WALT DISNEY: Part 4. The secret life of Walter

JIM HOKERMAN        Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE THREE MUSKETEERS, GERMAN-STYLE. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THE’RE IN FOR …

DER FUHRER’S FACE CARTOON WON AN OSCAR AND, IN ADDITION, SPIKE JONES’S RECORDING OF THE SOUNDTRACK SOLD A MILLION AND A HALF COPIES.

In a ghost-written magazine article of the mid 1930s, he complained that “Mr A Hitler, the Nazi old thing, says Mickey’s silly. Imagine that! Well, Mickey is going to save Mr A Hitler from drowning one day. Just wait and see if he doesn’t. Then won’t Mr A. Hitler be ashamed!”

However, by the time he made The New Spirit (1942), the first of the government-sponsored propaganda and training films that virtually subsidised the Disney studio during World War 2; Walt did decide to let the “Nazi old thing” drown.

He demonstrated his distaste by showing the swastika “flushed away in a vortex of dark, swirling water”.
The next year saw Education for Death (with Hitler playing Prince Charming to Hermann Goering’s mountainous Sleeping Beauty) and Disney’s greatest piece of agitrop, Donald in Nutzi Land.

Also known as Der Fuhrer’s Face, the cartoon won an Oscar; while Spike Jones’s recording of the soundtrack sold a million and half copies.

In a dour comment on the mock flatulence of the song’s chorus, Richard Schickel remarked, “Even in wartime (the Disney studio) found a way to state its belief in the location – the seat as it were – of human emotions”.

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DEAD TIRED …
MORE AMERICANS ARE LOSING SLEEP OVER THE STATE OF THE UNITED STATES NATION UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP AND OTHER PERSONAL FINANCIAL CONCERNS. INADEQUATE SLEEP IS ASSOCIATED WITH UNHEALTY LIFESTYLES AND NEGATIVELY IMPACTS HEALTH AND SAFETY. COMING: DEAD TIRED -- STARTS IN THE NEW YEAR.
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What is particularly interesting about Der Fuhrer’s Face is Disney’s visualisation of “Nutzi Land”. Donald’s room is plastered with swastika wallpaper, he sleeps in swastika pyjamas between swastika sheets.

His alarm clock keeps time with swastika numerals.

It’s as though the Disney artists were rehashing the 2000 Snow White products that helped pull the toy industry through the recession of 1937.

Even nature is not immune to the totality of “Nutzi Land”. Outside Donald’s widow we see that trees and hedges have been shaped into swastikas.

Such an improvement may never have occurred to Hitler. But a decade or so later the bushes of Disneyland would be carefully trimmed to resemble Mickey, Donald and Dumbo.

SOURCE: Adapted from The Secret life of Walt Disney by Jim Hokerman, Nation Review. May 31, 1979.

NEXT: Final. “I don’t want a funeral,” said Walt. “I want people to remember me alive”.

Below: One of the posters for Education for Death, in which Hitler play Prince Charming.

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DEAD TIRED …
THE CYCLE OF WORRY AND INSOMNIA: THE MORE YOU WORRY ABOUT NOT SLEEPING THE MORE YOU WORRY ABOUT GOING TO BED AND, MORE LIKELY, CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE INSOMNIA. EXPECTATIONS ARE, WHAT CONSTITUTE A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP, AND THIS MAY ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS VICIOUS CYCLE. DEAD TIRED – STARTS IN THE NEW YEAR.
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RIVETS THE DOG …

RIVETS WAS A POPULAR STRIP BACK IN THE 50s. RIVETS WAS SYNDICATED TO CHUCKLER’S WEEKLY, A MAGAZINE PRODUCED BY THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH FOR THE YOUNGER SET. CHUCKLER’S WEEKLY STARTED IN 1954 AND ENDED IN 1960.

CONTINUED.


THE JACK EDEN STORY: Final. Jack’s photographs “catch the mood” of a nation in the sixties

FRANK MORRIS

A SERIES OF PHOTOS, WHICH WERE TAKEN BY JACK, WAS A LESSON IN LENSMANSHIP. ONE IN PARTICULAR, WITH GARY BIRDSALL, LEANING AGAINST THE DOOR OF HIS SMALL CAR, WITH A BOARD DANGLING FROM THE BOOT.

WHEN THE FIRST MAGAZINE WAS PUBLISHED “THE RESPONSE KNOCKED EVERYBODY FOR SIX,” SAYS JACK. “EVEN THE DISTRIBUTORS”.

A perfect combination, from which have come photographs that have transcended the realms of living history and become prized works of art.  Eden has been lauded worldwide for his superb back-lit photography.  It gave Surfabout “a California feel,” according to a leading surfer/writer.

The inaugural issue of Surfabout hit the streets in August 1962.  It was produced in response to the growing popularity of longboards, which both preceded and then followed Midget Farrell’s world title victory in 1964.
There was no publication “uniquely Australian” for the grommets.

Surfabout’s first print run was 10,000, which evaporated in a week.  A newsagent in Surfer’s Paradise reported selling 150 copies in a day.   “They went like hot cakes,” the vendor said.  Surfing was hot and the magazine-starved masses, both hardcore surfers and weekend warriors, literally devoured the ink from the pages!

Says Eden: “The response knocked everybody for six – even the distributors.  They had never seen anything like it. The first issue broke all records so we increased the next issue to 18,000 copies.”

Where did the name Surfabout spring from?

Eden ponders the question for a moment.  “It took many hours of deliberation before we came up with the idea of adapting the aboriginal term ‘walkabout’ for the magazine title.  So Surfabout it became.”

