Let’s run the Park Service like Chuck E. Cheese

Today’s frothing rage brought to you by this article: https://www.hcn.org/articles/national-park-service-wifi-amazon-and-food-trucks-trump-teams-vision-for-national-parks

The tl;dr is: let’s “modernize” national parks by adding food trucks and WiFi so you can get your Amazon deliveries while you’re camping.

That’s actually not the frothing rage bit. People should be allowed to experience the outdoors how they want; it’s a spectrum, from Primitive Technology Guy to glamping.

I’ve lived that entire spectrum! Obviously I’m closer to glamping, now that we have the trailer, but it’s not like we have a bread maker in there. Still gotta shower in the creek and poop in the woods.

So we’ve established that allowing a wide range of outdoor experiences is OK. Fine, right?

No, I still have frothing rage.

First, this stupid plan is blatantly intended to enrich landlords:

The White House wants to reduce spending on the National Park Service by 15%, or $481 million, even as the service has said it is facing a more than $11 billion maintenance backlog.

In other words, enable and empower our corporate overlords instead of doing the boring, expensive, and absolutely critical work of maintaining outdoor public spaces.

This is some straight-up disaster capitalism thinking:

“Overall capacity has not kept up with growth and changes in camping demand, and the infrastructure that does exist, with few exceptions, fails to meet expectations of the contemporary camping market,” the group said, calling U.S. national campgrounds an “underperforming asset.”

Underperforming asset. Public lands are underperforming. A thing that is ours, yours and mine, intended to provide for all of us and our kin and our future generations. But this group of walking infectious human waste bags look at the George Washington National Forest as an “underperforming asset” and not “the woods”.

That’s really the frothing rage bit, here. It’s not about diversity of outdoor experience, or reasoned ways to accomplish that diversity. We’re going to disaster-capitalism the outdoors, “extract value” from it, suck the marrow from its bones, then shrug and move on.

“Sure, we aided in the extinction of dozens of species and added tonnes of carbon to the air – we had to cut down a lot of trees so there was better WiFi on the trail, and for some reason there were a lot of fires every summer in the places we didn’t want to spend money maintaining – but at least we generated a lot of value for private industry and our shareholders.”

The way to solve the “changes in camping demand” is easy. Fund the fucking park services. Maintain the backcountry, keep the vault toilets emptied on a regular basis, and enforce the rules.

Part two of that is, yes, also build some infrastructure to support the glamping types. Just FOR FUCK’S SAKE put the “we have to have a generator/AC/shore power” areas opposite from the “I want to sleep on the ground” areas, OK?

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