Street artist, provocateur, and modern day prophet, Banksy opens “Dismaland” to the dismay of Disneylanders and amusement enthusiasts everywhere. In addition to the anarchy of the production is the fact that the website buckled as thousands tried to visit Banksy’s theme park. This angered those who didn’t catch the delicious irony that the on-line ticketing was meant to crash to the frustration of eager fans.
Tim Chester writes: “It’s been billed, by its creators, as ‘the UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction,’ and it’s causing widespread dismay online.
Banksy’s Dismaland opened to the public… and, thanks to huge demand from visitors and a potential wry joke thrown in by the subversive artist, it’s making a lot of people downcast.
Tickets for the “bemusement park” in Weston-super-Mare went on sale Friday at £3 ($4.70 U.S.) per person, but eager visitors encountered a host of problems, and on Saturday the website said online ticketing was unavailable “due to unprecedented demand.”
Disneyland Off Steroids or On Crack?
Dismaland might be likened to Disneyland off Steroids; or is it Disneyland on Crack? I think of it as a contemporary analogy of Christmas, with its clamouring for entertainment and entitlement to moments (count them) of fun. The joke’s on us – for modern day materialism (aka: christmas), like Dismaland, is billed by its creators as ‘the most disappointing of visitor attractions.”
We are reminded of Neil Postman’s classic Amusing Ourselves to Death. In a 1985 PBS interview, he even acknowledges the “paradox of writing a book like this, and then showing up to be interviewed on TV.” Thirty years later, Banksy takes the short cut through art to make a blunt point.
Let me know when you get tired of being bemused. I know I am. But for more (I say ironically), see Christianity Today’s The Wonderless World of Dismaland.
And now for something entirely Old
In the meantime… there is an old story that is as fresh as the beginning… it reveals truth, it hides truth like a friend waiting to be found, and it is more than you can imagine – but nevertheless – imagine all you can!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Merry Christmas! When you get around to opening this present, you will find more enigma than dogma.
Meanwhile, Dismaland closes almost as soon as it had opened, leaving behind a Banksy-shaped Hole.