How is a man to reconcile this contrast: Pretend to be beamish Uncle Walt, all the while knowing that his nature is otherwise -- bleak, cold, driven, driving? How, indeed, does he live with the fact that he cannot -- never could -- draw the dear figures everyone associates with his name, could not even manage the stylized signature attached to every product of his empire that eventually became a vast corporation's logo?
These are huge lies. Living within them made Walt permanently mad -- angry mad and, eventually (Jungk suggests), crazy mad. The genius he possessed -- for entrepreneurship, not invention -- was never enough for him. He wanted not just the fame and wealth he attained. He wanted to immortally bestride the world. Which is, of course, why that greatest of urban legends, that Disney was cryogenically preserved, took such an unshakable hold on the public. It just seemed so right, so totally appropriate to him.
Jungk gives no credence to that myth. He wants to explore the irony of his title. Walt Disney, in his view, was "the perfect American" precisely because he lost himself in the fantasy that accreted around him, which is, of course, what all of us do, albeit on a much more modest scale. None of us is quite as good, quite as potent, as we think we are in our headier moments. But most of us do not have access to the machinery that feeds our grandiosity. By the same token, when it is nighttime, and the machine is shut down, we are not subject to the kind of rages and paranoia that afflict this fictional Disney.