History Main / TheThemeparkVersion

12th Apr '16 9:53:01 AM chopshop
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* Examined in the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. In it, the African-American narrator's daughter is a pretentious Black Panther wannabe who claims to have reconnected with her African heritage, but is clearly just parroting the Theme Park Version of African culture without actually understanding anything.
12th Apr '16 7:09:43 AM dotchan
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* ''VideoGames/TeamFortress2'' - the (playable) cast features 8 men from the Theme Park Versions of America, France, Germany, and the Soviet Union. The ninth, the Pyro, is a FeaturelessProtagonist.



** And then there's Disney's California-themed park...in California. It was not well received.



** In an interesting inversion, the word "Xmas" for Christmas is often wrongfully accused of being this trope. The assumption is that the X is used to remove any implications of {{Jesus}} from the holiday. In fact, it comes from the fact that X is the first letter in Jesus' title (Χριστός or Christos) in Greek.

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** In an interesting inversion, the word "Xmas" for Christmas is often wrongfully accused of being this trope. The assumption is that the X is used to remove any implications of {{Jesus}} from the holiday. In fact, it comes from the fact that X is the first letter in Jesus' title (Χριστός or Christos) in Greek. (And, if you really want to be pedantic, Christmas originated as a pagan holiday that was HijackedByJesus because most of the non-Christian world had some sort of winter festival and the Christians figured they may as well join the party.)
18th Mar '16 12:14:22 PM ironicusername
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* In the "Old Days" festival in ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBeaks'', apparently only four things happened in the 1970's: hippies, flower power, Afros, and disco.
18th Mar '16 5:28:58 AM drwhom
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* Most of history, especially what you're taught in high school. It would take the whole school year to get a non-Theme Park version of one war, especially complex events such as the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Likewise, certain national histories are often taught in a closed-off hermetic fashion without reference to geopolitical tensions and other environmental and sociological changes, while also giving an impression of continuity between old regimes and modern times.

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* Most of history, especially what you're taught in high school. It would take the whole school year to get a non-Theme Park version of one war, especially complex events such as the UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Likewise, certain national histories are often taught in a closed-off hermetic fashion without reference to geopolitical tensions and other environmental and sociological changes, while also giving an impression of continuity between old regimes and modern times. This intersects with the tendency to present an [[PropagandaPiece official version]] of national history; for example, classes in US history can resemble advertisements for the US progressive movement.
21st Feb '16 6:13:45 PM FF32
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* This is likely a jab at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravo_Two_Zero Bravo Two Zero]] and the minor fad for SAS veterans writing [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory highly embellished]] or [[BasedOnAGreatBigLie flat-out bogus]] memoirs.

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* ** This is likely a jab at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravo_Two_Zero Bravo Two Zero]] and the minor fad for SAS veterans writing [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory highly embellished]] or [[BasedOnAGreatBigLie flat-out bogus]] memoirs.
18th Jan '16 2:07:21 AM JulianLapostat
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* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends while the Allied peoples were all AlwaysLawfulGood -- even UsefulNotes/JosephStalin (never mind that Stalin committed just as many atrocities as (or even more atrocities than) Hitler). Notably, Capra saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary. Needless to say, the series drew fire for being less than accurate -- one reviewer, a Polish-American, denounced the series as "a conglomeration of patriotic exhortation, crackpot geopolitical theorizing, and historical mischief making," that the series deliberately falsified the facts to justify the Allied cause. This reviewer was particularly incensed by the depiction in the series of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, that the Poles were seen as woeful failures while the Soviets that later invaded were seen not as Nazi allies but as guiltless saviors who only invaded Poland to stop the Nazi advance.

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* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends while the Allied peoples were all AlwaysLawfulGood -- even UsefulNotes/JosephStalin (never mind that Stalin committed just as many Stalin's own atrocities as (or even more atrocities than) Hitler).before the war). Notably, Capra saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary. Needless to say, the series drew fire for being less than accurate -- one reviewer, a Polish-American, denounced the series as "a conglomeration of patriotic exhortation, crackpot geopolitical theorizing, and historical mischief making," that the series deliberately falsified the facts to justify the Allied cause. This reviewer was particularly incensed by the depiction in the series of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, that the Poles were seen as woeful failures while the Soviets that later invaded were seen not as Nazi allies fellow invaders but as guiltless saviors who only invaded Poland to stop the Nazi advance.
16th Jan '16 3:49:14 AM Anddrix
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Take a classic tale or even reality itself. Strip away all the complexities, boiling the source material down to a few tropes and a barely coherent plot. Congratulations! You now have the perfect blueprint for [[FollowTheLeader cashing in on the original's success]]. The characters are flatter than in the original, and the tropes have lost their [[JustifiedTrope justification]], but surely [[ViewersAreMorons the fans won't mind]]. Another word for this concept is a "simulacrum".