(The name was later hijacked by a top American company as the title for the first major Australian pro surfing event.)
The debut issue of Surfabout, in keeping with the origins of the title, was emblazoned with aboriginal motifs which certainly made it look different to other magazines on the newsstands.

This was long before indigenous cultures became the vogue. The cover design is simple, uncluttered and unpretentious; the content is an unaffected, uncomplicated presentation of the new sport of surfboard riding.
Surfabout is a historic magazine in other ways too.

True, it was beaten to the post as Australia’s first surfing magazine by a few months, but Surfabout made up for it in myriad other ways.

Predicted, as early as 1965, that the Australian surfing scene would spawn a multi-billion dollar industry-boards, male and female fashion, accessories and so on.

A Surfabout editorial said: “The growth … has been one of notable achievement … there is now a competitive drive (and) the tempo has trebled its pace and shows no sign of diminishing.”

Reflects Eden: “We gave our readers their money’s worth and more.  I believe that is the reason the magazine is so well remembered after all this time.”

The debut issue of Surfabout sold for five shillings and sixpence – 55 cents in today’s currency.  (Later issues were four shillings and sixpence.)

The same issue, as a collectible two years ago, fetched $400!

*At that time there was a popular magazine called Walkabout, which will be fondly remembered. It’s safe to say that it also had a great influence on the outcome.

The Jack Eden Surfabout Revisited Collection began its national tour at the Perth Museum in August 1964.

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ABOUT JACK EDEN …
EDEN CAPTURED COUNTLESS IMAGES ON AN ARRAY OF DIFFERENT CAMERAS. HE LOOKED LIFE IN THE EYE. THIS NEW LIFE WAS BOUND IN THE CLASSICAL SHAPE OF YOUNG SURFERS, SOME TO BECOME SPORTING LEGENDS, IN WHICH CAN BE DESCRIBED AS AN IRRESPRESSIBLE PERIOD IN OUR HISTORY.
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SOURCE: Adaption from Jack Eden’s Surfabout Revisited Collection edited by Frank Morris, published in 1997.

Below: The Surf, the first in the world, published in 1917. Then came “Surfing Sixties” brigands. Coming soon. 


THOMAS COOK: Final. Thomas’s son took over the reins and  began to visit new places afar!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THERE WAS A THOMAS COOK OUTLET IN PRACTICALLY EVERY CITY.

FOUNDER THOMAS COOK SAW TRAVEL AS AN ANTIDOTE TO DRUDGERY.

Founder Thomas Cook died in 1892.

John Mason Cook, the son of Thomas Cook, who became manager of Thomas Cook’s first company in Fleet Street, was perhaps the world’s first business traveller -- notwithstanding Marco Polo. Throughout his life he was constantly on the move: appointing agents and negotiating contracts.

And, like today’s businessman, he was more than likely nagged by his family for never being at home. John Cook’s apprenticeship in travel began in 1851.

At 17, he was appointed chief assistant to his father and given the responsibility of taking 165,000 people to the Great Exhibition in London. During his apprentice years he would work for five consecutive night and days at a time, accompanying trains filled with passengers.

This was just a taste of what was to come.

At the beginning of 1865, his father had returned from a trip to North America during which he had agreed with the principal railways for a system of booking to the Paris Exhibition to be held the following year.

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DEAD TIRED …
AN AUSTRALIAN STUDY A FEW YEARS BACK SHOWED THAT ALMOST I IN 5 WORKING ADULTS ARE RUNNING A BIGGER RISK OF DEVELOPING CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND DIABETES. UP TO 1.2MILLION AUSTRALIANS SUFFER A RANGE OF SLEEP DISORDERS, FROM INSOMNIA TO SLEEP APNOEA. ARE YOU ONE OF THEM? COMING IN THE NEW YEAR.
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This innovation assisted him in his responsibility of promoting trips to the Exhibition, and indeed to Paris as an attraction in itself. To date his main market had been in the United Kingdom where the return fare Cook’s offered from London to Paris was one pound and a four-day package could be secured for one pound eighty.

In 1868, Cook’s posters advertised North America-to-Paris return fares from twenty-one pound to thirty-one pound fifty. During the four years it took for that side of the business to develop, Cook recorded in his diary that, on average, he was annually away from home for 100 days.

He was travelling between 67,000km and 85,000km a year.

With the company well established Cook began to organise tours further afield and began to take travellers through Europe and into the Holy Land. In 1870, Cook’s was successful in setting up a network that organised tours of Egypt.

In 1871 Thomas formed a partnership with his son and the business was, fittingly, renamed Thomas Cook and Son. This move created even more drive in John Mason; and between 1873 and 1889 he travelled relentlessly, opening up new destinations and establishing new lines of communication.

During these years John Cook spent much of his time interviewing the managers of railways and steamboat companies, particularly in North America, where a big expansion was planned. He was always concerned about getting the best for his clients.

When John died in 1899 and the business was then worth about two millions pound.

Source: Adapted from The Australian 1981.

Below: The gravestone of John Thomas.

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ROAD CCCCRASHED ...
“ROAD RAGE” – IT’S WATING TO HAPPEN. IT WOULD PAY RETIREMENT VILLAGE MANAGERS TO HEED THE WARNING FROM ROAD ACCIDENT EXPERTS THAT THERE ARE SENIOR DRIVERS WHO BELIEVE THEY ARE STILL SAFE AND COMPETENT BEHIND THE WHEEL. BUT, IN REALITY, THEY ARE ACCIDENTS WAITING TO HAPPEN. – FM. ROAD CCCCRASH! STARTS SOON.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 October 19

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