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This Week in Schadenfreude: You Don't Mess with the Mouse

We welcome suggestions from readers for this feature, of course (and for freudenfreude, as well). And some weeks, a news story is so obviously apropos for this space that it is suggested by many, many readers. This is one of those cases.

Recall that Ron DeSantis decided that Disney had become too "woke" for his tastes (and, specifically, too pro-gay), and so he decided to punish them. The company had been given special privileges to govern affairs in the area where Disney World and EPCOT are located; this was called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and was established in 1967. And DeSantis persuaded the Florida legislature to take control of Reedy Creek away from the Mouse. This despite the fact that Disney was actually doing an excellent job of governing, and that many other entities in Florida enjoy the same privileges. The Governor figured, as we note above, that there wasn't much Disney could do about it.

Wrong-o, Ron-o! DeSantis may be smart, and he may be an Ivy League-trained lawyer. However, Disney has hordes of people like that on staff, and the many are usually cleverer than the one. And what Disney's brain trust did was write up a document that the old, Disney-appointed board approved at their last meeting, right before the new, DeSantis-appointed board took over (of what was renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District).

To say that this document ties the hands of the new board members would be an understatement. It does allow them to maintain the roads and infrastructure, and to assume the bond liabilities that Disney was previously servicing. What it does not allow the new board to do is... much of anything else. They can't stop new construction projects that Disney undertakes. In fact, they can't stop new construction projects that Disney approves, even if some other entity actually undertakes them. The board also cannot authorize new construction, or even improvements to existing structures, without Disney's permission.

So, how long will this new, DeSantis-emasculating covenant remain in effect? That's the juicy detail that has already launched a thousand memes. According to the terms of the 151-page document, it remains in effect "until twenty one (21) years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III." Keeping in mind that the Windsor line can trace its roots at least as far back as Cerdic of Wessex (died in 534), that means that the document can be expected to remain in effect until, oh, the year 3500 or so. Maybe longer. DeSantis & Co. say they are going to sue, but if you had to pick between lawyers who work for Ron DeSantis and the crack legal team at Disney, which one would you put your money on?

One other news item on this subject was sent to us by several readers. Last week, Disney World made this announcement:

The Walt Disney World Resort has signed on to host the Out & Equal summit in September of this year. The event will focus on promoting LGBTQ+ rights in the workplace and will be the next step in Disney's continued push for inclusivity.

In the organization's own words, 'Out & Equal is the premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality. Through our worldwide programs, Fortune 500 partnerships and our annual Workplace Summit conference, we help LGBTQ people thrive and support organizations creating a culture of belonging for all.'

In other words, "You want woke, Ron? We'll show you woke."

Mickey Mouse has only four fingers, so we're not entirely sure which is the middle one. But now, Ron DeSantis knows which one it is. And given his consequences-be-damned grandstanding and his bullying behavior, we can't think of a better guy to learn that particular lesson. (Z)

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