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Take a classic tale or even reality itself. Strip away all the complexities, boiling the source material down to a few tropes and a barely coherent plot. Congratulations! You now have the perfect blueprint for [[FollowTheLeader cashing in on the original's success]]. The characters are flatter than in the original, and the tropes have lost their [[JustifiedTrope justification]], but surely [[ViewersAreMorons the fans won't mind]].mind. Another word for this concept is a "simulacrum".
12th Jan '16 5:55:40 PM MHarrington
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* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends while the Allied peoples were all AlwaysLawfulGood -- even UsefulNotes/JosephStalin (never mind that Stalin committed just as many atrocities as (or even more atrocities than) Hitler). Notably, Capra saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary.

to:

* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends while the Allied peoples were all AlwaysLawfulGood -- even UsefulNotes/JosephStalin (never mind that Stalin committed just as many atrocities as (or even more atrocities than) Hitler). Notably, Capra saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary. Needless to say, the series drew fire for being less than accurate -- one reviewer, a Polish-American, denounced the series as "a conglomeration of patriotic exhortation, crackpot geopolitical theorizing, and historical mischief making," that the series deliberately falsified the facts to justify the Allied cause. This reviewer was particularly incensed by the depiction in the series of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, that the Poles were seen as woeful failures while the Soviets that later invaded were seen not as Nazi allies but as guiltless saviors who only invaded Poland to stop the Nazi advance.
11th Jan '16 11:10:11 AM MHarrington
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* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends and the Allied peoples as all being AlwaysLawfulGood -- even Stalin. Notably, he saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary.

to:

* Propaganda films, in general, are designed precisely not to educate but to stir up opinions. One famous example is Creator/FrankCapra's ''Why We Fight'' series of U.S. "Informational" films during World War II, which essentially depicts UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler as a real-life [[DastardlyWhiplash Snidely Whiplash]] with trimmed ends and while the Allied peoples as were all being AlwaysLawfulGood -- even Stalin. UsefulNotes/JosephStalin (never mind that Stalin committed just as many atrocities as (or even more atrocities than) Hitler). Notably, he Capra saved a lot of time by just translating Nazi propaganda films into English to make them look scary.
6th Jan '16 7:59:15 AM JulianLapostat
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* The American Revolution as taught in US public schools. The British villain in ''Film/ThePatriot'' was an {{Expy}} of somebody who is remembered for such lovely habits as [[MoralEventHorizon shooting people who are surrendering to him]], when he's not being politely ignored because the US & the UK are friends now.

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* The American Revolution UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution as taught in US public schools. The British villain in ''Film/ThePatriot'' was an {{Expy}} of somebody who is remembered for such lovely habits as [[MoralEventHorizon shooting people who are surrendering to him]], when he's not being politely ignored because the US & the UK are friends now.



** The New Deal did not singlehandedly end the Depression, nor did Roosevelt fully follow through on his campaign promises. The government investment in social welfare programs and other institutions had more of a political rather than economic function The exact efficacy of the New Deal legislation is the subject of a great deal of partisan political bickering but even pro-Roosevelt economists like Paul Krugman argue that it was America's entry in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII that really restored the economy.
** While many of the programs brought by Roosevelt have remained, some of them such as the Works Projects Administration, ended during the Depression itself, and since that was concerned to employing theatrical artists and performers, as well as folklorists, this has allowed the era to retain an afterglow as GloryDays of political action. Skeptics like Creator/GoreVidal argue that the New Deal was little more than a BreadAndCircuses attempt so as to assuage fears of communist takeover and that it was post-war legislation like the G. I. Bill that had a bigger impact in restructuring the class system then any of the New Deal programs did.
* These days, many museums and tourist guides inevitably promote real nations, monuments and cultures in this way, often to the exclusion of sub-cultures and counter-cultures. The French critic Creator/RolandBarthes noted that during the era of General UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco, Spanish tourist brochures never discussed Moorish Spain and the Arab influence on Spanish culture and language. He pointed out that in the age of travel, countries generally tend to promote a one-sided and one-dimensional vision of culture to choose as representative of the complex whole.



