, get the other free" offer, since the sales of the existing module have been rather poor.
Bum! Da-da bum! Da-da bum! Make way - for it is he! Say "Hey!" - Say "Hey!" to Steve! Hey! Comin' through from the hotel lobby! Sue, it is true: It's our Disney hobby! Come be the first on your block to meet his eye! It's FidoNET Disney EchoEARS Day, And you're gonna love this guy! Here comes Steve! Yes, it is "The" Steven Soria! [SOAR-ee-ah] Hug "The Surge!" - Don't fight the urge, Take it from me. And that's why we're here today On Disney EchoEARS Day - We've come to be his spectacular coterie! Mighty Steve! Fabulous he! Steven Soria! [SOAR-ee-ah] Rides "Teacups" after he sups - Won't get urpy! He feeds the Disneyland hordes! He's run some bulletin boards! And now we're all running towards the mighty Steve! He's the Lead who's in charge of the Cone Shop. And Coke Corner is also his den! He's got drinks, he's got ice cream and hot dogs. Sometimes now and then, you will find him Riding Pirates of Ca-ribb-ean! (Argh!) Thanks to Steve we got to see "rowboat and sparklers!" With some kelp, Roberta helped His parody! Some ducks became a flambe' (The Surge! ignited them). A "Not-So-Fantasmic!" display performed by Steve! Steve's the sysop who runs "Mickey's Kingdom," And to use it he charges no fee! His vacation's the reason we've all come To bow to his whim, love serving him! We're just lousy with loyalty to "The Surge!" Yes, to Steve! Ass-Sis-Tant Moderator, Steven Soria! [SOAR-ee-ah] Hope he makes those root beer floats _explode_ on me! So EchoEARS everywhere, Adjust your "ears" and prepare With "Thunder Boy," *Tink*, and Eric Carr! With Sue, Rolando, Ed Sterrett and more! With Rich and Carol, Ben, Carl, and Michael! With Minnie Mouse and Mic-key, Make way for it is Steve! (In falsetto voice:) YOOOOO-HOOOO, THEEEEE!!!!! ;-)
It started a few years ago. I saw _The Little Mermaid_ on the big screen and fell in love with Ariel.
I've heard other people tell me sort of the same thing, but it wasn't the same thing with me. It wasn't just her voice. I found myself falling in love with a god-damned cartoon, f'r crissakes!
What could I do? I'm a human being... she's just a figment of an animator's pencil drawings, but my mind couldn't... no, wouldn't comprehend this. I could tell myself "C'mon... it's only a cartoon, man! She ain't real!" My mind didn't care.
She was all I cared for at this point.
I saw the movie a couple of times with my wife, and then about five or six times when she thought I was working late at the office. It was all I could do not to impersonate Pee-Wee Herman in the dark theatre. (God! I know what he was going through!)
Eventually, I actually broke the window outside the theatre and stole the movie poster. Oh, yes... This was an obsession, all right!
With the movie poster carefully squirreled away in my attic, I found that I could simply go upstairs and relieve myself from my sexual frustration by ogling her image. Life went on.
My wife started to think that there was something going on. She noticed all the mermaid paraphernalia that I had been purchasing. At first, she believed me when I told her it was the Jamaican crab's songs. She knew that I always loved reggae, and his calypso beat fit right into her mental image of her husband. But this failed to explain all the images of Ariel that were starting to gather in the house.
The final straw hit when I sat in the living room and listened to the sound track album in the CD player on "repeat" for about six hours.
"What are you doing? You have a newborn child! Why are you listening to this trash all day?"
"She's not trash -" I stopped, too late. My wife wasn't stupid to notice the gender in the pronoun that I used.
"You're really sick!" she shouted, and locked herself into the bedroom. I could hear her mutter to herself in there, and I made no move to get up.
She was going to leave me this time. That's was definite. Gonna take the baby, as well.
Damn! My body still wouldn't get up when she stormed through the living room with my daughter, not even pausing to say good-bye.
In a daze, I heard the car door slam and she was off. I had no idea where, and I really didn't care.
The movie was going to be released on video tomorrow!
I spent a sleepless night, and I would love to admit that it was in shame for how I treated my wife and child, but it would be a lie. I was wondering which of the three stores where I had a pre-order for the video would open first. I decided upon the store closest to my home, since I could be back and watch my beautiful Ariel on my living room TV soonest.
I stood patiently on line, paid for the purchase, and ran back to my car. I broke a lot of speed laws getting home, but I managed to get there without a ticket. I put the tape into my player and fast-forward-ed through the FBI warning at the start of the video.
The notes of the sea shanty that starts the film started playing, and I found myself in heaven once more.
I programmed the VCR to play the video over and over and over... and remained watching like an automaton.
I heard the telephone ringing very insistently, and hit the TV volume UP control on the remote to drown it out. After a couple of days, I didn't notice the phone ringing anymore. Days turned to nights back to days and nights...
