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Team Rodent (Library of Contemporary Thought) [Paperback]

Carl Hiaasen
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 May 1998 Library of Contemporary Thought
"Disney is so good at being good that it manifests an evil; so uniformly efficient and courteous, so dependably clean and conscientious, so unfailingly entertaining that it's unreal, and therefore is an agent of pure wickedness. . . . Disney isn't in the business of exploiting Nature so much as striving to improve upon it, constantly fine-tuning God's work."
--from TEAM RODENT

TEAM RODENT
How Disney Devours America

"Revulsion is good. Revulsion is healthy. Each of us has limits, unarticulated boundaries of taste and tolerance, and sometimes we forget where they are. Peep Land is here to remind us; a fixed compass point by which we can govern our private behavior. Because being grossed out is essential to the human experience; without a perceived depravity, we'd have nothing against which to gauge the advance or decline of culture; our art, our music, our cinema, our books. Without sleaze, the yardstick shrinks at both ends. Team Rodent doesn't believe in sleaze, however, nor in old-fashioned revulsion. Square in the middle is where it wants us all to be, dependable consumers with predictable attitudes. The message, never stated but avuncularly implied, is that America's values ought to reflect those of the Walt Disney Company, and not the other way around."

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Product details

  • Paperback: 83 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; 1 edition (5 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422804
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.1 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 559,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of twelve novels, including the bestselling Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy and Lucky You, and three bestselling children's books, Hoot, Flush and Scat. They have been translated into 34 languages, 33 more than he can read or write. Carl Hiaasen also writes an award-winning column for The Miami Herald.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully acerbic 6 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must have been reading Carl Hiaasens Novell's for some thirty years and never been disappointed. In this, my first foray into his reporting skills, I'm even more impressed. His blissful biased and honest view of Disney's Colonialism is superb and an eye opener to a fifty year old man who still knows all the words to every song in The Jungle Book. Again a wonderful read.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Upset by Disney urbanizing the State 7 Oct 2007
Format:Paperback
A novelist and Florida columnist laments the overwhelming presence of the Walt Disney Company, especially in his state.

Hiaasen blames Disney for the ugly sprawl that is Orlando while pointing out that Disney World itself is not subject to urban planning regulations. On this count he is accurate. When Disney moved in, all land they purchased seemed to be exempt from many regulations. But as much as he laments on the evils of the Mouse, the largest damage is done by all the smaller companies that build up around Disney to take advantage of the millions of tourist flocking to the Magic Kingdom.

But he fails to mentions all the jobs they provide. Though many employees say they do not like their rules and regulations. All successful companies must have them, especially when your business is the entertainment and safety of children. And lets be clear, all children love the Disney experience.

Hiaasen asserts that Disney building their store was the genesis that cleaned up Time Square in New York. While in truth, they only agreed to open their store if Giuliani promised and followed through to clean up that part of town. And the Mayor was able to accomplish the required goals, at least on the surface.

