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  • OK - I'll Start . . .

    Some months ago I posted this on [ahem] "another" discussion board, only to have the thread promptly moved to siberia by the administrators - must've hit a nerve with someone. I thought it was worthy of another airing - so here's my recycled contribution to the "Litter Box" - a controversial opinion.

    What opinion? I thought that the conflict in mary poppins was a real weakness to the storyline, and 'feed the birds' was the summation of that weakness.

    The song is a kind of allegory that tells us that our responsibility to everything around us is greater than our responsibility to ourselves. The "villian" of the piece, the kid's dad, is a banker who believes that we need to look after our own interests before the general well-being of those around us. Further, he wants to instill these values in his children and is resentful of mary poppins teaching his kids just the opposite.

    The result is he sends her packing, only to eat crow in the next reel, and apologize for his short-sightedness. This is what they hang the whole turning point of the story on.

    Am I misinterpreting this, or does it seem that mary is actually a communist blown in from behind the iron curtain to subvert the children of england?

  • #2
    Originally posted by gadzuux
    Some months ago I posted this on [ahem] "another" discussion board, only to have the thread promptly moved to siberia by the administrators - must've hit a nerve with someone. I thought it was worthy of another airing - so here's my recycled contribution to the "Litter Box" - a controversial opinion.

    What opinion? I thought that the conflict in mary poppins was a real weakness to the storyline, and 'feed the birds' was the summation of that weakness.

    The song is a kind of allegory that tells us that our responsibility to everything around us is greater than our responsibility to ourselves. The "villian" of the piece, the kid's dad, is a banker who believes that we need to look after our own interests before the general well-being of those around us. Further, he wants to instill these values in his children and is resentful of mary poppins teaching his kids just the opposite.

    The result is he sends her packing, only to eat crow in the next reel, and apologize for his short-sightedness. This is what they hang the whole turning point of the story on.

    Am I misinterpreting this, or does it seem that mary is actually a communist blown in from behind the iron curtain to subvert the children of england?

    Oh, I like where you are going with this. Really good thesis there. I've never read the real story, but I know that it was MUCH darker than the movie.

    And do you really want this in the Litter box? I'd be happy to move it to "Entertainment" for you. Just PM me and let me know.
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    • #3
      Whatever You Think Best

      The last time this post was shunted off to something called "Music: All" where it was never heard from again.

      I put it in here because it was a "virginal" room and I thought it might get seen. Truth is, I'm not really clear on what this room is for. Maybe you could move this to a new room called "Out Back Behind The Dumpsters".

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gadzuux
        The last time this post was shunted off to something called "Music: All" where it was never heard from again.

        I put it in here because it was a "virginal" room and I thought it might get seen. Truth is, I'm not really clear on what this room is for. Maybe you could move this to a new room called "Out Back Behind The Dumpsters".
        Well, I'll leave it here if you want. But this is really a dumping ground for post that are objectionable.

        After Will and Grace is over, there should be some people here to comment on your thesis. And since you are already in the Litter Box, you don't need to worry about it getting moved.
        Last edited by Dustysage; 01-14-2005, 08:35 AM.
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        • #5
          To be honest I never really gave it much thought before. I actually think I preferred the ending here - because it actually resolves the biggest problem in the movie (the lack of attention the kids got from their parents) rather than just leaving it open for more sequels in the future.

          Mr. Banks always struck me as the type of man who loved his family dearly, but was afraid to express it openly. The kind of person who, from the outside, looks disconnected from the family and only cares about his work and career, but deep down inside his real motivation for his career is to provide that financial security for his family.

          I felt the conflict between Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins didn't arise from his view that she was counteracting the values he was trying to instill in the children, but rather that it came from a sense of jealousy - that she not only got to spend more time with the children, but get to express to them the same joy and love that he felt for them but could never express. He became jealous of her and sent her packing because he felt his children loved him less with her in the house.

          And you know in some ways I see the possibility of there being a parallel between Mr. Banks and Walt. Richard Sherman always said that "Feed the Birds" was about the lack of attention the two Banks children received from their father. For giving so little (tuppence a bag - or in the case of the children a little attention) you could change their lives forever.

