Great to see fellow Venetian transplant Nan McElroy blogging regularly again! Her insights about the life of a foreigner come to live in Venice are always insightful!! In fact, great post yesterday on whether Venice is a kind of Disneyland.
Actually, there's been talk for a while about whether or not all of America has already become "Disneyfied," "artificial, superficial, soulless," and not just, as Shannon Essa writes of Venice, being overrun by high prices and crowds of tourists...
"Embedded in middle class ideology are two contradictory values: the desire for authentic experience and the desire for security and comfort. Disney successfully combines these two values. Its theme parks provide safe secure landscapes under the guise they provide experiences from distant lands and different periods of history both past and future. Disney achieves this integration by taking signifiers from organic cultures and redesigning them to provide leisure experiences in rationalized spaces...." (from American Icons: Mapping the
American Cultural Landscape)"This sort of thing is what social critics denounce as the Disneyfication of America, strip-mining history to market a version of the past that seems to have a special appeal as we race headlong into the future. This is not re-creating the past, they say, so much as distorting it: back when life in these towns was real, it wasn't always quaint—yet quaint is what sells now. Create a time that feels sweet and simple, and you don't have to smell the horses or die of cholera." (from "The Pulse of America," in Time Magazine)
And I concur with Nan and Shannon that Venice isn't at all at its heart Disneyland... What better evidence than this absolutely splendid photo by Nan herself from what must be the window of her new Venetian apartment!
Problem is, the city seems ever poised these days to slip into that ignoble fate! But it's the devotion of its residents (including adopted Venetians like Nan and myself!) that is the best antidote to the city becoming a merely crumbling reflection of a Las Vegas casino or Epcot Center! Follow Shannon and Nan's advice on a visit to this fair city, and you'll be doing a lot yourself toward seeing (and maintaining!) the real Venice. (Thanks, Shannon & Nan!!)
Categories: Venice, Travel