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Disney Rehabilitation Program

Nell (Grade 12 / Northfield School of Arts and Technology) Originally published February 2005
Writer’s note: Each seminar at ARTech [Northfield School of Arts and Technology] this year will be based on a quarterly theme. This quarter’s theme is based on the upcoming election. I took a seminar called Political Satire. Satire is a literary manner which blends a critical attitude with humor and wit to the end that human institutions or humanity may be improved. We were asked to read A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, and write an essay in the same style with a solution to a social problem. This is my satirical essay.

Mayhem and murder have covered earth since before history was recorded. Whether it’s over land, power, or just for the sake of fighting, the most powerful leaders in the world exchange blows with each other, setting a bad example for the younger generations. People suffer and die so that the big boys can have their land and eat it too. The First World War started the bloodiest century in our history. It continued with, WWII launching hundreds of smaller, but just as bloody, wars in almost every country for the past 60 years. If the leaders of the world could just get along maybe the common people could as well.

In every major war we can look back in history and see how things escalated; how one little dispute or conflict lead to something greater, and in the end thousands died and hundreds of thousands were injured. Humankind is known for wanting to seek revenge and retaliate. Hook’s vengeance sunk so deep on Peter Pan and the crocodile after Hook’s hand was eaten that he couldn’t stop unless Pan and the crocodile were defeated. Powerful leaders like Hitler could have learned from Hook’s madness and let little things like, a poodle being stolen by a French man, go; he didn’t need to seek payback on all of France. Our world leaders act just like the grasshoppers in A Bug’s Life. They bully the little man. Rich oil or abundant land on someone else’s property gives rise to imperialism. This puts other people’s children at risk having to fight for their country just like little Flick had to fight for the ants, endangering his own life. Our leaders have not learned to share and don’t remember the good morals most of us acquire from Disney movies.

It is a privilege to have the power to lead a nation that has control, but with every great privilege comes great responsibility. To be able to hold such a position one must remember all of the lessons we were supposed to have learned as children. Saddam Hussein should have learned that even with the Baathist party, Iraq’s Prince Charming would come with Operation Iraqi Freedom, just like the son of the king came for Cinderella to stop the Evil Step Mother and Sisters.

It never hurts to review these lessons, and through the Disney Rehabilitation Program the Hussein family can watch Cinderella with the Bush family and share their thoughts and feeling in hopes of getting along. World leaders will be required to attend a one month stay at the DRP, located in Flippin, Arkansas, to review good morals like the ones we learn as children. Leaders who are fighting for power could help comfort one another as they watch Mufasa murdered because Scar wanted to rule the jungle. Just maybe, incidents like Ché Guevara’s death could be stopped before they begin. Innocent people are dying because of nuclear weapons. Each government tries to have the strongest armies and the biggest guns but if we could all just sit down and watch Hercules we could remember that the measure of a hero is not the size of one’s strength but the size of one’s heart.

At the DRP all attendants receive tender care from a grandmotherly figure. They are given the attention they need and don’t have to kill thousands like Napoleon did. As a short man, he had to scare people into paying attention to him. The respect from the people was not enough; he needed to name himself emperor as a cry for attention. We learn in Monsters Inc., often laughter and happiness complete a job better than fear. If Adolph could have sat with Anne at the DRP to have milk and cookies while watching Pocahontas they could remember what it meant to be happy and loving with people who are different. Fighting is not the best answer, and others do have feelings too. Pocahontas and John Smith worked out their differences and made peace between two nations, at least for a little while. Disney movies teach morals and show the leaders of our world what it means to be different and how it is important to learn to get along and understand one another’s cultures.

With all of the war in this world it couldn’t hurt to take a little time out of our busy schedules to sit down with an enemy and enjoy a great Disney flick with some home made cookies and a glass of milk. Even the great President George W. Bush may be willing to cut back on his afternoon nap to spend some time at the DRP. We could all learn from these great classical films that teach us morals about sharing and not hitting your brother. We need to remember how revenge doesn’t help and the only way to stop escalating a problem is by never starting one. At the DRP we can all join hands with our old enemies who are now our new friends and sing along to a wonderful tune from The Jungle Book.

We’re your friends
We’re your friends
We’re your friends to the bitter end
When you’re alone
Who comes around
To pluck you up
When you are down
And when you’re outside, looking in
Who’s there to open the door?
That’s what friends are for!
Who’s always eager to extend
A friendly claw?
That’s what friends are for!
And when you’re lost in dire need
Who’s at your side at lightning speed?
We’re friends of every creature
Comin’ down the pike
In fact we never met an animal
We didn’t like, didn’t like
So you can see
We’re friends in need
And friends in need
Are friends indeed
We’ll keep you safe
In the jungle forevermore
That’s what friends are for!

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