About Me

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London, United Kingdom
Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Impractically Perfect in Every Way By Holly Searle


Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can't put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what's to happen / All happened before.

That little poem always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It plants within me an uncertain seed of expectation that something unanticipated and unwelcome is about to arrive.

Maybe that's actually excitement.


This thing, whatever it may be, will kick up some dust and cause a storm, and present an altogether disquieting ambience.

Actually, maybe it isn't excitement.

The ground will feel uneven, and in order to navigate it successfully, I will have to find something steadfast and reliable to hold onto, as I precariously journey through it.

Okay, maybe I am over playing the effect that poem has on me. In actual fact it just reminds me of Bert the over optimistic, over talented, and obviously sixth sense gifted chimney sweep from Disney's 1964 film Mary Poppins. When I think about Bert, and any Disney film, I feel quite sad.

For me watching a Disney film has never been a happy experience. For they all seem to contained some horrific incident that makes me cry almost as much as I did at the end of Terms of Endearment. Either that, or the main focus of their plot sees some socially unacceptable character that has been alienated by the rest of society having to learn how to shut up and catch up, or fail to make the grade. In the end, when they inevitably do, they are welcomed back and forgiven for all of their crimes and misdemeanours.

To illustrate my point, imagine having a physical disfigurement that others mock you for. You aren't really upset by this as your mother is there to love and protect you, so you feel safe and secure. That is of course until she is locked-up in jail and labelled mad and dangerous, because one person too many mocked you and she defended you. And now you are devastated because she is incarcerated and there is no one to protect you, plus everyone is still laughing at you. You're vulnerable and alone, with only a mouse for company.

What are your options? Give up or use your most obvious apparent failure to create your biggest success? Bingo everyone is amazed by your ingenuity. You're a star and now everyone wants to be your friend.

And no one mocks you any more.

Isn't that taking the idea of tough love to the extreme? It seems more like a plot line from a House of Cards episode that Francis Underwood would be the main protagonist in, rather than a film intended for children.

I hated Dumbo. I still can't watch the scene where his mother cradles him in the nook of her trunk through the bars of her bolted trailer and gently rocks him, while he cries big wet tears. This scene is made worse by the fact that it depicts all of the other mothers cuddling their offspring. It's just heartbreaking.

So what was Disney doing? At the end of all of his movies, the wronged live what we are lead to perceive of as a happy life with a happy ever after ending. But it's a rough ride for those characters to enable them to achieve it.

And there is always one character who features in the story lines of these films who is so tiny and insignificant to everyone else, apart from small children. These characters are there so that they have someone they can relate to on screen. These characters always advise the main character of what to do. Tinkerbell, Jiminy Cricket and Timothy Mouse all act as on screen guides for those little ones captured by the hideous plot.

The manipulation of the audience's emotions is unforgivable. The pay off is always a formulaic unspoken contract between the viewed and the viewer that in the end it will all be okay. Is this acceptable? For what Disney did was to create spaces where we witness cruelty against those who can't defend themselves with the additional implied notion, that in fairy tales it always end well, so long as you are handsome, beautiful or wealthy.

And I have always wondered why people flock to Disney's lands and worlds to meet all of the characters that feature in all of his movies. For me spending time in a Disney resort would be like spending time in a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.

Disney's ideology represents for me, everything that is wrong with the world. So when I saw that Banksy had opened up Dismaland, I smiled. If there is one person who can turn the Disney glitter that blinds so many, back into sawdust, and remould it into something more meaningful, it's Banksy.

Disney may have been a genius. But the necessity for his lands and worlds now more than ever, may just act as smokescreens for all of the horrific realities of the world. Maybe they do have a reason for existing after all. For as long as there are people who wish to forget about all of the evils in the world, there will always be a place for them at a Disney resort.

Isn't that the point of Disney? Or didn't he activity create unobtainable illusions and needless bouts of sadness, that in turn have created generations of unhappy clappers?

Banksy has certainly excelled this time by cleverly taking the idea of the theme park, and has reconstructed it as a polemic against all that Disney did and stood for, by blatantly focusing on the horrifying and the macabre, with no happy ending.

Because in the end life is more like that, than it is in a Disney film.

It's pure genius. And I hope I get to see it, as it will help me find closure for Dumbo.

Now I feel excited.

Cue the poem.

Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can't put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what's to happen / All happened before.


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