A word or two on being an enthusiast...or an enthusi-assholes.
I'm writing this today after hearing and seeing some rather nasty behavior among our own community. In fact, having witnessed it in person, it is degrading to so many people - including yourselves who are doing it.
Let me be clear here: The majority of our community are well behaved. They know not to do stupid shit such as 'selfies' on ride, or their own private POV videos for YouTube, etc. They're smart enough to figure out that they cannot jump over a fence to get their hat when it is dropped off on a ride.
Or are they?
Recently I've seen reports from close friends & other people that behavior at some of the enthusiast events is... deploring. No, I take that back, it's downright rude, arrogant and cruel. Of people getting pushed out of their way because somebody was racing to get on the waiting train FIRST. Even when broadcasts of "We're holding the train for you" were being heard, they still pushed somebody out of the way.
And then rude, cruel comments on the operating crew of a particular ride for not moving fast enough for their own liking. Insulting operators, being belligerent towards them, and degrading them.
Believe it or not, those people are earning a reputation in the theme park/hospitality industry. They might think they're anonymous... they are not. And for those who think they're immune to the consequences: Wake up time. You're not.
Let me be CRYSTAL CLEAR here: Ours is a secret society that has no secrets. Everybody in this business, from the park operators to the ride ops to the enthusiasts SEES AND HEARS EVERYTHING. There are no secrets. And names do get passed around. Your facebook comment about a park or their management? It's seen. It's passed around. It's shown to others.
This isn't to mean there's a big, beautiful conspiracy going on, but let's face it: Gossip fuels the business. Whether it is a new coaster going up at (Choose your park here) or somebody is doing something at (Choose your park here), everybody hears the gossip by the time the "SEND" button is pressed on a mobile device. And it gets around like wildfire; entire websites are set up to discuss the latest rumors, gossip and such.
And if you think for one second that a given person's rude criticism of a park or a ride isn't seen by management - you're wrong. Parks and their staff read up too. Every crack made at a park is watched (Even I've been hit with this shit stick before) and is discussed.
Not to mention: Your name is attached to it - and is seen. Nothing is private in the digital age - nothing. You trash one enthusiast's view - odd are, people are watching. There is <ZERO> trust between media forms.
All of this bad behavior is getting around, it is seen, it is being discussed. Parks see the assinine behavior and attitude, and it is NOT working in our favor. In fact, it's putting a bad image in their heads. And as a whole, we will be the ones to suffer.
We, the majority, are being punished by they, the minority.
It's time to stop this. It is time to put the bad boys/girls out to pasture - and to let them know: Your bad attitude, bad behavior, and personality defects aren't welcome here. We're a community that goes for decades in any direction, and the misbehavior of some will not be tolerated by the majority.
We are a group of people who all love and cherish the same thing: Parks & their rides. It is what draws us together every year for our vacations, our rest, our relaxation. And for many events too - whether group led or park led. At the same time, a small group of enthusi-asses are jeopardizing our good times the parks give us. It's time to take a stand, tell these people to stop their bad behavior - and to distance ourselves from them. We do not need to lose what we have because of their asshole actions and thoughts towards parks - as well as towards our own community.
R.D. Dewberry 9/13/18