Rants

We Wants The Redhead

WarningThis post is a little melodramatic.  Plus, if you’re a close friend you’ve already heard me gripe about this topic multiple times. Finally, if you’re not a Disney fan you might want to skip it or just stand around and point and laugh at me and my ridiculousness – your choice. At any rate, you’ve been warned.

IMG_0789.jpgAs you can see from this screenshot, if you walked into the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL you would find the Pirates of the Carribean ride closed. While ride refurbishment is pretty standard, as the Disney Company are sticklers for keeping their attractions nice, this refurbishment isn’t a little bit of paint and polish. Nope, this refurbishment is a major change to a classic ride. When Pirates reopens in late March, the bride auction scene will be no more.  Pirates will no longer chant “We wants the Redhead!” Instead, riders will see the Redhead as a gun-toting pirate herself calling for the town’s folk to surrender their loot.

I am devastated by this change. {Whispers – This is where you can point and laugh.} Yes, I realize the ridiculous of that statement.  It’s a freakin’ amusement park ride.  Children are starving in Africa. People are dying of cancer.  There’s a hole in the ozone and we’re all going to die soon. I totally get the insignificance of this event when it comes to the big picture.  And yet, it is giving me a case of teeth gnashing fury and angst rarely seen by anyone over 15.  My disproportionate response to this change was so great that I wrote to the Disney company – several divisions in fact – pleading them to stop this politically correct madness and reconsider.  I actually got a response, which was impressive.  They quoted a famous phrase Walt said about how things would always change at Disney.  It’s the company’s standard party line when they want to do anything remotely controversial.

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So, this change had to start somewhere, right? I mean, why mess with a classic?According to reports, certain diversity groups, in-house Disney inclusion groups, and complaints in recent years regarding the auction scene’s treatment of women drove the change. Phrases like human trafficking, slavery and that’s not how I want my child to see women being treated were being bantered around. I call bullshit.  No one in their right mind rides Pirates and thinks, ‘Oh my God, that’s human trafficking!’  Instead, you laugh at the most G rated take on criminal behavior ever made.  When this ride was being developed in the early 1960s, it almost got killed before it started. After a little bit of research, the Imagineers discovered pirates were not nice people. {Gasp!} They were scoundrels with bad teeth and venereal disease that raped, murdered, pillaged and plundered anything in their path. Since that’s not exactly the thing you want to show families, Imagineers created a campy, humorous take on something not so nice.

I think the real crux of my issue with this whole thing is political correctness run amuck.  To me, it feels like any group, no matter how small, can cry foul with a few well placed hot-button words and get whatever they want no matter how outrageous or ridiculous the request or how the majority feels.  In this situation, a bunch of complainers fabricated an issue, threw in the words women and trafficking, and demand it be addressed. And, for some inexplicable reason, Disney kowtowed those these idiots. I would be willing to bet my personalized set of Mickey Mouse ears that the people crying for the removal of The Redhead are the same people who cry that the Princesses set a bad example and that Barbie is giving girls an unrealistic body image.

So the real question is, am I going to ride Pirates the next time I’m at the Magic Kingdom?  Of course, I will, it’s one of my all-time favorite rides at any park. However, I pretty sure when the boat pulls into the new scene I will shout, “We wants the Redhead!” in my best dirty old man pirate voice. I just hope I don’t get banned from the park.

Note: All these photos on this post are my own so I better not get hit with a copyright infringement. Anyway, good luck suing me cause I’m broke and I’ll just write a blog post about it which is paying me exactly zippo.

 

 

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