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DAN'S PAPERS, June 12, 2009 Page 36 www.danshamptons.com

Princess

(continued from page 19)

duced one delay after another. Where is the black prince? Is a black person as a prince not good enough? The prince in question is from the mythical land of Maldonia. There is nothing kinky about his hair. And his voice, as this is all animation, is provided by a Brazilian actor named Bruno Campos. There is further concern about the decision to make the setting of the movie New Orleans in its heyday. No city in America has a worse history of divisions between rich and poor and black and white than New Orleans. I suspect further delays. Disney, of course, has a long history of animated movies that might have been appropriate for when they were made, but today appear racist. Furthermore, when it became apparent that

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they were no longer appropriate, it seemed to take Disney too long before they woke up to that fact. I am, in fact, one of the last people in America, along with my wife and four kids, to have seen Song of the South. It was a film made by Disney in the 1930s that is no longer shown because it depicts black people as illiterate slaves, field workers and worse in 19th century Georgia, and though historically accurate, it was basically hooted into the dumpster in the 1970s by politically correct critics. Nevertheless, I saw it at Disneyworld around a bonfire at Fort Wilderness in 1995, long after its banning. What had they done, taken the film out of the wrong bin? The kids loved it however — kids love everything Disney — but I sure felt funny about it.

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Slaves in the old South? Well, you know what? When I was growing up in the 1950s, Song of the South was right up there with Cinderella and Fantasia as one of the greatest Disney films ever made. I have to say that The Princess and the Frog is indeed a great challenge for Disney. I wish them the best. Remember the song in their movie Aladdin back in 1993. The lyrics went: “Where they cut off your ear/If they don’t like your face/It’s barbaric, but, hey, it’s home.” As I recall they re-recorded that lyric in the song without the reference even after the movie came out, thanks to the efforts of the AmericanArab Anti-Discrimination Committee. And how come Princess Tiana spends most of this movie being a frog? Is that Disney’s way of not showing her? And what does this say about frogs? All hail Disney, King of the Universe.

Artists

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Morgan, of the North Fork Poetry Scene, will read from her poetry collection. There will be two panels — one that focuses on how to survive the current downturn in the economy, and another on how to rebuild the arts once the economy has improved. Katy Gurley, a freelance writer of East Hampton who attended the meeting last Sunday, said, “This conference is a major step forward for us, in helping the community to understand who we are and what our purpose is. We hope to have more conferences like this in the future.” Christina Strassfield, Museum Director and Chief Curator at Guild Hall (a sponsor of the event) said she is also excited about this new group and conference. “Guild Hall has been a vital part of the East End artistic community for the last 77 years — a major gathering place for artists of all levels. We felt it was imperative during these difficult times to join forces, create a dialogue and be a source of information for the artists of our community.” Gurley said AWEH also has plans for a writer’s group that will host monthly readings featuring various local writers, to be held at the Springs General Store at 5 p.m. on Sundays during the summer. AWEH is also planning to have a “meet the candidates” night with the two East Hampton Supervisor contenders, Ben Zwirn and Bill Wilkinson. The next monthly meeting of the AWEH will be held after the conference. “We want to see what kind of energy we get out of the conference,” said MacDonald. “In the meantime, artists, writers and other creative people are welcome to join our group. All they need is one sponsor from someone already in the group.” The “In It Together: Art and the Economic Crisis” conference is at the John Drew Theater, Guild Hall, June 17, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Suggested donation is $5.00. WLIU will broadcast the conference live and stream it on its website at wliu.org. For more information on the group: AWEH.org

Dan's Papers June 12, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...