          Richard said that it was Walt's favorite song, and Walt asked him to play it for him privately in his office on Fridays and he would often see Walt tear up as he played. I wonder if Walt saw a similarity to Mr. Banks in the amount of time he spent with his children? Maybe he felt he was an inadequate father in their lives? Career men sometimes have it rough.

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          • #6
            Mr Liver brings up an interesting point. If both Mr. Banks and Walt are alike in some way. And the Bird Lady segment is meant to be some sort of Communist allegory. Then it could also be argued that Disneyland is a utopian communist experiment all its own.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dustysage
              <snip>Disneyland is a utopian communist experiment all its own.
              Ich bin ein Disneylander!

              This is a really intriguing idea, and ironically funny considering that Kruschev wasn't able to make his highly anticipated visit. And, of course, the urban legend of Walt's Lenin-esque cryogenic freezing.

              Hmmmm..... could Disneyland really be... The Experimental - Communist Community Center Prototype - Of Tomorrow? E-CCCP-OT?

              Look kids! It's Tink with a hammer! And Mickey with a sickle!

              And there's Fascist Goofy!

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              • #8
                Mr Liver!!!!! Good to see ya! (waves)

                Interesting theory. I don't think Mr. Banks is "looking after his own interests" on purpose. The entire point of the song he sings in the beginning of the movie (never read the book, so I'm going to have to restrict my commentary to the film), lays out the cultural framework of the time. It's the age of men, a time of industry, of British imperial power. It's also a time when the man of the household has not only all the power, but all of the responsibility - or rather, they see themselves that way. In his mind, the most important thing he can give his kids is a house, fine things, education, and the discipline to survive in the world he understands. That means understanding important things like investing their money, working hard, being sensible.

                What he's forgotten, and what Mary is really there to remind him of, is the importance of the "softer" essentials in live as well. The importance of being able to show love to others, his family as well as strangers and birds. The importance of recognizing how his own spirit and creativity have been stifled by his own standard of adherence to the strict behavior of turn-of-the-century London financiers. It is important to show how unappreciated and unfulfilled he is by his job - in stark contrast to the attitude he'd arrived home with at the beginning of the film. To show that, with his softer side stifled, he really wasn't the supreme being he thought himself to be, and that he was only fulfilled as a person when he balanced his businesslike, imperial Brit side with the happiness of a father spending quality time with his kids.

                Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Morrigoon
                  Mr Liver!!!!! Good to see ya! (waves)
                  Hi!

                  I'm going to throw this out there too because it's something that's always kind of bugged me about Walt's Griffith Park Credo. When Walt set out to build Disneyland he talked about how he would spend time with his daughters and watch them on the park bench while they enjoyed the carousel. He said he wanted there to be a place where parents and children could do things together...

                  ... but what was stopping him from riding the carousel?

                  I've always believed that Walt was really referring to a sense of shame he felt in expressing his more joyous side in the eyes of the public. As if he were worried that being caught on the carousel with his daughters would somehow ruin his Hollywood image. That upon seeing the studio head acting like a child, no one would ever take him or his studio seriously.

                  Sounds just a little bit like Mr. Banks. Maybe. Maybe a little.

                  Does anyone have any info as to why Walt choose Mary Poppins? I'd assume Walt loved the book but I haven't really given it much thought. Maybe he really did associate with Mr. Banks.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gadzuux
                    Some months ago I posted this on [ahem] "another" discussion board, only to have the thread promptly moved to siberia by the administrators - must've hit a nerve with someone. I thought it was worthy of another airing - so here's my recycled contribution to the "Litter Box" - a controversial opinion.
                    Maybe it was moved because you were a pain in the on the
                    'other' board.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe you could kiss my pain in the , make it all better. Huh?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gadzuux
                        Maybe you could kiss my pain in the , make it all better. Huh?
                        Please dont start anything, that isnt appropriate
                        Brandon

                        * Signature under major construction*

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Club 33
                          Please dont start anything, that isnt appropriate
                          Actually, that's what the litter box is for.

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                          • #14
                            I have alot to learn about this place... definitley different than DF!
                            Brandon

                            * Signature under major construction*

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                            • #15
                              You'll figure it all out.

