Well with the opening of Pennhurst Haunted Attraction just 2 weeks away the protests have gone from a rumbling to a roar with public protests planned for the coming weeks. Now there are times that protests have an effect. However in this case I think it’s likely to help the attraction more than the cause. They are essentially giving the haunt all types of free publicity, free radio time, free tv time and free print time. The irony being if they do nothing they might have gotten something closer to their desired outcome. However this really isn’t about pennhurst but rather a larger problem that seems to have a choke hold on the country, and that problem is simply an abundance of people with far too little to do.
Take the recent “outrage” over the mosque in NYC. An Imam wanted to build a Islamic Center in NYC just a couple blocks away from Ground Zero. Like many people my knee jerk reaction was to be against this idea simply because I felt it was in bad taste. However one cold hard fact finally beat me over the head: “Its none of my business”. This is a private property being sold to a private group for whatever use they like in accordance to the law. And there is NO LAW that says a business has to make everyone happy. Debating this concept is what is truly un-American if such a term could be used because it goes against everything that the US has stood for in property rights and privacy. Yet the TV has been filled with idiots debating the Mosque’s right to be there. It does indeed have a right to be there. Is it in poor taste? That’s entirely up to the individual to decide that for themselves but we live in a society that seems to feel the need to push their opinions and beliefs on everyone else. Whether its the left or the right of an issue there is no middle ground only absolutes. “Your either with us or against us” could be the motto. However this issue should never of have been in debate. A privately owned business should only have to answer to its investors, and the consumers it serves not a bunch of yahoos that find it offensive because they don’t agree with the beliefs of those who will go there.
In the case of Pennhurst we have people with far too much time on their hands that have decided to make a building complex that has sat empty and rotting for 25 years their latest personal cause. They make up lies and stories about how the attraction will be exploitative towards the handicapped children that were once kept there based on nothing but there imaginations. The storyline for the haunt has nothing to do with handicapped children or anyone with mental disabilities. Instead they ignore the campy silliness of the haunted house’s story about a crazy doctor that experiments on criminals who dies, along with his staff, in a bloody uprising. Like many haunted houses across the country Pennhurst Asylum will be all in good fun. Yet that hasn’t stopped the self righteous morality police from jumping all over it in an blind attempt to close it down. Trying to reason with these people is like talking to a wall or one of the blathering idiots on Cable news. They stubbornly defend their belief, make ridiculous accusations without any evidence or resort to the ever reliable name calling.
However much like the case of the Mosque in NYC the case boils down to a privately owned business being opened on private property and regardless of whether you find it offensive or not, no one is forcing you to go there. At times if seems like people just look for something in the news to be offended by and then scream about it to the world. I find it frightening that protesters and idiots on TV have essentially shut down a religious center from opening on private property. If you truly believe in freedom of the individual and religion then that should terrify you more than any silly haunted house ever could! What’s bone chilling to me is how many people out there have decided to make it there mission in life to find things to be offended by and then trying to stop them. I imagine that many of the morality minded “Good citizens” that find a Mosque Near ground zero offensive are also on the Anti-haunted house bandwagon. After all they’re using the same “bad taste” argument. They both make hateful comments and incendiary accusations without any proof.
After all what is truly the danger of having Pennhurst open as a haunted house? They have made up their own story about the location that has nothing to do with its true history. They are putting in a museum that will tell the true story about Pennhurst. And finally they are entertaining many people as well as making people aware of a location that they might not have ever known about otherwise. In addition to this the location will now be more secure, there will be far fewer incidents of vandalism and tagging and the buildings that are still standing will be maintained. It might not be ideal for some people out there but the fact of the matter is, this is a business on private property they are under no obligation to preserve Pennhurst, repair it, or educate anyone about what happened there, but they in fact are doing those things. Doesn’t that account for anything?
So I doubt my viewpoints will be taken any more seriously than those of the protesters that feel oh so righteous in their cause to close down a Haunt at Pennhurst and why should they. Its just my opinion after all and everyone has one. I’d leave this topic open for debate but I know after my last Pennhurst topic that I’ll only get ridiculous responses trying to compare Pennhurst to Auschwitz or I’ll get called a Nazi by some conspiracy minded Glenn Beckian. Why? Because if you call your opponent names then you never have to debate them or work to defend your position. What would be the fun in that? No I imagine its much easier to shout you ideas to the echoplex and get nothing but heartfelt agreements from your fellow “activists”.