After (how many?) a few days of this, I noticed something. The movie was changing. The mermaid wasn't talking to her father, the crab, or any of the characters on the film. She was talking to me!
"Me? Are you talking to me?" I asked incredulously to the TV.
"Of course, Silly," she giggled. "You don't think I notice you here every day, over and over again?"
We chatted for hours... she telling me about her dreams of becoming a human, and me eventually telling her about my dreams of taking her on a date.
"A date??? Is that all you want?" She seemed genuinely surprised.
"That would be impossible... I realize that, but I want it anyway," I replied.
"Ursula could do it... if she could give me legs, she could allow you to take me on a date."
Somewhere inside me, a part of me was screaming. This is not real. This could not be real. This is not happening. This could not be happening.
I ignored the screaming and said, "But she's a cartoon! She doesn't have any real powers!"
"IS THAT SO???" came a thunderous voice. I turned in shock, and found a large, dark, tentacled creature leaving puddles in my living room.
"Who... what?... ah... what's going...."
"Who says that I don't have real powers, you pathetic little human? Do you really think that Eric was able to kill me? THAT was only a damn cartoon!" She moved with an exaggerated fluidity for a sea creature encountering my living room.
"Um, well... What's?" I was sputtering; my mind had decided to shut itself down in the event of an impending overload.
"And you, Ariel... you actually LIKE this pathetic creature here?"
Ariel looked at me, her wide eyes getting even wider. "Oh, yes... he's in LOVE with me -"
"Ah, hah, hah, hah, hah... this creature, in LOVE with YOU, Ariel? Ask him where his wife and child are?"
I stared at the two of them, unable to speak. Ursula lifted a tentacle and caressed my head. I bristled, thinking that she was going to choke me.
"Ariel... It's about time you've had your come-uppance. And you too, you stupid little human. I'll grant your wish..." she paused, apparently for dramatic effect. "And to show what a soft spot I have for this... this... `true love'... you can consider this wish as a GIFT from your friend Ursula!"
In a flash, the sea witch disappeared, and Ariel's face moved smoothly from the television screen into my apartment, in a morphing movement that rivaled that used in Terminator II.
"Ahh... ub... ubb..." Ariel sputtered, obviously not expecting the sudden change in environment.
A few silent seconds passed as we both pondered what was happening.
"Ariel... I love you!" I managed to say finally.
"Oh... I love you, too! Can you kiss me?"
I got up from my chair for the first time in what seemed to my body to be millenia, and held the mermaid in my arms. She closed her eyes and pursed her lips. Very gently I kissed this vision of loveliness.
The kiss seemed to last forever. Our tongues played with each other, and the two of us moaned in passion... neither one of us wanting to break the spell of that first kiss.
Then I noticed the laugh... a deep, frightening laugh. Something was horribly wrong.
The world went dark... I could no longer see my love. What was happening? The laughter was getting louder and louder. The laughter was not that of Ariel, but that of the sea witch!
She was laughing.
She was laughing at us.
No... she was laughing at me!
My heart was beating hard, in utter terror... its beating all but drowning out the merciless laughter that didn't let up.
"You pathetic fool!" she laughed. "You did get your wish, after all. You can date her but you can't have her!" Her laughter continued.
"You did realize that Ariel is a Disney cartoon, didn't you?" she asked rhetorically, and continued her cruel laugh.
Little by little, it started to dawn on me. Suspicion, and finally realization. Oh, what a wretched fool I was! The sea witch was right; I could date her but never have her!
All is dark... all is despair. I wallow in my misery for what seems like an eternity. I can't... No... I WON'T communicate with anybody.
I notice a moving shape around me, but I can't focus on it. I only have my misery. This all-consuming regret. The person... is it a woman? It's not my beloved Ariel... She is talking... calling me. I don't... won't... respond. Leave me alone... just let me be.
There are other shapes... people... now. I ignore them. They want to help me? But they can't help me... Leave me alone with my sense of total loss. The sea witch is right... I can never have her... that object of my deepest desires.
They take me someplace, somewhere. I don't know where, and I don't care. Nothing matters any more. I had wanted to devote my entire life to that vision of loveliness, and now my life is over. I could date her... did date her... but I would never have her. And I could never have her.
As a Disney cartoon, she would not be anatomically correct.
Contributions to DIS' 'n' DAT are ALWAYS welcome! People wishing to contribute should send email to the publication at the internet address "firstname.lastname@example.org." Please state explicitly if you wish to retain copyright or anonymity for any material submitted. The editor assumes no liability for unsolicited material of any kind.
DIS' 'n' DAT is posted monthly to the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.disney just prior to the calendar month of the issue date. Two mailing lists are maintained for this newsletter. To subscribe, send email to email@example.com and state whether you wish to receive either the ASCII or the PostScript version.
The following ftp archives contain back issues of DIS' 'n' DAT: