by on November 19, 2020
Don't know if you are aware or not, but despite the fact that some Hurricane Katrina survivors still can't live in their house nor get the money to buy a new one, despite the fact many small businesses have gone out of business for good, the casinos are not only back up and running, but employ more people than before. The lesson to be learned here is: Casino gambling makes everything better; after all, you may live in a tent, but at least you've got a job helping the elderly to part with their cash. Did you hear the one about the plan to build a casino on Easter Island, home of those enormous stone heads? The punchline is that it wasn't a joke. I know, I know. It sounds like a joke, but I can assure you it isn't. One of the most isolated populated places on earth, famous because it has a tie to a mysterious ancient civilization, and some noodle-headed businessman thought it could be improved by building a casino that would bring people ruled by Gamblor and prone to destructive behavior to an island that is only famous because of those ancient statues. Fortunately it was voted down. Temporarily, of course. It would appear to be obvious to anyone that building a casino on Easter Island is right up there with New Coke and remaking Casablanca in the pantheon of bad ideas. And yet, Juliet Samuel writes this for an online publication that I can only assume is ironically named Reason Magazine: "Paradoxically, the island needs this kind of money to protect its culture and invest in its future. Rapa Nui's tourism industry relies entirely on the allure of the hundreds of maoi that dot the Island, relics of an ancient tribal culture. The moai are currently owned by Chile, and administrated by the Chilean National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), but CONAF's local Acting Provincial Chief, Ignacio Espina, claims that he simply does not have enough government money or manpower to look after the sites. The very heritage sites some say are threatened by development need upkeep, and upkeep costs money." Huh? Samuel is actually trying to convince us that it is entirely reasonable to save the Easter Island statues by inviting development. Yeah, that's worked quite well in the past, hasn't? I can think of very few ideas that are worse than putting a businessman in charge of taking care of natural resources of any kind. Just ask West Virginians who have watched the pristine beauty of their mountains get forever destroyed by mountain top explosions to get to the coal beneath. Just ask all those people living in 200 year old cities who will be more than glad to show you where Walmart knocked down vintage buildings in order to construct yet another ugly warehouse. Development most certainly does not act to preserve history; development by its nature is predicated on the notion that new equals good and old equals useless. Introducing any development to Easter Island, but especially turning it into another Las Vegas is not an example of utilizing reason, it is an example of defying reason. It really is quite amazing that anyone could actually believe those words that Juliet Samuels wrote. Again, I can only go on the assumption that Reason Magazine is a joke magazine like The Onion or the Washington Times, printing profoundly ironic statements that are meant to be taken seriously only by the mentally challenged. Of course, that must be the case. Whew, almost fell for it there for a second.
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