The Burnt Coffin Series One: Disney

Bean Newton

Issue 2 * Spring 2000

The following is the first in a series of Bean Newton's poems discovered in a partially burnt coffin that had fallen down the bank of a suburban drainage stream. The coffin was found to contain parts of up to 50 of Newton's manuscripts, many of them book length, and was thought to have been burnt at the end of a period of extreme disillusionment on the part of the poet. This period also produced the 1995-'97 series of Whip Shitback poems.

I am currently trying to piece together the more complete of the Burnt Coffin series into a single document tentatively titled The Burnt Offerings of Bean Newton.

This fragment is part of an apparent treatise on Disney. -- E.W. Wilder


Treatise on Disney

17. Americans need theme parks to remind them of their own plasticity.

18. Perhaps part of the reason people don't connect with Whitman and Dickinson anymore is that they were writing pre-theme park.

19. Whitman's reaction to simple work, a glorification, an apotheosis even, has been replaced by a six-foot tall neotenistic mouse.

20. In the larger scheme of things, I guess, this makes perfect sense.

21. I mean, why not deify mice? Especially mice that look like babies?

22. No stranger is this, really, than a God of Thunder, or a God with the head of a jackal and the body of a human.

23. Commandment #1. "Thou shalt have no other Mouse before Me."

24. And Walt sayeth unto them: "Love the Lord thy Mouse with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind."

25. Plastic adj. Able to be molded easily; the quality of malleability.

26. No matter how good are theme parks' sanitation, they all smell like armpits.

27. And why not worship armpits?

28. "And He looked down at all the Money he had wrought, at all the stocks in the arms of the shareholders, at the electric revenue humming brightly in the bank, at the cash reserves with their tight, neat packets of bills, and He saw that it was Good."

29. I'd like to think that somewhere, back in the dark, infernal recesses of our restless little minds, there is some part of us, weak and spineless as it may be, that is utterly nauseated by all this.

30. Heaven 1. paradise, eternal reward, the Garden of Eden. 2. Orlando, Florida.

31. Paradise, fortunately, only costs about $120 a day.

32. If, that is, you don't ride any of the rides.

33. God must put much into His image control department.

34. A Disney employee should always smile.

35. "I liked the part where the infant Hercules floated through the soul-music inspired song-and-dance number. Made me feel warm and sort of good towards him. Like a croissant."

36. Do you think they'll do Dante next?

37. We want the world to be perfect. Just like Ward and June. Soon, everyone will think like us.

38. Experiments in theme-parks for the born-again have (Branson excepted), for the most part, been failures. This is due mainly to the fact that Disney is not falling in line with Christianity or any orthodoxy except Capitalism. Instead, it is supplanting Christianity.

39. It's about time this happened: Finally we have a religion that actually represents our true values: making money, being mildly entertaining, glossing over our difficult history and challenging literature, making money, making money.

40. Giving to the poor is too icky. It also does not reflect our values. In DisneyWorld, there are no homeless.

41. I am Purchasing Power. Hear me roar.

42. We like Impressionism for much the same reasons: it seems to represent a tradition of some kind; it's different, but not too different; it has no harsh shadows; and it's sort of fuzzy when you look real close.

43. I used to dream. Now I Disney.