BreakPoint Blog

Banner
A Ghoulish Idea
Topics: History, Military


France's Yves Jego and some of his countrymen are getting set to cash in on past casualties of war and terror.



Napoleonland, a forthcoming theme park, won't feature a cute mouse called Mickey, an adorable elephant called Dumbo, or rides through Space Mountain. Instead, Napoleonland's customers will be entertained by riding through various famous battles or the blood-soaked streets of Paris during the Reign of Terror; their experience will be enhanced with scenes of dying or dead bodies.

To know the future, I've always maintained that it was important to study the past. However, I wonder if people vacationing here learn anything of real import. I might be very wrong, but this new theme park sounds like a real killjoy. Am I wrong?





Comments:

Kevin, the Holocaust Memorial IS grim. I was emotionally exhausted after touring it. However, as you said, it is a necessary reminder and testament of man's inhumanity to man.
Maybe if they didn't refer to it as a theme park it would seem less inappropriate. I've heard that the Holocaust Memorial Museum is pretty grim, but people understand the necessity of that. If it were called a theme park, that would change everything.
Sorry I'm johnny-come-lately, but I have to agree with Ellen, here. Not my cup of tea, but it certainly is past time for the French to face--head on--what they did to their fellows just as the Germans have had to face what they did in the Holocaust. Whether the French are willing to learn the lesson is another point for another article. That's their responsibility. God bless the one who holds the mirror for them!
I am glad, Gina, that you are not offended by the fact that Jane Austen's male relations were building an empire while her female relations were making snarky comments at parties.
It's not just about what Austen's male relations did for a living; it's also - mostly? - about what some French did to other French.
Jason, it's possible that you're laboring under a delusion. I run Dickensblog, not Austenblog. :-) I do like Austen very much, but not enough to get up in arms -- pardon the pun -- about what her male relations did for a living.
"Jason, mon frère, je suis désolé - France is nearly the most secular and irreligious of all the European countries, so even were you to find someone interested in teaching that lesson to their countrymen, I'm doubtful you would find sufficient people willing to learn it"

Perhaps not, but even Frenchmen could profit by remembering not to worship Corsican mobsters with messianic complexes.

"And speaking of big trouble, how is it, Jason, that you so directly and openly bait Gina, and yet have remained unscathed... so far? What was that quote from Santayana about failing to learn the lessons of history, hmmm? ;-"

You mean alluding to the fact that Jane Austen's male relations made a living beating up Frenchmen for worshiping Corsican Mobsters with Messianic Complexes?
There are good Frogs, and there are bad Frogs.
'One thing that could be learned is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"'

Jason, mon frère, je suis désolé - France is nearly the most secular and irreligious of all the European countries, so even were you to find someone interested in teaching that lesson to their countrymen, I'm doubtful you would find sufficient people willing to learn it. No, it is far more likely that it would be built to teach a lesson about history and/or politics than about God.

And I would say something about waiting for them to have the courage and morals to create DSKland, but going that direction would get me in big trouble.

And speaking of big trouble, how is it, Jason, that you so directly and openly bait Gina, and yet have remained unscathed... so far? What was that quote from Santayana about failing to learn the lessons of history, hmmm? ;-)

Kim, the name Edward Tufte is synonymous with excellence in graphical presentation of numeric data; he's written several volumes on the subject. One of the most arresting of his topics can be seen here:
http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters

I wonder, accordingly, if "Napoleonland" would have a street that began very wide, but became progressively narrower and narrower until it was difficult to squeeze between the walls. Certainly an uplifting form of entertainment, right up there with "It's A Small World, After All". (Hmmm - wouldn't that be a fitting attraction for "Napoleonland", since he was so sho- OW!!)
Amusing that this thread is on a sight moderated by an Austen fan is it not? After all this theme park is about what Austen's male relations did for a living.
One thing that could be learned is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
Kim, didn't some child complain to his mother about Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree, where one bear sang about blood? If I recall, the mom complained to the park, and Disney promptly removed that bear.

"Oh, you foolish Americains - you are going ze wrong way!"

What could one learn from such a park - to not let someone be crowned Emperor? How easy is that to stop??

So if you don't learn, then the purpose must be entertainment. If that's someone's idea of fun, why not "Dachau: The Experience"?
I see your point.

There is the other point that making light of Corsican Mobsters with Messianic Complexes is not an inappropriate activity, seeing as those types have to many would-be imitators.
Aesthetics, no. We have haunted houses, wax museums filled with the odd and ugly.

Ellen's comment has given me something to think about, and I'm still wrestling with this theme park issue.

My reservation about this particular theme park is that lots of people died horrible deaths, shouldn't we approach these matters with a little gravitas?

Yes, I know that Americans have Civil War reenactments (didn't Monk feature one), but I don't get the feel that people are whooping it up. I went to one and was appalled at the horror of sound, and could well imagine the ravages of war.

I can't imagine many repeat customers if they actually showed the reality of the times.
Unclassy, but we already have Hornblower. Is the distinction moral or aesthetic, and if the former could we have some more explanation?
Definitely macabre. But without any merit? I'm not so sure. Such a place will bring people face to face with what my pastor calls "the bad news of the gospel": look what wretched sin we are all capable of. Without understanding the bad news, people think the good news is irrelevant.