That is such a good idea!

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

First of all, the gall of this person to write a blog in this style on a fairly well developed and professional looking website(even though there is a thumbnail and title for an article about a new ramen store opening just under a link to a blog about burning the Koran in the “Headlines” section of the homepage).

With a grammatical error in the first paragraph, the random use of profanity that only makes it sound like they are actually putting effort into trying to find somewhere to make use of it, and a stupid effort to sound cheeky, my mind is immediately closed to any possibilities of this article being any good. Truly, why would you write a person’s name as “John” just to cross it out and write “Jon” right afterwards when this is a blog that is supposed to report factual information to the reader. It just looks like they want to sound like they don’t care or are informal, but it is simply unnecessary, distracting, embarrassing, and not clever.

Now looking at the actual topic discussed in this article, it is simply outrageous that someone actually thinks it is a good idea to replace an island in Disneyland themed after an American classic that every child and family(the key demographic of Disney) can relate to and enjoy, with….Lost. A television program that is obviously directed to an older target audience and portrays a violent and sometimes creepy environment is to replace Tom Sawyer. Brilliant idea!

These people who have created and signed a petition to bring about an attraction in Disneyland that is themed after Lost are absolutely baffling to the mind. Misspelling “television”(as “Televsion”) and “Disney”(as “Disnet”) in the title of the petition is definitely going to make people believe this is a credible and important issue to support. Continuing the petition by arguing that Disney should “Give us Die Hard LOST fans our Theme park ride!,” only emphasizes the fact that this is in no way something that is worth taking seriously. How dare they demand that an amusement park ride be created in the largest, most influential theme park in the world for a small percent of America’s population who are fans of “Die Hard” fans of a somewhat above average television show?

It’s all just like one of those lamb dishes that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

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Tom Sawyer, the quintessential tale of childhood?

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mark Twain’s character Tom Sawyer is often heralded as quintessential child. But is this reputation deserved in a world so different from that of quaint little St. Petersburg? The classic tale of childhood represented in Tom Sawyer may not be more than a fictitious ideal.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was for a large part drawn from Mark Twain’s own childhood. In the preface of the novel he states:

“Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of architecture.”

Many of the characters appear to be linked with his real life associates, such as his mother and Aunt Polly’s fondness for quack remedies. Furthermore, the phrasing and superstitions in the book were all accurate for the time period. All of these aspects together gives The Adventures of Tom Sawyer a genuine feeling that makes the reader relate to Tom Sawyer. Tom’s childish antics and outlandish exploits continue to bring smiles to readers faces over a hundred years later.

On the other hand, you have to keep in mind the real origins of the book. When reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer it is easy to imagine them the work of a down to earth writer living in a log cabin somewhere in the wilderness. But it is important to keep in mind that the author in question enjoyed an obscenely rich life in a mansion.  Also, Mark Twain wrote this around 30 years after his own childhood. Furthermore, Mark Twain, otherwise known as Samuel Clemens, had a childhood that was  actually quite different from Tom Sawyer’s. While some aspects of Tom Sawyer are drawn from his own childhood, Mark Twain romanticizes it into a collection of one magnificent adventure after another. There is none of the sickness that plagued Mark Twain throughout his childhood, and the emotional and financial strain of his father dying at age eleven is non-existent. At best, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer can be considered a loose example of what life might have been like for a fortunate child (scratch that, an exceptionally lucky child that finds chests full of gold) living in that time.

So, the question stands. Does The Adventures of Tom Sawyer exemplify what a perfect childhood should be? It is hard to know. Today’s world is so different from that of the mid 1800’s. How many children in American suburbia go to swing dead cats over witches graves at midnight to get rid of warts? How do you think people would react today if a group of young children decided to “play dead” and let everyone in their town assume they had drowned?

But despite it all, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer continues to speak to people in a world almost alien to Tom Sawyer’s. Can Tom Sawyer be considered the quintessential child? That is for you to decide.

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