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Wednesday, October 22, 2008
No Country For Liberal Portlanders
Ok, so Disney World didn't provide a complete refuge from what's going on across the US. It's difficult to find a newspaper for sale anywhere and while internet service runs $11 a day and the nearest accessible WiFi network is at least ten miles away, little bits of reality did creep in.
Or at least a skewed version of reality did. After all, the resort sits smack dab in the middle of one of the most hotly contested swing states in the union. Check out what greeted us in the Hall of Presidents:
A bust of Josh Brolin, er, GW himself. Same difference. He played Kennedy, uh, I mean Bush once.
Yeah, if you don't get that reference you're obviously not a fan of the best adventure movie released between June 15th and June 30th 1985.
Anyway, inside the Hall of Presidents a robotic version of the 42nd president delivered a speech praising freedom and why we need to *snicker* protect the tenets of the Constitution. I struggled to suppress laughter while watching the show, mostly because the gigantic vet sitting three seats away from me was taking all of this Very Seriously. Sitting up straight in his chair, he looked like he was going to burst into a Walter Sobchak-sized display of super patriotism at any given second.
And the Bush Bot stands next to Robo-Nixon. Oh, how I love the Magic Kingdom. Let me count the ways...
We woke up every day to find commercial breaks during morning newscasts filled with nasty attack ads from both the McCain and Obama camps. Many guests in the parks were decked out in political gear. One guy waiting for a bus outside of Hollywood Studios had a homemade "Vote for Barack" shirt. Somewhere in the UK Pavilion at EPCOT I saw a large family all wearing McCain/Palin shirts. A grandmother, a husband and wife, their many kids, even a baby, were all displaying their faith in the GOP.
On the plane ride from Houston to Orlando we were seated next to an older gentleman reading McCain's autobiography. From that point on, we decided it would be best not to talk or even think about politics the entire time. Immediately after making this decision, three women sitting across the aisle got into an argument with a male flight attendant after he made the mistake of calling one of them "honey." This ended with him being reassigned to business class and them spending half the flight loudly telling anyone who would listen about how "they were soooo going to write a letter to the airline." The guy next to us buried his head in his book and he looked like he wanted to hide in the bathroom when an attendant asked him to fill out a form relating his recollection of what happened.
Instead, he folded it up, put in the back of his book and kept on reading. Which, honestly, is what I would have probably done myself.
Also: at EPCOT there's an attraction called "The Universe of Energy" or, under its revised title, "Ellen's Energy Adventure." The current version features Ellen DeGeneres as the host and, somewhere in there, she explains the virtues of offshore drilling.
If I can be frank here, it's the most batshit insane theme park ride I've ever seen. It's 45-minutes long, it involves a Jeopardy dream sequence co-starring Alex Trebek, Jamie Lee Curtis and Bill Nye the Science Guy. If that wasn't enough, in the middle of the attraction, what seems like a bland movie screening suddenly turns into a ride. The seats break into mobile sections, the screen disappears and the audience is led through a primordial scene involving a robot Ellen's battle-to-the-death with a giant eel.
I swear I'm not making this up. You can read more about the whole thing here.