Thursday, July 27, 2006

Theme Park Semiotics

So if and when amusement parks are analyzed, people look at the semiotics; at the codes that theme parks reinforce.

One of Disney's favorite themes is progress. Between Epcot, Tomorrowland and the Comtemporary Hotel, a bright future is always guaranteed. The future's so bright we have to wear shades.

As I previously said, theme parks are not developed by indie artists. They are financed by movie studios and (in Epcot's case) giant corporations looking to show visitors how they are very much a part of the future. When we were on Spaceship Earth, which chronicles the history of communications technology, we went through a tunnel with all these flashing neon pipes. My stepdad pointed at these pipes and quipped "Look, a series of tubes," referring to Senator Ted Stevens's dim-witted metaphor explaining what the internet is.

But let's get hypothetical. What if I could make my own theme park ride? What would it be like? Well I would want to make it low-budget so here's my proposal:

New Yorkland

People go on shopping carts and employees drag the shopping carts through these tents that have strobe lights in them. The tents have junkies and hookers in them who are passed out, but appear to be moving because of the strobe lights. I guess another name for the ride would be The Haunted Crackhouse.

The semiotics would be revolutionary; the underlying message would be the illusion of class mobility; the lower class would appear to be mobile when it is really sessile.

Since I am on vacation, my mind is slower and I forgot that sarcasm does not translate well on the Internet. Yes, I am being sarcastic about this proposal. Yes, I do not really feel this would lead to a revolution in class codes.

Orlando comedy update: I am determined to go to Pleasure Island's Comedy Warehouse as well as the Adventurers' Club to see how Disney does live comedy.


Cibbuano said...

How is New Yorkland different from real New York? Does it still come with the $1 hot dogs?

Mo! said...

well 1 dollar weiners in New Yorkland is metaphorical. (wink(

Ben said...

As a teen I felt that if I had the riches of Bill Gates I would build a amusement park that was pure rollercoasters--RollerCoaster Armageddon. The main attraction would be named "The Angel of Death."

There would be no hotdogs, no sodas and all that shit, no people dressed up in pukey cartoon costumes, none of that, only rollercoasters.

I bet David Foster Wallace has written some kinda critique of theme parks. He did that whole thing on luxury cruises afterall. ("A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again."

Mo! said...

Interesting, it seems like the more pomo you are the more you talk about theme parks.

I'm not pomo. Not that there's anything wrong with that (groan)