Makers

Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 44 (of 81)

 

Illustration by Idiots’Books

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM, RIP THEM OFF

A new initiative from the troubled Disney Parks corporation shows how a little imagination can catapult an ambitious exec to the top of the corporate ladder.

Word has it that Samuel R.D. Page, the Vice President for Fantasyland (I assure you, I am NOT making that up) has been kicked upstairs to Senior Vice President for Remote Delivery of Park Experience (I’m not making that up, either). Insiders in the company tell us that “Remote Delivery of Park Experience” is a plan to convince us to give The Mouse a piece of our homes which will be constantly refreshed via a robot three-dimensional printer with miniatures of the Disney park.

If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s a pale imitation of the no-less-ridiculous (if slightly less evil) “rides” movement pioneered by Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks, previously the anti-heroes of the New Work pump-and-dump scandal.

Imitation is meant to be the sincerest form of flattery, and if so, Gibbons and his cultists must be blushing fire-engine red.

This is cheap irony, Disney-style. After all, it’s only been a month since the company launched ten separate lawsuits against various incarnations of the ride for trademark violation, and it’s now trying to duck the punishing countersuits that have risen up in their wake.

Most ironic of all, word has it that Page was responsible for both ends of this: the lawsuits against the ride and the decision to turn his company into purveyors of cheap knockoffs of the ride.

Page is best known among Park aficionados for having had the “foresight” to gut the children’s “Fantasyland” district in Walt Disney World and replace it with a jumped up version of Hot Topic, a goth-themed area that drew down the nation’s eyeliner supply to dangerously low levels.

It was apparently that sort of “way-out-of-the-box” “genius” that led Page to his latest round of disasters: the lawsuits, an abortive rebuilding of Fantasyland, and now this “Remote Delivery” scam.

What’s next? The Mouse has already shipped Disney Dollars, an abortive home-wares line, a disastrous fine-art chain, and oversaw the collapse of the collectible cel-art market. With “visionaries” like Page at the helm, the company can’t help but notch up more “successes.”

<<< Back to Part 43

Continue to Part 45 >>>

As part of the ongoing project of crafting Tor.com’s electronic edition of Makers, the author would like for readers to chime in with their favorite booksellers and stories about them in the comments sections for each piece of Makers, for consideration as a possible addition to a future edition of the novel.


Doctorow’s Makers will be released in print by Tor Books in October. You can read all previous installments of Makers on Tor.com on our index page.

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