                              We want the members to help moderate by using the Reputation voting. We also encourage any questionable comments to be made here in the Litter Box. If anyone takes offense easily, they should stay out of the Litter Box.
                              You know what they say: "where there's a litter box, there's bound to be . . . "



                              A little more open here, perhaps, but not all that different.

                              -Dusty
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by MrLiver
                                I'm going to throw this out there too because it's something that's always kind of bugged me about Walt's Griffith Park Credo. When Walt set out to build Disneyland he talked about how he would spend time with his daughters and watch them on the park bench while they enjoyed the carousel. He said he wanted there to be a place where parents and children could do things together...

                                ... but what was stopping him from riding the carousel?
                                Actually, I may be able to help you out on this question. The park that Walt was referring to was not Griffith Park. It's a common misconception. He was referring to a little children's park located in the Fairfax district in West Hollywood. I think it was called Beverlywood, or something. It's been a while. This fact is documented somewhere in the Architecture of Reassurance book, but due to how badly the book is indexed, all I can remember is that it's somewhere in the first third of the book.

                                Anyways, when I was a little girl, my parents used to take me to that park, so my memories are pretty hazy. As I recall, all the rides were "kiddie" rides -- meaning, not big enough for adults to go on. Nothing like the normal-sized carousel at Griffith Park that you may be thinking of. I mostly remember the little rides and being able to feed the ducks. They tore down the park in the mid-70s along with the Pan Pacific Park and put up a mall and such.

                                There's a PBS documentary on the park as part of the Ralph Story's L.A. series. I think it was called "The Places That are No Longer There" or something like that. They re-run it on PBS every once in a while.

                                So yeah, Walt really couldn't go on those rides with his daughters. Hope that helps a little bit.

                                I know that there is a specific story about why Mary Poppins was chosen by Walt -- I remember reading something about it. Maybe in the Walt's Time book? Or perhaps I heard it at one of the Sherman Bros. many talks.

                                Sheila

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Sheila
                                  Actually, I may be able to help you out on this question. The park that Walt was referring to was not Griffith Park. It's a common misconception. He was referring to a little children's park located in the Fairfax district in West Hollywood. I think it was called Beverlywood, or something. It's been a while. This fact is documented somewhere in the Architecture of Reassurance book, but due to how badly the book is indexed, all I can remember is that it's somewhere in the first third of the book.

                                  Anyways, when I was a little girl, my parents used to take me to that park, so my memories are pretty hazy. As I recall, all the rides were "kiddie" rides -- meaning, not big enough for adults to go on. Nothing like the normal-sized carousel at Griffith Park that you may be thinking of. I mostly remember the little rides and being able to feed the ducks. They tore down the park in the mid-70s along with the Pan Pacific Park and put up a mall and such.

                                  There's a PBS documentary on the park as part of the Ralph Story's L.A. series. I think it was called "The Places That are No Longer There" or something like that. They re-run it on PBS every once in a while.

                                  So yeah, Walt really couldn't go on those rides with his daughters. Hope that helps a little bit.

                                  I know that there is a specific story about why Mary Poppins was chosen by Walt -- I remember reading something about it. Maybe in the Walt's Time book? Or perhaps I heard it at one of the Sherman Bros. many talks.

                                  Sheila
                                  Thank you Sheila.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Dustysage
                                    Thank you Sheila.
                                    You're welcome. I feel so old after writing that long-winded reply. I need to go look for my walker....

                                    Sheila

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                                    • #19
                                      Something strange going on here...

                                      First of all gadzuux (who does have an excellent point) is marked as having 1 post, despite the fact that he's made two posts in this thread alone.

                                      Also, I am quoted in this thread, despite the fact that i wasn't a member at that point. Was there another Club 33 who changed their name?

                                      Hmmmm.












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                                      • #20
                                        I believe that Litterous posts do not count toward post scores. It's a way of keeping both trolls at bay and users from excessive poo flinging. If I'm wrong, I'm sure one of the SuperMods will swoop in and correct me.

                                        As far as being quoted pre-joining, all I can say is [Kronk Voice] Yeah, weird...[/Kronk]

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