14 Jan 2010


GW asked me what books I borrowed from the university library. I just answered novels but did not elaborate further. I was too embarrassed to explain my recent habit of crosschecking stories from Disney movies.

As a father of a four-year old girl, I watch countless cartoons. With time, I realize that I have mixed up most stories. For one thing, the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame cannot make sense without describing the lust of Claude Frollo toward Esmeralda. On the other hand, children probably would not accept the fact that the beautiful Gypsy was betrayed by her love, Captain Phoebus. As if this is not enough, in the latest version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that we watched, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck were starring the four Athenian lovers. In The Three Musketeers, four Barbie dolls were shouting the famous motto “tous pour un, un pour tous”. Getting more and more confused, I have no choice but to read the original works.

When I was an undergraduate student, I often feared what I read from textbooks might be inaccurate or even misleading. My predecessors only suggested that I should make my life easier by sticking to and believing in one textbook. I could not take that and ended up reading multiple books on a similar subject. The obvious advantage was the development of critical thinking which built my interest in research. How can one find what is not right without viewing from different angles?

This is probably similar to the study of antiques. According to KL, all collectors have to go through three stages.

Stage 1: Being fooled by others
Stage 2: Knowing he has been fooled by others
Stage 3: Fooling others

1 comment:

  1. Do you have the impression that the Disneyland is brainwashing the whole 2000 generation?
    In our old days, we tend to read old stories which preach "good virtues". Nowadays, the Disneyland stories seem preaching more like "vanity" and "fantasy".