The Comedian's Eye View of 1-20-97 (in retrospect, I guess)
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 97 15:18:16 -0800
Subject: The Comedian's Eye View of 1-20-97 (in retrospect, I guess)
Excerpted-from: Shoptalk for 1-20-97
Monday January 20, 1997
Show Biz: The "Get Real" survey on Smirnoff's Web site declared Kathie Lee
Gifford the most pretentious celebrity. "Congratulations, Kathie Lee," says
the Cutler Daily Scoop. "The competition this year is particularly tough."
Theaters will use flashing strobes to simulate lighting during trailers for
the sequel to "Jurassic Park." After the film is released, banks will
simulate the sound of Steven Spielberg's grosses being deposited," says
Michael Jackson is house hunting in Scotland. "He's also trying to buy the
Loch Ness monster for his collection." (Paul Steinberg)
In the news: The Los Angeles City Council voted funding for a new sports
arena for downtown Los Angeles. "Now they're going to start a PR campaign
to notify LA residents of where downtown is," says Steve Tatham.
President Clinton has proposed a bailout of the crumbling District of
Columbia. Notes Bob Mills, "Crime and disrepair have become so rampant,
the symbol on the DC license plate is a chalk body outline on a field of
Five customers are suing America Online alleging the company's new pricing
policy has made logging on to AOL almost impossible. "The final straw was
when they called the company to complain and the hold music was "The Best
of Michael Bolton." (Alex Pearlstein)
"The case could last several years," says Alan Ray. "Lawyers will seek
depositions from technical support services over the phone."
The US Postal Service delivered a record 182.7 billion pieces of mail in
1996. Plans for doubling service are in the works for '97. "They hope to
open one more window."
Thousand Oaks has been chosen as the site for the new Club Disney theme
park. "Highlight will be the Golden Parachute ride in which visitors help
departing Disney execs pick out their retirement packages." (Mills)
[Special Bonus Disney Tie-In article... -psl]
Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: dd@Adobe.COM (David DiGiacomo)
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (snopes)
Subject: Flash Mountain
Los Angeles Times
January 11, 1997
FOR DISNEY, IT'S A CASE OF 'UNZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH'
AS PARK TRIES TO SANITIZE IMAGE, PHOTOS OF WOMEN BARING BREASTS ON LOG RIDE
SHOW UP ON INTERNET.
BY: MARLA DICKERSON
While critics have worked themselves into a lather denouncing Disneyland's
cleanup of lusty swashbucklers on its Pirates of the Caribbean attraction,
it appears that a park insider has pulled off the ultimate in politically
More than a dozen photographs of women baring their breasts on the park's
Splash Mountain log ride have appeared on sites across the Internet in
recent months--leading some cheeky cyber-fans to christen the attraction
The photos were captured by a special video camera mounted inside the
ride that snaps souvenir photos of each log and its crew of up to eight
riders as they plunge down Splash Mountain's watery, five-story drop.
Through the years, uninhibited adventurers of both sexes have flashed
more than a smile to the camera in the hopes of walking away with an R-rated
memento from the G-rated Magic Kingdom.
Such spicy images usually are intercepted and destroyed by Disneyland
employees, who edit the digital pictures before they can be turned into
$9.95 souvenir 8-by-10s.
But park officials say the topless photos now circulating on the Internet
were likely swiped by an employee who proceeded to launch them into
An internal investigation last year failed to turn up the culprit,
according to Disneyland spokesman Tom Brocato. He says park management since
has tightened security procedures and added more oversight to the editing
"This is obviously something we don't condone," Brocato said. "We've put
additional controls in place to keep it from happening again."
Opened in the Anaheim park's Critter Country in 1989, Splash Mountain is
a log flume themed on Disney's movie classic "Song of the South." Critters
such as Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear cavort and sing "Zip-a-Dee-
Doo-Dah" while riders hang on for a white-knuckle adventure through the
faux swamps and rapids.
But the real thrill for some riders is the chance to perform for the
camera. Park veterans know precisely where it's located and can time their
gestures and expressions accordingly.
The high jinks aren't unique to Splash Mountain or Disneyland. Parks
nationwide have equipped their thrill rides with cameras, and most screen
their souvenir photos for off-color activity.
"People view it as an opportunity to do something outrageous," said
Cincinnati-based theme park consultant Dennis Speigel. "It's the ultimate
form of show and tell."
Brocato said the purloined pictures first surfaced on the Internet last
spring. But like other information hatched in cyberspace, copies have
proliferated and taken on a life of their own.
One popular Web site now promotes the photos in serial form--posting a
new one every so often to keep voyeuristic Net surfers coming back for more.
He failed to answer e-mail requests for an interview.
Disney's inability to control a freewheeling, sometimes bawdy forum like
the Internet stands in stark contrast to its plans to sanitize its classic
Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The audio-animatronic pirates will soon
be depicted lusting after food, rather than village maidens.
Legal experts say the Flash Mountain caper is a good example of how the
Internet is straining traditional definitions of copyright, publicity and
The Walt Disney Co. owns the images and could seek to have charges filed
against those posting them on Web sites and electronic bulletin boards. But
Brocato says the company hasn't bothered because it's clearly a prank and
no one appears to be exploiting the pictures for money.
Likewise, the topless riders might be stunned to learn that they've
become one of the most eye-popping attractions to hit Disneyland since the
Indiana Jones Adventure.
But winning a case against the park for violating their privacy would be
a tremendous undertaking, particularly since the riders appear to have
willingly exposed themselves in public, said Maureen Dorney, a Palo Alto
attorney specializing in Internet law.
"In this day and age, people really need to think about this sort of
conduct," Dorney said. "The public domain gets really public when images
can be broadcast globally through the Internet."
But theme park veterans say the specter of ending up on someone's home
page isn't likely to discourage exhibitionist patrons. In fact, it could
encourage a few, says consultant Speigel, president of International Theme
"This has been going on since parks first started installing these
cameras in the 1970s," he said. "The technology may change, but human nature
[And here are two related URLs (in case you're too lazy to do your own web search):
© 1997 Peter Langston