Friday, May 20, 2011

It's The Attention To Detail That Matters

(Unless You're Today's Disney)

This attractive, levitating calendar arrived in today's mail. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.

I am fast becoming something that I never wanted to be: a complainer. And I assure you that it's not my fault. You see, after decades of exceptional quality, I've come to expect nothing less than excellence from Disney. But lately, and especially with the addition of The McMansionland Playground, I'm beginning to wonder if the foolish, corporate mortals at the House of the Mouse have lost their heads. It alarms me because: #1, that's my schtick; and, #2, I am rather fond of the little details. And one cannot pay attention to detail when one lacks the diligence and expertise (i.e., mind) to do so. It is the attention to detail that, in the beginning, set Disney apart. As I see it, it is now the lack of that attention (and the required competence and intelligence to hold it) that is causing standards to wane.

Commercialism matters, not functionality.

Yet another shining example: the calendar pictured above. It's slick and glossy and visually stunning and full of all sorts of persuasive marketing spiel designed to entice annual passholders to spend even more of their hard-earned cash at Disneyland. I can only imagine the effort it took to create this piece of cleverly crafted direct mail advertising. But despite all of the photographers, illustrators, designers, writers, printers and man hours involved, this calendar is destined for the recycle bin. It's useless because none of these experts (and, no doubt, presumed leaders in their fields) had the wherewithal nor common sense to put a hole in the darn thing so it could be hung. Due to the careless oversight of this one, all-important detail, the calendar is now, in layman terms, what we call, "a waste." The majority of its recipients will discard it. But, perhaps it's for the best.

Since Disney was once regarded as a trusted leader in education, students might believe the following to be fact:

I wonder what country or planet's moon landing they were watching.

The Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969. It's just a little, minor detail.