Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Putin World

I was glancing through an Economist recently, and an article on theme parks in Europe caught my eye.

Although I am well aware of amusement parks/theme parks across the pond, I do tend to think of them - especially the excessive and more commercial ones - as being something of an American export. Euro Disney, and all that.

But our forefathers have apparently caught on, and countries all over the European map are coming up with their own themed-up amusement parks:
,,,by 2020 throngs of them will be coming to visit London Paramount, a film-and-television theme park costing £2.5 billion ($3.8 billion). The theme-park business, which earns annual revenues of $7.5 billion in western Europe, is attracting other new entrants. Last July Cinecittà, an Italian film studio, opened its first theme park near Rome. And a giant theme park and resort with 15,000 hotel rooms, also based on Paramount Pictures’ films, is due to open in south-eastern Spain next year. (Source: The Economist).
 And what really caught my eye:
Russia’s government is helping to finance a nationalist-themed park near Moscow. 
Nationalist-themed? Just what the Russians need.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting what "nationalist" means. Maybe it's just pride of place and cherry-picked history. Heavy on victory over Nazis in the Great War; light on Afghanistan. (Not that we would do things much different...)

But given what I know of Vladimir Putin, and given what I know about the rise of extreme nationalism in Russia - admittedly, not much about either - I'm thinking: Why have fun with skating bears, Cossack dancers, balalaika-players and ballerinas, when you can have at the Ukrainians, After all, whatever's going on is all their fault.

I can see a sort of "It's A Small World" ride, maybe "It's a Decadent Western World" ride, in which it gets pointed out that Nixon may have thought he was on to something by pointing out that we had washing machines in the 1950's and the Russians didn't, and then we see what a conniving bum he turned out to be. Show, as well, how the dumb Americans got duped by Anastasia - pretender daughter of the last Czar and Czarina - and even made a movie out of it.

Then they could have the Hall of the Oligarchs, that showcases the kabillion dollar houses they're building in London and LA. (Wait a minute. That might not help the nationalist story. Maybe they can just have replicas of their dachas.)

How about a virtual-reality ride in which you get to play a nationalist thug attacking Pussy Riot. Or anyone who wants a bit more openness and transparency in Russia. (Those guys you get to poison. Pussy Riot just goes to jail.)

Nothing wrong with having a theme park with your country as the theme. But I wouldn't pay a ruble to see an amusement park anywhere - especially not in Russia - that proclaimed a "nationalist" theme. Maybe it's all in the word, and they just mean "about our country" or "patriotic," even. But nationalist? That's one amusement park that I wouldn't find that amusing.

Again, I must apologize for Pink Slip's appearance. At least I think I do. Despite the new template and my attempts to get in and correct things in HTML, when I do a "preview" on what the post will look like, I see all sorts of formatting weirdnesses - spacing problems, font issues. Some I've been able to take care of by hand. Others I just throw my hands up on. I'll tell you, without Live Writer, creating a post takes about twice as long as normal, and is half the fun. I really hope that Microsoft and Google figure out how to get Live Writer back in business. This is becoming a real drag.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe you could hire a kid to do the mechanics of posting, freeing yourself to write and delight ...