It is worth reading, but it is not up to his normal standards. It would have been better if the author used his investigative skills to gather some facts. This small book it is a very short and easy read. There is strong language.
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14 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable 10 July 2002
Format:Paperback
"Disney is so good at being good that it manifests an evil: so uniformly efficient and courteous, so dependably clean and conscienctious, so unfailingly entertaining that it's unreal, and therefore is an agent of pur wickedness". The statement says it all, this book is a no holds barred attack on Disney's (lack of) morals and the underhand destruction of Florida and American culture in its hands. An absolute must for people who trully care about this world.
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24 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Team Rodent Nothing New 19 Aug 2002
Format:Paperback
Without a doubt this book shows how the Disney Corporation led by Walt himself took a piece of Florida and made it into a multi million dollar operation. This is an interesting insight into the mind of the author and well worth reading, not because it makes any great revelations about Disney more that it shows that there are people in the world who want it all their own way. I doubt that there are more than a handful of people across the world who think that Disney does not operate to make money for its owners. Why then does the author think it wrong that Walt Disney sent out anonymous buyers to obtain land at a fraction of the cost it would have had to pay had Disney made it public it wished to buy land in central Florida. The author constantly tries to portray Disney as a place of evil with an evil security force "The Goofy Gendarmes" so what if they use police style codes and chase intruders of the premises. The other wrong doings highlighted in the book of the Disney Corporation he deservedly brings to public knowledge but why does he feel that he has to belittle the job that these people do. And why does he claim to want to be banned from the parks yet tell us he brought his children to them. The author tells us that he does not like tourists passing his home, I think he has hit the nail on the head "he does not like tourists" he would like the parks to close I doubts the thousands of people who are employed directly or indirectly as a result of the Disney parks would disagree. Still the book gives an insight into the workings of the corporation even though we know Disney did not build his empire as a children's charity some of the revelations are thought provoking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  127 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen Attacks Apple Pie 28 Jun 1998
By Bucherwurm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
First of all I must admit that if I heard that Carl Hiaasen had edited the Dubuque, Iowa telephone book, I would rush out and buy it. I enjoy him because I love his humor, and because I share his environmental concerns. As a retired senior executive of a large corporation, I also have no illusions about the goals of business. We need gadflies, and Carl's buzzing about can only bring issues to the surface to be thought about and discussed. Disagree with him you may, but I see nothing wrong in presenting facts about the power and plasticity of the Disney world. Many folks want their big brother provided sanitized entertainment, and will evidently brook no criticism of the source of their pleasure. For myself I am interested to find out how yet another big business manipulates local governments and the press. It's fascinating to read how devoted fans will pay 25 to 40% more for a home because its built by Mickey and his friends, while disregarding the fact that the same guys built substandard housing in Miami. The way people are mesmerized by the fantastic plastic world of Disney sometimes scares me. Its like some dystopic future world from a science fiction novel.
I will agree that $8.95 is a lot to pay for 83 pages, but it sure is good quality Hiaasen.
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaasen's wit helps numb the pain of reality 22 Sep 1999
By J Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Having grown up in Pinellas county Florida in the 60s it was easy to hate and be militant toward the obvious developers such as Hunt Corp., etc. In "Team Rodent", Carl Hiaasen provided me with the much-needed jolt to get over the quasi-hypnosis caused by a bunch of cuddly cartoon characters. Disney is nothing more than a corporate conglomerate that is wreaking far-reaching havoc on the environment under the guise of good family fun. Hiaasen's humor is not only welcome, it is necessary as it enabled me to get through the material that otherwise would have had me throwing up. I read this entire book on one flight and couldn't help but laugh out loud when reading about his scenario of the bull alligators in Bay Lake. People around me were giving me funny looks. It's not often a book causes me to lose control to that extent. There is a glimmer of hope offered when reading how the people in Virginia were able to thwart Disney's plans near Manassas. Unfortunately for Florida it's too little, too late. The only negative I could come up with in the book is the reference to orcas as "killer whales". A similar expose' needs to be done on Sea World. And by the way Carl: Let me know if you need any assistance with those bull alligators.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mickey mouse, skewered and smoked 27 Dec 2001
By "aznchew" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Only Hiaasen could turn Disney into the vile and soulless entity presented in "Team Rodent" and still make you chuckle. I suspect that most lucid people have had the occasional flickering thought that perhaps the Disney Corporation seemed a bit too omnipresent and omnipotent to be so wonderful, and here Hiaasen explains exactly why that is the case. To be fair, this book isn't just a roasting of the mouse, it is also a roasting of the American culture that so embraces the overcleansed Disney ideal. Hiaasen's writing, as usual, is witty and clever, and sometimes snort-milk-out-your-nose funny. Humor aside, I found the book deeply troubling because I saw so many parallels between the way that Disney and Big Tobacco run their businesses and buy off their enemies. This book will certainly make you laugh, but hopefully it will also make you think.
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wickedly funny polemic on a fullly deserving corporation 30 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As someone who witnessed, firsthand, the attempts by Disney to force feed their American history theme park down the throats of the good people of Northern Virginia, I can say that every word, comma, period and exclamation point in Carl Hiaasen's polemic rings clear and true. Also, sad but true, I have witnessed what Disney has done to Florida, as Hiaasen's so eloquently details in Team Rodent. In my and my collaborator Parke Puterbaugh's book, Florida Beaches (Foghorn), we detected the Disney fallout on nearly every beachhead on the Atlantic coast, and anyone who loves the Panhandle beaches better get ready to be disgusted because Disney (under the guise of a holding company) is getting ready to do to that area what it did to Orlando. I can say, from experience, that Disney is deceptive, sneaky, arrogant, bullying and they also lie regularly, when it behooves them. It would not surprise me in the least that the people who rated this book one star were hired by the company...or are stockholders.
69 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Disturbing"+"Entertaining"="Ultimately, Flawed" 8 April 2001
By Paul Frandano - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I adore Carl Hiassen. I share his concerns. I join in his delight at the comeuppances that from time to time sock Disney in the jaw. (As a resident of Northern Virginia, I was quietly pleased at our qualified victory in beating back Disney's America project.) So let me say first that I'd recommend Team Rodent as sheer, exuberant Hiassen, with its "Peep Land," "Insane Clown Michael," odious black buzzards and other hilarious locales and characters.
Still, this is a slender book that wants you to believe it's much longer, better developed, and more convincing. It's Hiassen stretching everything he's got for as much as he can get (he's very good at this). He has an an anecdote or two for each short chapter, which he inflates--via the high-pressure air hose of Hiassenian hyperbole and prose--to the bursting point. What we're left with is the story of a large, powerful corporation in Florida behaving like--surprise!--a large, powerful corporation in Florida. That has convinced the broad masses to shovel money into its coffers in alarmingly large quantities. Surely, however, as a muckraker and satirist, Hiassen has divined something sinister, some fundamental filaments of rot eating through the Disney empire.
For better or worse, intellectuals are the guilty consciences of their times, and Hiassen performs this necessary service. His are the useful ravings of the "anti-developmentals," who serve as salutary societal T-cells and, consequently, as needed brakes on hyperdevelopment. (It worked in Northern Virginia!) Hiassen behaves here, however, as though he had much more to work with and as though he didn't have to expend much effort to clinch his case--the "preaching to the choir syndrome"? In the end, Team Rodent seems something Hiassen simply tossed off one morning over coffee from his sanctuary in the Keys. I'd have appreciated a fuller version--with bull alligators, dire prophesies, and smacktalk intact--and a fair chance to judge whether this material's "disturbing" and "entertaining" quotients equal "ultimately, compelling." Here it doesn't, not to a dispassionate observer.
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