Friday Reading Plan:
Walt Disney has been the subject of study at PJ Lifestyle by my friend Chris Queen and me for over a year. We’ve made some fascinating discoveries through using the Radical Reading Regimen of seeing across subjects. In particular, Pacepa’s Disinformation reveals how the Soviet Union used cultural warfare to smear powerful Judeo-Christian leaders as secret Nazis, racists, and antisemites. A play, The Deputy, was created by a Soviet Disinformation campaign for the purpose of dividing Jews and Christians through promulgating the lie that Pope Pius sympathized with the Nazis.
In researching the biographies of Disney I’ve discovered how in some of the less reputable — but nevertheless popular and influential — the same smear patterns appeared. Around about the time that Disney started opposing the Communists that’s when the claims of antisemitism emerged. And who was the animator responsible for accusing Disney of frequently attending Nazi meetings? An admitted progressive agitator who had a personal bone to pick with Disney, Arthur Babbitt was the only one to ever go on record with the claim, one that he made as late as 1990 in Marc Eliot’s anonymous-source laden Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince. (I read it last year — absolutely worthless. Eliot rarely sources anything he claims. You can’t verify just about anything he says. For all we know even the Babbitt quote is an exaggeration or fabrication.)
Now history repeats itself, again theatre targeted at a high brow audience is used as the vehicle for anti-American disinformation. A novel appeared a few years ago entitled The Perfect American that supposedly depicts a fictionalized version of the end of Disney’s life. And the angry Nazi sympathizer caricature is employed. The cover with a Hitler shadow following Disney Peter Pan-style makes the intention clear enough:
And now it’s been transformed into an opera by Stephen Glass:
In continuing my research into Disney I’m going to read the smear novel and more books about Disney, including another Disney biography that I have a feeling may be the best of the bunch, Michael Barrier’s The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney.
Usually when I’m working I have some combination of talk radio and Songza/Pandora on in the background. Now I’m going to replace the music with Disney films, cartoons, and documentaries, immersing myself in everything until I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle of the repeating themes and style.
And yes, I do intend to Tweet and Instagram out pics, quotes, and observations, in following with my New Year’s resolution #1 of more family-friendly content…