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This work is licensed
under a Creative Commons
4.0 International License

Postmodern Village
est. 1999
e-mail * terms * privacy
Daliwood, The Theme Park: a Critical Review
by Humbert Humberto Eco

Dali, light of my hat, lust of my lions.
Dali, root of my sign, lot of my signifier.
Da-Li: with those two syllables my tongue dances from tooth to tooth like the clocks flopping over crutches at the new Daliwood Floppy Clock Ride. This, in the quasi-Andalusian madness of Branson, Missouri, is the absolute last in theme park remarketability. Yes, here is the thigh, the sigh, the Theater of Autosodomization, with its white buttock sign advertising that those who “enter” must be at least this big, and inside an abstraction of transparent false penises float through the unguent air--performance in a puerile palace of sallow yellows, white flesh, gay blues.

I am hobbled on my way to Crutchland, an acre-wide in-house reality where prosthetics meld mnemonic desire. I wobble and thrum on elegantine crutches amid the plateaus and scrub brushes of a bite-sized Spain. This ride ravishes as it thrills, throws one off kilter: sky and sun, so carefully delineated, disappear into a pseudo-erotic pool of complexes, oedipal, electral, ovoid, electrical, all purged as beans in the ride’s final exit, emptying onto the Anal Stage, an interactive amphitheater, itself part of the Autosodomization cluster.

From here I spin to the Teetering Elephant Carousel, a nosebleed affair, with elephants on tiny legs, 100, 200 feet tall, revolving through a heady, cubical heaven. At 60 miles-an-hour they turn, a dozen riders each. The cream of consumers, each rider gets a golden crop for which to discipline her steed. From this speeding perch the rider can see the enormous pipes and derby bowlers of Magritteville next door, the neon nude constantly descending, ascending her staircase at Duchampland to the west, the chocolate churning, infusing the air along with the pipesmoke, a keening haze of the unconscious, even.

I become hungry, de-elevating from the elephant ride, drift over toward the fecal-pop shop, where I’m greeted by a curvaceous Surrealette dispensing shitsicles for a few measly francs (but where will I get those in the middle of America?!). I get them from the internatural ATM, for here lies inspiration! The waitress wipes the sweat from her eyebreasts, then goes back to posing. I turn and lick my shitsicle, sliding noiselessly on to Crucifix Island.

Here the boxes float before me as I behold the brutalized boy of God. The joy that is my beloved Dali emanates from the massive, floating corpse. I am brushed, briefly, by his flowing, golden robes, feeling the vibrancy of his glowing dream of disinheritance. Then the substancelessness sets in: Da! Why have thee forsaken me?

I am ushered into the room with the perfume and the posters, the giftshop of all things Dali. He has shown me that consciousness undreams itself, the super-real sleeps in the face of commerce.

But then, for that brief, foaming moment, amongst the beangas and the squirming dildoes, the stilted elephants and the floppy clocks, I believe. Is that too much to ask for, too little with which to be engaged? Oh, poor Humberto! For he did believe that he had refound the Dali he once loved, the Dalita his furtive, pre-adolescent gropings had found tucked back by the Turner and the Birger Sandz. Poor Humberto is fooled, momentarily by this warmed-over po-mo truculency, wooed by the glamour of hurtling 60-odd miles-an-hour atop a teetering, plastic pachyderm, lured by the bare butts and the ephemeral rubber auto-cocks, as if they were the signal white socks so enthralling to the pedophile! But no, dear reader, it cannot be! We have traded the gold shimmer of our floating Lord’s raiment for the crisp curl of the greenback, and never again our Da will be.