Published: April 9th 2007April 9th 2007
"I stood for a long time by the roller coaster, and I noticed that most people get on it in search of excitement, but that once it starts, they are terrified and want the cars to stop" (Eleven Minutes, Paul Cohelo).
Why do people go to amusement parks?
The only so-called "amusement" comes from the possiblity of ending your life and the churning of your guts. Amusement parks are just a platform for sugar and death.
And that is exactly why we love them.
What other place do you pay to terrify yourself after gorging on such gastronomic nightmares as candied apples and chocolate coated bananas on a stick? After consuming exorbant amounts of sticky delicacies, we then decide to go on rides that pulverize internal organs and cause mental anguish.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
Because it tastes good. And because we have grown complacent in our lives. The static routine of work-eating-sleeping is sometimes not enough to calm our desire for adventure. I am convinced that most people have at least a tiny itch for excitation. We all desire a slice of something thrilling from time to time. Our ordinary
routine does not generally provide enough reverberation to shake our universe, so we seek out new forms of activity. To break the mold, we push ourselves to the limit. "It is true that we only know each other when we come up against our own limits..." (Eleven Minutes) We pay money to go on rides that throw our bodies into space, make our head spin and cause shortness of breath. In any other situation, we would call a doctor. Here, we have intentionally bring it upon ourselves.
The same can be said for extreme sports: bungee jumping, heli-skiing and skydiving. These are all activities where "pleasure" is essentillay derived from pain, fear and/or anxiety. It is the reason we run across a busy street and drive too fast on a darkened road. It scares us, and provides a rush with a safety net. A rush we sometimes cannot get anywhere else. Sometimes we pay for this adrenaline: sometimes it just comes free, looking down from a window ledge at the miniscule life below.
We also receive a sense of accomplishment after surviving such a dangerous feat. It is thrilling to know just how fast we drove
and that we lived to tell the tale. Part of the fun derives from our personal satisfaction of intentional endangerment: riding through Terror Mountain and finishing without vomit. Though it may not be a competition with others, it is in a way a competition with ourselves. It is another way to boost our self-confidence. "I made it!"
So why do people visit amusement parks? Quite possibly because it is the thrill we need in our life. It gives us an ego boost to know we have accomplished something. Or maybe it is that no other place has such a plethora of bad haircuts.
There are more photos below