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Monday, August 11, 2008

New Attraction at Coney Island

New Attraction at Coney Island

I know amusement park operators have to be constantly searching for new attractions to draw in visitors, but sometimes they do go over the top.

Consider the story
Waterboarding an attraction at amusement park" reporting the latest thrill at the famous Coney Island in New York.

Now, I hasten to say the headline is somewhat misleading, as no people are involved in the spectacle; it's done with robots. You don't get tied down and waterboarded, nor do you get/have to watch someone else being put through the Enhanced interrogation technique/torture (depending on your personal point of view).

Regardless of one's point of view, however, there don't appear to be all that many people exactly thrilled at real-life possibilities of -- for instance -- attending a "live execution." (Ever thought about the surreal internal contradiction in that particular word pair?)

I presume not too many of us would want to watch someone be subjected to waterboarding, even those among us who staunchly support the . . . what's a neutral word I can use here? -- "technique."

The Coney Island display calls into question the judgment of the person (or people) who decided to create the exhibit. I've never been to Coney Island, but since it's supposed to be a family-oriented amusement park, I flat don't believe the exhibit is acceptable there. (In fact, unless it was being used in a training class for aspiring waterboarders, I can't think of any place I do believe it's acceptable. And that's not an endorsement for actually using the technique, just me trying to stay neutral here.)

If we're going to have a waterboarding exhibit, hell, let's do it up right (with robots, of course) and set up an exhibition hall with a name along the lines of "Torture Methods Across Time and Space," perhaps situated next door to a similar hall called "Execution Methods Across Time and Space."

"Yessirree, bring the wifey and kiddees and get it all at one place!" the barker cries.

  • Let's see; here's a partial list of what most people accept to be tortures:
  • Putting into very hot or cold air.
  • Dousing with an extremely (but not fatally) hot or cold liquid.
  • Beatings (using fists/feet/etc., whips/chains/paddles/etc.).
  • Inflicting physical damage incrementally that eventually causes death.
  • Sleep Deprivation.
  • Food Deprivation.
  • Isolation.
  • Darkness (sometimes in combination with isolation).
  • Exposure to unpleasant, loud noises.
  • Forcing someone to watch the torture or murder of others (especially of loved one[s]).
  • The rack.
Well, you get the drift.

In case it ain't clear, I was completely nonplussed by this development, to put it mildly. What do you think?

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