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Friday, April 22, 2005 


Even though I spend the majority of my academic time reading, I make a point of finding a way to do some non-school reading whenever possible. Even though I'm interested in it and many of the cases are compelling, reading for school is work. I'm reading for a purpose, looking for the relevant facts, finding the issues, as well as understanding and critiquing the court's analysis. It is in no way "light reading."

I have been reading sections of The Brethren whenever the mood hits me or when I am reading a case that the Court decided within the time frame of the book. That is the book I come back to after periods of putting it down. Since the narrative is divided into the yearly terms of the Court, it reads well like that.

The book that I have been reading consistently as the object of my leisure is DisneyWar. It is the story of the rise and fall of Michael Eisner. The inner workings of Disney and its ancillary companies is explained and dissected. The board room politics are incredibly interesting. Eisner is one of those people who has a lot of talent, but can miss and miss big easily. He tends to present himself as being able to accept his own faults and say "I can learn from them," but that isn't the truth. It's easy to say that but difficult to follow through. Eisner is by no means the only person with faults in this story. All of the players in this are flawed, they're only human, but there is a strong clashing of egos. Very talented people with focused goals often find themselves in conflict, and that is what happened here.

I picked this up because I am very interested in Disney itself as a historic entity, and as a truly American entity. For me, the Disney iconography is so deeply tied to America. Walt's world, his version of the Disney company, is an idealistic view. It is something to live up to and strive to achieve. I used to scoff at people when they said these things. But the more I learned about Walt the man and his philosophy behind everything he did, I recognized that there was substance there. While I couldn't give two shits about Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King, I will always find something worth examining in an innovative person. And that's why Walt intrigues me.

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  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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