i just threw up in my mouth a little
Texas in Africa reader Dustyn Winder, who keeps a great record of stories about development and foreign aid horrors on his blog, sent me this today. I am mostly speechless. We'll just let the FOX Business story/thinly veiled press release speak for itself:i
Visiting families will be thrilled with the unveiling of Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort's latest blockbuster sensation, the Congo River Expedition, a multi-sensory jungle adventure scheduled to open this summer.
Deep in the heart of the rainforest guests discover an ancient river teeming with wild animals, restless natives, thundering waterfalls and a mysterious underground diamond mine.
After crossing makeshift rope bridges, guests enter the Congo River Outpost gaining access to the exploration campsite. Towering over the encampment is a giant angry volcano on the edge of eruption. As the epicenter of the outpost begins to rumble warning of an eminent explosion, the volcano vents plumes of steam before blasting water more than 20 feet in the air!
It goes on from there. But the piece de resistance? Why, the list of animatronic "creatures" in the jungle, which ends with the "restless natives." Natch:
The adventure continues as guests float at the will of the water's current and encounter a variety of special effects and animatronic creatures including a mischievous monkey; angry, snapping crocodiles; a ferocious lion; a menacing, coiled python; a mammoth, trumpeting elephant and an agitated tribe of natives ready to attack without warning.Oh. My. Freaking. Word.
I really don't know what to say. Part of me is completely horrified that the family-friendly folks down at Schlitterbahn have apparently taken a page from the 1958 Brussels World's Fair . I would never consider giving them money to see one of the single most offensive things of which I've ever heard.
(Note to the gang in New Braunfels: having downloadable "desktop tribal art" doesn't make this okay. It especially doesn't make it okay given that lions don't live anywhere near the Congo River. Because lions? They're savannah animals. They don't like deep, dark jungles. Like the one that surrounds all 2,000 miles of the Congo River. Also, that "mysterious underground diamond mine"? Those are blood diamonds. Now I'm no expert on the Disneyfication of Texas-based waterpark dynasties. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that perhaps you don't want your family-friendly fun park associated with small children dying in mineshafts because of the West's greed for industrial diamonds. You know, just maybe.)
The other part of me thinks it may be time to invite you all out for the first annual Texas in Africa field trip/protest in New Braunfels sometime in July.