The Forbidden (Magic) Kingdom: Hong Kong Disneyland

The poorest wage slave is braver than the richest slave driver. To prove this point look at the view from the highest point. Cross the trails and climb the mountain to reach the peak, so as to see the traffic on Boundary Street.

Witness a sea of protesters, in contrast to an island of conformists along Main Street, U.S.A., in Hong Kong Disneyland. Witness the calls for liberty versus the absence of a Liberty Square in a theme park with neither a flagpole nor an American flag, with neither a replica of the Liberty Bell nor a celebration of the Constitution, with neither a tribute to Mark Twain nor a riverboat tour of the tributaries of justice and freedom.

Hong Kong Disneyland is the strongest example of the weakness of soft power, of the idea that Mickey Mouse is a better ambassador than Uncle Sam; that Fantasyland is Tomorrowland, when in fact it is a Neverland of supposed unity and world peace; that lyrics about one moon and one golden sun lack the power of the Communist Party line; that the yellow stars of the Chinese flag threaten to darken and extinguish the last star of hope; that all the wealth inside the Bank of China Tower cannot buy the freedom of a single citizen of Hong Kong.

As the music of the Sherman Brothers plays inside Disneyland, the comrades-in-arms of the People’s Liberation Army gather outside. With their rifles and bayonets, they await the order to liberate Hong Kong by enslaving it.

The Walt Disney Company’s response to these events is worse than pathetic; it is Mickey Mouse.

May the protesters prevail.

About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Photo: South China Morning Post via Getty Images

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