* Many large cities are frequently accused of attempting to become the theme park version of themselves for a wide variety of reasons.
** A particularly strong example: UsefulNotes/NewOrleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The wealthier, touristy, photogenic parts of the city bounced back much faster than the poor parts of town. This effect was not totally intentional, but some accusations of sinister intent flew. The chief exhibit would be many people who openly pondered whether the storm wasn't a good excuse to tear down most (or all) public housing.
*** The opposing argument being, of course, that these touristy, photogenic parts of the city were where a huge number of the people who lived in the city ''worked'', and the faster they got back on their feet, the sooner money could start coming into the city again.

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* Many large cities are frequently accused of attempting to become the theme park version of themselves for a wide variety of reasons.
**
reasons. This is often associated with gentrification, which sociologists and historians lament often comes at the expense of more colourful and interesting communities. A good example is Paris since the 1960s, where French Presidents tried to install new buildings. The Centre Georges Pompidou, an art gallery, was built on top of the famous covered market of Les Halles, a historical working class district. The construction of the Olympics for London in 2012, led to the destruction of Hackney, another historical working class area.
*
A particularly strong example: UsefulNotes/NewOrleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The wealthier, touristy, photogenic parts of the city bounced back much faster than the poor parts of town. This effect was not totally intentional, but some accusations of sinister intent flew. The chief exhibit would be many people who openly pondered whether the storm wasn't a good excuse to tear down most (or all) public housing.
***
housing. The opposing argument being, of course, that these touristy, photogenic parts of the city were where a huge number of the people who lived in the city ''worked'', and the faster they got back on their feet, the sooner money could start coming into the city again.



* Most of history, especially what you're taught in high school. It would take the whole school year to get a non-Theme Park version of any one war. Either one of the World Wars could easily eat up all the time allotted to history secondary education.
** Some wars like the War of 1812 are so complex that even the theme park version is hard to understand so they are generally just mentioned in passing and ignored.
* If you live in America, you also think that America has won every war it entered, with the possible exception of Vietnam depending on which side of the spectrum you're on. In fact, America has undeniably lost a few low-key wars in its history, the most crushing being the aforementioned War of 1812, where the British actually set fire to the capital. This might be why it's gone mostly unmentioned.
** The War of 1812 itself ended as a draw under the Treaty of Ghent, both sides agreeing to end the war as status quo antebellum, or back to the way things were before. Neither side got anything out of it, so neither side can be called a victor. The Burning of Washington, even, was in retaliation to American Forces burning down York first, the then provincial capital of Canada.
*** The news of the treaty came after a large American Victory at UsefulNotes/NewOrleans (which happened to be fought after the treaty was signed due to slow communication), leading most Americans to get the impression the war was won.
** Also, you might also believe that World Wars I and II were only won because of America, and while America definitely influenced the outcomes, it didn't do quite as well in WWI as history books have you believe.
** Some elementary and high school history classes focus on the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations. This might have something to do with the fact that most teachers came of age during one of these administrations. (Other teachers and curricula somehow manage to never get past the Eisenhower administration, for similar reasons: there's too much risk of parents and school boards objecting to ''any'' possible discussion of the Vietnam War, Watergate, or the Iran hostage crisis.)
* Wars. All of them, especially the World Wars. Wars usually have very complex and multiple political, sociological, economical and historical causes, all the sides have their specific goals, intents, virtues and depravities. However, in movies, popular consciousness, and even in history classes, they usually devolve into a theme park version of a fight between the forces of [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Good]] who only want to bring justice to the world, versus the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Evil]] who are so evil that all they do is [[ForTheEvulz just for the sake of being evil]].
** Allied propaganda from World War II loved to demonize UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, showing him as evil through and through, while the Allies were always depicted as AlwaysLawfulGood, even GloriousMotherRussia. Never mind that UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was just as bad as Hitler (it has been argued that Stalin was even worse than Hitler) and that the Allied Forces' bombing of Dresden, Germany and the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki is now seen as highly questionable and controversial. But then, propaganda is ''never'' meant to educate, but to influence and to stir up emotions.

to:

