Josh Spear blog 3
The last section of our semester has hit on topics ranging from advertisement to who owns the advertisement company making that advertisement and hiring the writers and music and producer all from within their other businesses that they own, while selling the products that they produce. This connects to every other topic in this section because having so few people control so many different forms of information and control of the way the information is spread to the rest of the world. Meaning the rest of the world that works within the frame around society this company has created.
A media conglomerate is by definition, a large company composed of a number of smaller companies engaged in seemingly unrelated businesses.[i] According to the 2013 Fortune 500 list, The Walt Disney Company is America’s largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, with News Corporation (now News Corp & 21st Century Fox), Time Warner, CBS Corporation, and Viacom completing the top five[ii]. You don’t need to be a lawyer to see that the monopoly laws from the telephone company days when AT&T was broken apart. “AT&T agreed to break itself up into several firms in 1984.”[iii] Have very little effect in the current business model and/or the ability to work around this law threw a variety of other legal means.
As you can see from the chart above, owning all the phones isn’t necessary. Owning a phone company and a newspaper and a film company and a music company and few more television stations and some radio stations and a search engine is necessary to control every little word, picture, and image over decades and century’s making a singular decider the chooser of culture. Disney produces almost all the princesses that our children watch and dream of becoming and they also produce Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus the exact opposite.[iv] I know femisinism is the main objective of this blog but I’d like to come at Disney from the angle of a guy who has to live upto the dreams that Disney may have injected into the future Prinesses of the world. While woman may be pressured to feel pretty, the men they are after have to compete with the perfect man who has been in these womans lives since childhood. I can not compete with a bunch of rich, famous,charming cartoon prince’s with perfect wasp features even though they are from all over the world. How do I live up to a non-existent perfect adolescent.
This punishes the woman as well, when a singular media conglomeration decides who and how women are going to be properly presented it can become and unreal world. As with “Cutting Girls Down” by Jean Kilbourne she states that “Girls with eating disorders have a heightened albeit confused grasp of the dangerous imbalance of the cultures values, which they cannot articulate in the face of the cultures abject denial of their adolescent intuitive truth, so they tell the story with their body.”[v] The level of presentation Disney has in the US could be compared to badgering.
Disney claimed to have pulled out of McDonald’s happy meal promotions for health reasons but the problem could have been the McDonald’s was the largest distributer of toys in the world.[vi] With the Mermaids above, Disney can pick whether it wants to cause an eating disorder or an obesity slash diabetes problem. In addition to toys, McDonald’s has knowledge of children that is explained by James U. McNeal, called “Kids As Customers,” in which McNeal explains that fast food companies want children to see them as a “mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.” [vii]If companies find a way to foster this relationship with a child at a young age, it is more likely that the child will establish belief and trust in the company.[viii] This is also Disney’s style and may be seen as a problem in the event that Disney buys Burger King and must fight for parental control of our children.
Knowing what we all know about grandparents and parents in the traditional sense of nice kind ones, then we must face the reality that Grandma and Grandpa Disney aren’t kind at all. “Disney has gone so far as to threaten legal action against three South Florida day-care centers for using Disney cartoon characters on their exterior walls. In this instance, Disney’s role as an aggressive defender of Quaylesque family values was undermined through its aggressive endorsement of property rights.”[ix] So we are to understand that Disney wants full access to our kids’ minds as long as every single rinky dink daycare center that’s barely getting by pays up in cold hard cash for using a Mickey Mouse picture in a mom and pop shop for babies. This way Disney will make an extra thousand dollars over the usual twelve hundred billion. So what Disney is saying is that for a fee they will be happy to indoctrinate our Disney loving sheep babies with unrealistic expectations.
ii Fortune 500, USPages.com.
[v] Jean Kilbourne Cutting girls down to size
[ix] Disneyfication by Henry Giroux