Celebration Chronicles, chapters 1-3

I would not want to live in Celebration.

The descriptions of the town reminded me of a number of different things, all varying degrees of creepy. For a while now, my family has been considering a  move to South Carolina. One of the first places we looked for houses was Daniel Island, near Charleston, which is a very picturesque little town, with its perfect pastel houses and green golf courses, cute pizzerias and boutique shops along the main street.  We are not moving there. Additionally, the certain amount of  fakeness in the town (the building façades, the regulations on cars allowed to be owned by residents, etc…) calls to my mind some sort of film set from “The Music Man”, or the fake decorations in a lot of themed resorts, such as Universal’s Portofino in Orlando, or any of the Disney resorts. Lastly, topping the creepy scale, is that the town of Celebration reminds me of a “Twilight Zone” episode called “A Stop at Willoughby” where a man who is stressed and miserable in his daily routine of working for an angry boss and coming home to an angry wife dreams up a quaint turn-of-the-century town called Willoughby, where people all live simpler, honest lives. The twist of the episode, of course, is that while he thinks he’s getting off the train while it’s stopped at the idyllic Willoughby, he has in fact jumped while the train is still moving, and he dies.

Celebration just sounds… creepy.

While I love the façades at the Disney or Universal resorts, and it would be very cool to visit a film set, I don’t think I could handle living in such a place all the time. The fakeness of it all is unnerving. I wouldn’t feel free to live my life; I’d feel like I was supposed to act a certain way… constantly on display. The very word “façade” make me think that the town is hiding something ugly underneath the surface. Maybe it’s just the writer in me…

Celebration sounds like it is the closest we will ever come to making the world of the Disney films a reality. Past books that we’ve read this semester have criticized Disney for perpetuating unattainable ideals—a world where there is always a happy ending, true love conquers all, the bad guys always loses, etc… The town of Celebration seems to want to be that sort of place. And while I scoffed at the previous books, saying that I had more faith in people being able to tell the difference between the fantasy of a movie and real life, maybe I was wrong. The amount of people who gave everything up to move to this town is a testament to the lengths people will go to in search of a happy ending, following dreams. That by itself is as creepy as the town. If nothing else has made me wary of Disney’s power and control over their consumers, it is the fact that Celebration exists.

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