On Monday, the Los Angeles Times ran a story that made every classicist’s blood run cold: Disney is revamping — again — the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This time, forget about exorcising lusty pirates. Now it’s all about making the ride, sigh, more like the movie. Yeah, wrapped up in politically correct phrases about updating the ride is the key message: more Johnny Depp. It’s a bit like back-handed convergence.
You know, I can almost support this kind of modernization. I mean, regular park visitors deserve a little surprise, even though regular park visitors thrive on the familiarity of the rides. But just like misguided attempt to rewrite pirate history — yeah, sure, the pirates invaded the town and chased the wenches because they were hungry — this smacks of corporate decision-making instead of end-user love and care. The storyline has changed and the pirates’ booty has more, sigh, bling.