I was expecting either something more along the lines of Hiaassen's investigative reporting or more along the lines of his humorous, if slightly twisted, novels. This was neither. It is a short book--more of an extended essay but lacks any coherence or original sources. Much of the facts are not backed up with any references or draw any conclusions except that Disney is evil. I am not a fan of Disney's homoginization of American culture either but I do not make unsubstantiated claims that Disney is trying to control our lives. Definitely did not meet my expectations set by previous Hiaasen material.
In October of 1998, the newswires were humming with the revelation that ABC News had killed an investigative piece that revealed security problems at Walt Disney World â" the crown jewel of the Disney empire that just happens to own the ABC network and ABC News. Of course, the incident was quickly refuted by ABC News as being completely uninfluenced by corporate politicsâ¦which made many people go "hmmm." This is exactly the sort of Disney skepticism that we find in Team Rodent, a very short (less than 100 pages) collection of essays about Disney that uses sarcasm to bite and snap at the famous Mouse. The purpose of the book, I think, is to get people to open their eyes and realize that Disney is first and foremost a company, a business; and to survive in today's cutthroat world, a successful, giant business will do anything necessary to secure itself and prevent the world from knowing the truth about what goes behind the scene. In Disney's case, the company wraps itself with a "magical" facade where everyone is smiling, everything is bright and shiny, and nothing bad ever happens. The image is then promoted relentlessly, to the point where the entire world believes itâ¦but still, hidden underneath, is the dark truth about Disney. The truth, of course, is that it is a corporation whose primary goal is profit, not happiness. We need to be constantly reminded of this, and this is why a book like Team Rodent is a good eye-opener for those who turn on the TV and see nothing but Mickey Mouse's smiling face.
A fun little opinionated diatribe-- half fact-based journalism, half sadistic wish fulfillment from a native Floridian tired of seeing his home state desecrated. The Library of Contemporary Thought is a neat little series, and Hiaasen seems the perfect author to include.
A short and insightful look into how Disney has shaped American culture and changed the Florida landscape forever. I thought it was an interesting concept that was too short; I would have liked to read more from this author about this topic.