wax banks

second-best since Cantor

No Bambi, no wanking.

From the long work in progress. –wa.

Here’s an exercise: Where’s Bambi, in all of Disney World? The death of the titular fawn’s mother has infamously been a traumatic rite of passage for American children for 80 years, one of the most recognizable of the company’s stories and characters. Plus Bambi’s pal Thumper is goddamn adorable. Yet you’re hard pressed to locate Bambi imagery at the Resort. Why’s that? Even if there’s some banal copyright-related answer, we note that Bambi’s story is unassimilable to the vibe of The Park, in which no one suffers and nothing ends, meaning nothing begins. At Disney World, you might hear the ‘Circle of Life’ — a classic Disney song supposedly about natural cycles1 during which, we note with some disappointment, nothing is born or dies — but the rude facts of bodily existence aren’t permitted into the Magic Kingdom or its offshoots. The same goes for Disney’s ever-growing portfolio of sub-mythic ‘intellectual property’: George Lucas’s Han Solo unquestionably fucked his way across the galaxy a long time ago in a cultural environment far far away, but Disney’s Han Solo 2.0, Poe Dameron of the miserable sequel trilogy, comes no closer to sexual desire than a raised eyebrow at a woman whose face is entirely covered in a mask — who dismisses him for a last lame laugh. (This is of course preposterous; even I couldn’t say no to Oscar Isaac.) And the Marvel movies, full to overflowing with bare-chested male actors grossly inflated on steroids and female performers chastely hiding their bodies from view, are comprehensively sexless — ex-Troma filmmaker James Gunn snuck a masturbation joke into his Guardians of the Galaxy, but even in that intensely juvenile movie there’s a character right there onscreen to remind us that jacking off is disgusting. Of course it is! Unsanctioned production is strictly against the rules.2

No Bambi, no wanking: same thing. Yes, really. Sex and death move time forward, and the magic of Disney World is precisely its timelessness, perfect stasis.

Which is why Disney ‘magic’ is no magic at all: magic is transformation, inner and outer worlds overlapping to materialize thought and impregnate sense with dream. Its energy is both programmatic and improvisatory, in both cases free — magic is imaginative freedom — and in the Magic Kingdom, nothing is free.

It’s a Kingdom, after all.

  1. The fact that The Lion King figures natural order as dynastic political succession, and misuses its fantastic ‘Circle of Life’ opener/closer to mark the announcements of two royal heirs, is just one of those ordinary stupid Disney things. Disney movies’ equation of authoritarian political order with sanity is gross when wrenched from their folk-narrative origins. Well, that’s capitalism innit. 
  2. You needn’t actually read Raquel Benedict’s 2021 online essay ‘Everyone Is Beautiful and No One Is Horny,’ which goes no deeper than the obvious implications of its title — yes, there’s a section about the psychosexuality of 9/11, no it’s not good — but the title is a perfect expression of an invaluable insight, a line good and true enough to have entered culture-politics discourse as a ‘Must we remind you…?’ aphorism. 

The strange slow curve against the mainline.

MULDER: I didn’t think anyone was really paying attention.

MAX FENIG: Somebody’s always paying attention, Mr Mulder. (X)

something true about it. being recognized at a distance. that feeling, open fields, featureless. you’re the feature, the blot: you the stain. inexplicable black shape against wheatfield offyellow.

you listening to the shortwave alone at night. you playing the guitar alone at night. you alone at night. you alone.