* Most of history, especially what you're taught in high school. It would take the whole school year to get a non-Theme Park version of any one war. Either one of the World Wars could easily eat up all the time allotted to history secondary education.
** Some wars like the War of 1812 are so
war, especially complex that even events such as the theme park version is hard to understand so they UsefulNotes/ThirtyYearsWar. Likewise, certain national histories are generally just mentioned often taught in passing a closed-off hermetic fashion without reference to geopolitical tensions and ignored.
other environmental and sociological changes, while also giving an impression of continuity between old regimes and modern times.
* If you live in America, you also think that America has won every war it entered, with the possible exception of Vietnam depending on which side of the spectrum you're on. In fact, America has undeniably lost a few low-key wars in its history, the most crushing being the aforementioned War of 1812, where the British actually set fire to the capital. This might be why it's gone mostly unmentioned.
**
unmentioned. The War of 1812 itself ended as a draw under the Treaty of Ghent, both sides agreeing to end the war as status quo antebellum, or back to the way things were before. Neither side got anything out of it, so neither side can be called a victor. The Burning of Washington, even, was in retaliation to American Forces burning down York first, the then provincial capital of Canada.
*** The
Canada. [[note]]The news of the treaty came after a large American Victory at UsefulNotes/NewOrleans (which happened to be fought after the treaty was signed due to slow communication), leading most Americans to get the impression the war was won.
** Also, you might also believe that
won.[[/note]]
* Either one of the
World Wars I could easily eat up all the time allotted to history secondary education. Likewise, American students as well as international students on account of EaglelandOsmosis and II AmericaWinsTheWar, think that both these conflicts were only singularly won because of America, and while by America definitely influenced to the outcomes, it didn't do quite as well in WWI as history books have you believe.
detriment of the involvement of other, non-English speaking, nations.
** Some elementary In the case of the Second World War, thanks to the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, this has led to the virtual removal from public consciousness of the contribution of the Soviet Union, when they mounted the largest offensive, fought harder, endured greater casualties and high school history classes focus the worst war crimes, than the other sides combined. Likewise, it was only since the 80s and 90s, that UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust was mentioned or depicted widely. The depictions of the war are still largely shaped by the Western Front, with its images of the Americans and British liberating their future [=NATO=] allies to the detriment of the East and the Pacific. In the case of the Pacific, the experiences of the Chinese, the Burmese, the Indians during the War get little say compared to the naval war of the US on the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Pacific.
** Allied propaganda from World War II on all three sides loved to demonize UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler
and Reagan administrations. This might have something to do UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan. The former was made into LaughablyEvil while the latter were shown with the fact crude racist stereotypes. Propaganda is ''never'' meant to educate, but to influence and to stir up emotions, still it has to be mentioned that most teachers came of age the British were a colonial empire during one the war, the French Resistance used ''their'' colonies as a base and, technically, no more than a liberal military junta rather than legitimate government (most of these administrations. (Other teachers which had become LesCollaborateurs). American society and curricula somehow manage to never get past its armed forces were segregated, and as for the Eisenhower administration, for similar reasons: there's too much risk of parents Soviets, well they were led by "Uncle Joe" Stalin (so-called during the war), who had a few years back conducted mass purges and school boards objecting incompetent collectivization schemes that led to ''any'' possible discussion of the Vietnam War, Watergate, or deaths of three million and who also invaded Poland and Finland alongside Hitler as part of that "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" that got swept under the Iran hostage crisis.)
rug. Still, Hitler was a great deal worse than all of them.
* Wars. All of them, especially the World Wars. Wars usually have very complex and multiple political, sociological, economical and historical causes, all the sides have their specific goals, intents, virtues and depravities. However, in They are also fought and experienced by LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters and feature many HeroOfAnotherStory. In movies, popular consciousness, and even in history classes, they usually devolve into a theme park version of a fight between the forces of [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Good]] who only want to bring justice Good]], with some individual, great leaders, generals and soldiers elevated into heroic roles out of proportion to the world, versus level of agency they actually possessed during the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil Evil]] who are so evil conflict.
* Some elementary and high school history classes focus on the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan administrations. This might have something to do with the fact
that all they do is [[ForTheEvulz just most teachers came of age during one of these administrations. (Other teachers and curriculam somehow manage to never get past the Eisenhower administration, for similar reasons: there's too much risk of parents and school boards objecting to ''any'' possible discussion of the sake Vietnam War, Watergate, or the Iran hostage crisis.)
** President UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy had an administration
of being evil]].
** Allied propaganda from World War II loved
three years before his ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination, but thanks to demonize UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, showing him as evil through his charismatic personality and through, relative youth, he is elevated into a more influential figure than he really was. Historians note that it was his successor and Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson who passed the crucial Civil Rights Bill, that President Nixon took America off the gold standard and built the [=EPA=] while the Allies most important events in Kennedy's administration were always depicted as AlwaysLawfulGood, even GloriousMotherRussia. Never mind that UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was just as bad as Hitler (it policy disasters like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cuban Embargo. Yet Kennedy has been argued that Stalin was even worse a bigger role in the public imagination than Hitler) and that the Allied Forces' bombing of Dresden, Germany and the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki is now seen as highly questionable and controversial. But then, propaganda is ''never'' meant to educate, but to influence and to stir up emotions.his record would otherwise suggest.
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