Published: August 21, 2008 at 4:48 PM
PETA's stunt is getting a lot of attention, and there are people on read and comment on this site who are critical of SeaWorld's approach toward animals. So I felt it needed to be addressed. That's why I posted it.
I posted it as a comment on this story, rather than its own item, because we already had a SeaWorld story in the lead slot, and frankly, I didn't want to do two SeaWorld pieces in a row, especially after all the SeaWorld content last week.
As for addressing politics... this is a pet peeve of mine. Politics is simply the mechanism by which people come together to make collective decisions about how they are going to run their community. People ought to be talking about politics whenever it becomes relevant to a discussion, and much that we talk about regarding theme parks is relevant to politics.
Economic policy affects people's ability to afford vacations. Immigration policy affects foreign visitors' ability to enter the country for a visit. Consumer regulation affects the safety and reliability of rides. And rules regarding animal captivity and care affect the operation, even the existence, of animal parks.
If theme parks fans are not part of those political discussions... well, then theme parks fans won't be part of those discussions. And that scares me. I don't want non-fans deciding what's going to happen to our parks without our input.
I don't like seeing people without theme park experience making decisions about parks in corporate suites, and I sure don't like elected officials without theme park fan input making decisions in Washington, state capitals or city halls. So let's talk about it here, consider different points of view, and go forth from the site to make our informed voices heard in the political process, when we need to do that.
Politics has been made a dirty word by a political class that doesn't want you - or the rest of the public - involved in its sausage making. Tough. Politics is the way we make our voices heard, and we should never be afraid, discouraged and feel uncomfortable doing that.