Amusement Parks – A Marxist Oasis (At Least They Used To Be)

I spent the day yesterday at Six Flags America with my roommate. It was great…no crowds, perfect weather, hit every coaster in the park twice. Superman is one of the best steel coasters I’ve EVER ridden; just plain awesome, but I still love the classic wooden coasters the most. There was just one thing that bugged me throughout the day.

Standing in line gave me some time to reflect on this new phenomenon that Six Flags refers to as the Flash Pass. Maybe it was only by virtue of the annoyance caused me by being cut in front of on numerous occasions by “Flash Pass Riders,” but this seemed to me not just dumb but an egregious affront to the communist social contract that riders and amusement park operators enter into once said rider has paid admission into the park. Yes, yes, I know that the capitalists have already taken over the front gates and the food stands…oy! for crying out loud, the food stands! But besides paying for my $8 diet cola, $4 hotdog, and a scrumptious $5 fried, gooey, powder-sugared, goodness known as a funnel cake, I expect lines! And I expect all to be on equal footing in those lines! I expect every rider to understand that she will patiently (or impatiently) wait in the hot sun, moving one foot every 5 minutes, bumping butts, elbows, shoulders, and whatever else gets in the way with the guest in front of, behind, and beside her, enduring the screams of dehydrated and bored children until she finally reaches that joyous moment when she is at the front of the line waiting for that gate to open so that she may slide into that seat, lock down her harness and bask in her 45 seconds of ecstasy that is an amusement park ride. She should not, after waiting all that time in that hot sun be told that “this is a Flash Pass Train, please step back and allow Flash Pass Riders to choose their seats.” She should not have to wait for the next train, it’s her turn!

The capitalist pigs are making an inroad into this amazing little oasis where we all stood once on equal ground, all stood together waiting on queue for our piece of the pie. No longer…now any impatient schmuck with a little disposable income can jump to the front of the line. Soon everyone will buy a pass, and then there’ll be a Flash Pass Line to wait on, and we’ll have two trains…one for Flashers and one for the poor bastards who couldn’t afford it. We’ll have a two-tiered amusement park society! A Six Flags apartheid! But the Flash Passers won’t want to wait in line, so there will then be tiers of Flash Passes with auctions to set the prices. The haves will be paying $100 extra per ride, just to jump to the front! WAIT YOUR TURN! I say. Give us back our little communist refuge in this die hard capitalist world. Take away the Flash Pass before it ruins us all!

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