Saturday, January 21, 2012

Napoleonland Theme Park (What's Next, Six Flags Over The Somme?)

Doesn't he just seem to be saying: "Allons enfants de la Patrie, this way to the gift shop"?

H/T to GWB for pointing out to me this fascinating historical / commercial proposal from France.

A former French minister and history buff named Yves Jégo is proposing to build a Napoleonland theme park as a showcase for Napoleon's greatest victories and to compete with Disneyland Paris. 

The park would go on the site of the Battle of Montereau, about 70 miles - oops, I mean, 112 kilometers - south of Paris. Montreau, BTW, was a great victory for the French but a relatively small action by the bloody standards of the Napoleonic Age, since fewer than 9,000 were killed there on all sides.

The theme park will reportedly have a museum, a hotel, shops, restaurants, battle reenactments, and Napoleon-themed attractions. If it is to compete with Disneyland Paris, you know they'll also have to have fun stuff for the kids, like rides. And if the developers have any sense at all, they'll put up signs in front of the roller coasters and log flumes saying You Must Be This Short To Ride, because a little easygoing self-deprecating humor would help to release the tension caused by, well, the whole Napoleon Complex thing.

Meanwhile, the kids' parents could kick back with a couple Whiff of Grapeshot Wine Coolers. I see great commercial possibilities here.

But, I get creeped out by this part:
Other curious potential attractions include a ski run through a battlefield "surrounded by the frozen bodies of soldiers and horses" and a recreation of Louis XVI being guillotined during the revolution – the precursor to Napoleon’s rise to power.
"It's going to be fun for the family,” [Yves Jégo] told the Times.
Napoleon's retreat from Moscow must be the inspiration for that "curious" - not to say macabre - ski run. I'm sure it will be much more fun for the tourists than it was for Napoleon's Grande Armée. They were half a million troops strong when they invaded Russia in August of 1812, but only 27,000 of them came back out the following December.

Some fun.

Something about this whole idea is just wrong. Napoleonic warfare isn't suitable for a theme park treatment. The developers ought to repackage the whole deal into a battlefield preservation project, which would also have potential for economic development, but without the cringe-inducing factor of frozen corpses and such.

Yves Jégo should look at how the U.S. government promotes heritage tourism as an example of how he could combine economic development with French history.


Anonymous said...

Great post TSB! That photograph is just perfect for the new background! I started "The Culture of War" today. It is really good!
Thanks! gwb

Anonymous said...
TSB: This tiff between the pot and kettle appears to be simple:Mitt put un-tradeable stock in his IRA
(say value 5cts a share/limit $2000/yr) Then, after Bain pumps $$ into company stock goes public but no taxes til the stock (now up 1000% for example) comes out of the IRA. He can trade it all he wants) It's way more complicated than that but that's basically what he got away with. Therefore
can't show us til later. gwb

Anonymous said...
And Norway's head of intelligence, Janne Kristiansen, has resigned after inadvertently disclosing during a parliamentary hearing that Norway has agents working in Pakistan (BBC). TSB: It's so hard to keep these "affairs" secret!...especially when everybody already knows! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: From Tomdispatch, a great story on the anti-fracking grass roots environmental movement of NY
And it all started with Halliburton in 1967! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I told you the wrong book. I'm reading "the changing face of war"... great read! I didn't know the Germans invaded Finland and Norway primarily for NICKEL! GWB

TSB said...

By coincidence I was just reading a different book about the Finish WWII alliance with Germany, which was not so good overall as van Creveld's but was really strong on the German motive for access to strategic minerals.

We had some of this in the Western Hemisphere, as well. The U.S. Army Air Corps built the airport in Paramaribo, Suriname (Dutch Guinea, then) around 1940 to ensure we would have access to the ALCOA bauxite mines for our war production needs. The airport was built way, way, out of town where it would be beyond the range of the guns of the biggest pocket battleship the German Navy could float in the Suriname river.

Anonymous said...

TSB: By coincidence this morning I wrote a blog post about cultural polarization! I have been relegated recently to playing a support role for my wife's advertising business because she's doing a lot better than I could following my usual trade. She has no bubble either. see what you think! gwb

TSB said...

I've looked at the Wazzub site, and am still absorbing the whole idea. Making income from the internet has always gone over my head.

Anonymous said...

Mine too... but I've decided we have all been brainwashed by corporate propaganda (advertising) because we live in it. I like the idea of taking their money and it is fun getting to know these great young people in Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore who are optimistic about their people having a future. gwb