I have set up a Google Alert for Disneyland. Every time the name of the other Happiest Place on Earth (1) pops up in a news story or bl-g item, it’s flagged by our robot Google overlords and compiled into a daily digest that’s emailed to me daily. Most of the items are stories I’ve already read or stories that really aren’t about Dinseyland at all; the name of the Park has long since been assimilated into the cultural vernacular as shorthand for something cloying or phony (2).
Today, however, I lucked out: There was a geneuine Disneyland item in several of the cult-of-celebrity blogs. One of those, StarPulse, I will quote here without permission:
Angelina Jolie Visited Disneyland After Taking Acid
Angelina Jolie once took powerful drug LSD before a trip to children’s paradise Disneyland. The star admits taking the hallucinogenic drug before a trip to the tourist attraction in California.
She says, “I remember taking LSD before I went to Disneyland. I started thinking about Mickey Mouse being a short, middle-aged man in a costume who hates life. Those drugs can be dangerous if you don’t go into it positively– I gave them up long ago.”
The rest of the item is here. Prepare to have your optimistic world-view utterly shattered. Angelina Jolie has done drugs? That’s disturbing. Now we can’t run her for president.
Now, the funny thing about that item is that I can absolutely picture a teenaged Angelina Jolie floating serenely around Disneyland, pausing occasionally to light a clove, to consider the perfect forest green color of a lamppost, or to lick the side of a popcorn cart. I may have given her a light, for all I know. The Disneyland I knew as a teen was a place where people smoked, gathered in whimsical cliques and, yes, dared to wonder what Mickey had going on underneath that big, plastic head.
My friends and I held annual passes. I got my first pass in 1985 and I still have one today, even though I no longer live in Southern California. We went to the Park nearly every weekend, and after I while I began to feel comfortable enough there to get into Jolie-like mischief. I had some of my early, furtive sexual encounters on Adventure Thru Inner Space, drank sickly-sweet vodka drinks in the parking lot and nearly got into fistfights at Videopolis. I could have dropped acid on the Peoplemover, if only Angelina’s crowd had been considerate enough to proffer some.
So, yeah, I can understand what brings un-Disneylike individuals to Disneyland, and when they tell me they love the place as much as the white, Christian straights for whom Uncle Walt ostensibly built the place, I believe them. Disneyland is not an entitlement; it belongs to everyone. It belongs to communists, to moody goths, to coked-out drag queens, and not least of all to Angelina Jolie.
(1) Next to the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas, of course.
(2) I lived in Las Vegas during the years when the casinos tried to pull in a family crowd. It was the first time I’d heard the overused term “Disneyfied.”
(3) It’s not a rum and Coke. Don’t call it a rum and Coke.