Monday, February 25, 2008

It's the Mouse's world, you're just living in it!

I've recently emerged from my own kind of "No Country for Old Men"...the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. We took the kids there for a day. The experience left my head spinning.

My impressions of the Magic Kingdom varied from one of awe at the Disney metropolis (the trams, buses, trains, boats and road systems are something to behold) to further amazement at how EVERYTHING is designed to efficiently make it easy for you to spend money...and lots of it.

But I was truly taken aback when I felt the real power of the Mouse....I had to have my index finger scanned before being allowed entry.

I didn't recall having my finger scanned prior to boarding my flight at the Grand Rapids airport (I barely had to show my driver's license to the retiree security guard at the gate). Why has the Department of Homeland Security allowed Disney to finger print people? Why not at airports too? Where was the last place you were finger printed to gain access anywhere...jail?

But back at the index finger documentation line at Disney World, the scan occurred so fast and subtitely that it didn't occur to me to scream "Right to Privacy!" until I was back in Grand Rapids days later pouring over a pile of credit card receipts.

If it had occurred to me to make a fuss about it at the time I probably wouldn't have...I generally avoid situations where I might appear to be the "crazy dad" hollering about governmental conspiracies, my constitutional rights and the exorbitant price of the cheese pizzas at Pinocchio Village.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily being negative about Disney. We obviously live in a pretty great country where places like this are not only possible and profitable, but extremely safe as well. Disney World is for kids and we'll have memories that will last a lifetime.

But by the end of your day at Magic Kingdom, just be prepared to feel a lot like Tommy Lee Jones' dazed sheriff character at the end of "No Country for Old Men"...conclusions may be very hard to reach. And I have more questions than answers.

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