Go Fly a Kite (The Glorious Anarchy of Mary Poppins) (Utopias and Dystopias #16)


Mary Poppins is Walt Disney’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with Julie Andrew’s and Dick Van Dyke’s glorious characters escaping Disney’s often reactionary politics and the confines of P.L. Travers’ book. It is a world in Mrs. Banks yells “places everyone!” to protect the furniture and dishes from Admiral Boom’s canon fire (launched precisely 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) and where tea partiestake place on the ceiling. Children clean their rooms with a snap of the fingers and leap into paintings. Chimney sweeps form a secret society on the rooftops of London. In it, Suffragette Mrs. Banks has rotten eggs for the prime minster and Mr. Banks, in responseto the power of financial capitalism of the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, can proclaim, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”
The world would be a better place if we more frequently burst into dance and song.
Mary Poppins’ politics are anti-authoritarian and feminist, beginning with the anthem “Sister Suffragette”.
So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters’ daughters will adore us
And they’ll sign in grateful chorus
“Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!”
The irreverence continues with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, a word that derives its power from the fact that it is nonsense.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough you’ll always sound precocious
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
The movie also has a deep anti-capitalist streak, rejecting profit for the sake of profit with “Feed the Birds”.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you’ll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you

The desire to use a tuppence to feed the birds and not to invest leads to the run on the bank, as well as potential disaster for the family when Mr. Banks is fired. Fortunately, matters are resolved by Supercalifragilisticexpialidociousand the man with a wooden leg named Smith.

 

Mary Poppins, after all, is a comedy and in the end the world is restored to order. Mary Poppins and her magic departs, but Mr. Banks stays up all night and repairs the kite that was torn. Priorities are rearranged and the family is united.
Oh, let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite
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