A new souvenir tee-shirt soon to be on sale at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will sport a frisky turn of phrase. The shirt, themed to the water flume spectacular Splash Mountain, will proclaim “It was soaking awesome.”
The shirt, previewed on Disney Parks’ official blog today, is sure to be given a pass in the Shatner-induced national debate over acceptance of everyday vulgarity. To me, the thing is clearly a play on a common phrase involving the f-word. I’m definitely not a prude, and my language can be worse than this, but it does seem somewhat like a betrayal of a brand.
I guess it’s nowhere near as shocking as Song of the South, the movie upon which the Splash Mountain attraction itself is based. I will never understand why Disney green-lit a major ride based on a movie deemed so racist that the company still refuses to release it in the United States. When it was first made, Adam Clayton Powell called it “an insult to minorities.”
So I guess another baby step toward an idiocracy isn’t much of a concern in comparison to stereotypes of kindly old ex-slaves who live, like magic gnomes, in tumbledown shacks, waiting to teach young white boys it’s better to live back on the plantation. That central character of Uncle Remus was deleted from the flume version, but I guess minstrelsy is still acceptable if you apply it to rabbits and bears, and I guess a reference to the word fucking is fine for your 8-year-old’s chest if you make it plausibly deniable.
It’s still my favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom, though. And the lavish Japanese version could blow your mind. Then again, the Japanese can buy Song of the South, too.