No Cause for Celebration

A murder in  Florida received prominent coverage in the New York Times, which referred to “a crack in the facade of this community.” Celebration was developed by the Disney Company 14 years ago (although it no longer belongs to the entertainment conglomerate), and it has received inordinate attention from the media ever since. There is something about the combination of Disney and an actual town that fascinates reporters, although Celebration is a fairly run-of-the-mill (actually above average) example of what is usually called New Urbanism. When the place opened, journalists said it was too perfect, too beautifully designed, too idyllic. There were dark hints of corporate control, as if this were a theme park in disguise. Now that the town exhibits the sadly ordinary symptoms of everyday life in twenty-first century America—a murder, as well as a domestic confrontation that resulted in a 14-hour stand-off with the police (and a suicide)—it is a crack in the façade of the community. Oh, well.

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