Things Enthusiasts Say vs. What They Mean

Who's bored of lockdown yet? I tried really hard to think of a way to start this blog post without referring to you-know-what, but it seemed kind of weird to glaze over and not mention the...unpleasantness. So now that's out of the way, I wanted to spend some time today running through things enthusiasts say vs. what they actually mean. You could also read this as 'lies enthusiasts tell themselves' - I see it all the time (and am certainly guilty of it myself!) We try so hard to have a different opinion and go against the grain that we repeat the same rhetoric over and over in an attempt to convince ourselves it's true. But it's call out time my friends, so strap in and prepare to cringe as I expose things coaster enthusiasts tell themselves vs. what they actually mean.

*Annoying disclaimer time* This post is meant to be a lighthearted poke at ourselves as a community - if you are offended by what you read here I'd highly suggest taking a step back and evaluating the things that really matter to you in life. It's cathartic to take the piss out of one's self every once in a while - especially when the world is so serious right now. And with that in mind, here we go.

I'm Insecure In My Adulthood And Reject The Idea of Letting My Hair Down And Acting Like A Kid 

Every enthusiast I know who says they hate Disney parks falls into one of two categories - they either take themselves (and this ridiculous hobby) entirely too seriously to the point where they find it hard to let their hair down and act like a kid. These are the guys who ride a coaster straight-faced and the first thing they do when they come off a new ride is critically analyse their experience as opposed to just revelling in the joy of the thrill for a second before getting down to business. Which is ironic when theme parks and roller coasters are typically seen in our society as child or family related things to enjoy! The second category are people who have never actually been to a Disney park but are the kind of person to automatically hate a thing because everybody else loves it so much and won't shut up about how good it is. Which I can kind of get on board with as it can be a bit annoying, but if you're willing to let your stubbornness lead to you missing out ion the joy and magic of a Disney park with everything from their intricate narrative-lead storytelling through the medium of a theme park attraction to the insane level of detail that goes into their theming and world-building then I'd ask you to question if you really love theme parks at all. Get over yourself, grab a pair of Mickey ears and get yourself on It's A Small World, stat!

I'm Worried My Count Will Be Low If I Do Count And Don't Want To Deal With The Shame

This one ALWAYS comes up on any post to do with coaster counting - this person will most likely be seen commenting on these threads with phrases like "I don't count coasters, I just enjoy riding them!" Yes well whilst that is obviously fine, you do you and all that, counting coasters and enjoying coasters aren't mutually exclusive and a lot of people, myself included, find that coaster counting actually increases their enjoyment of the hobby and leads them to the weirdest and most wonderful corners of the globe in search of that coveted +1. I also don't think I've ever seen a person make a big song and dance about not counting coasters and just having a good time who actually has a big coaster count themselves, so let's be real, this one is more to do with being embarrassed of not having ridden a bunch of coasters as opposed to any moral standing point that you're trying to disguise it as. And to that point I'd say - everybody starts somewhere. It doesn't have to be a huge thing if you don't want it to be and by no means am I saying everybody must count their coasters if they want to be an enthusiast, far from it. But why not just say you don't really care or want to count coasters as opposed to trying to shame those who do choose to count like it's somehow detrimental to the enjoyment of their hobby?

I Haven't Travelled Further Than My Backyard So Have Spent A Lot Of Time Convincing Myself There's No Point When The Best Is Right Here!

Ah, to have the blind faith and enthusiasm of a home-park fanboy. These are the enthusiasts that will go to their grave arguing that their home park is the best park in the world, even if that park is somewhere like...Kings Island or something (that's by no means a bad park but let's face it, best in the world it ain't!) And no, there's nothing wrong with loving and supporting your home park - a lot of us are lucky to live very close to some really excellent theme parks and of course there will be a small handful of people who actually DO have some of the best parks in the world as their home park, but we're not talking about those smug bastards. We're talking about the enthusiasts who will scream til they're blue in the face that Icon is the best coaster in the world simply because they themselves haven't (for whatever reason) broadened their horizons and visited other parks in the world to see if that is in fact the case where they're concerned, or indeed even acknowledge the possibility that there exists a better park or coaster in the world entirely.

I'm Blinded By Nostalgia To The Point Where It's Become My Entire Personality And I Refuse To Give Anything New A Chance Lest I Actually End Up Liking It Therefore Rendering My Entire Existence To This Point A Sham

I always think how sad and exhausting it must be to continuously and unabashedly hate anything knew that this wonderful industry puts out into the world. And yes, there are of course instances where the older version was better. But there are many an enthusiast who seem to go out of their way to hate something simply because it's no longer the thing they enjoyed as a child, despite it very obviously being better now with new technology or whatever it might be that spruced a dying old ride back up for modern audiences and families to enjoy. It once again comes down to stubbornness, sometimes we need to let go of that nostalgia and leave it to be enjoyed as a memory because the reality is that our child-brains amped up those experiences to unachievable standards to the point that no matter what magic theme park designers work they will never be able to recapture the thoughts and senses and feelings of your nostalgic brain, so you will always be disappointed with the result. And I say fuck that - you can definitely do both - appreciate and cherish the way the old thing was and the way you remember it in your fondest memories but also make room to appreciate the newer versions for the experience they have to offer despite it being different to what you loved and remember. This hobby is much better enjoyed when you lower your defences and actively seek to find the good in things as opposed to revelling in the hate (although it is fun to amp up the hate on things from time to time too - especially if they're really tragic and awful - I'm merely suggesting a little more leniency.)

This Started Off As An Ironic Thing But At This Point I Can't Remember When The Joke Ended 

I am all for enjoying a park or attraction because it's so bad it's good - there's something really camp and kitsch about something being tragically shite - it's one of the reasons I love crappy old ghost trains so much. But this point again leans into something I mentioned in the Disney point above - going out of your way to have a different opinion because everyone else loves something so much. Like people who say they hate Nemesis or think Steel Vengeance is crap - it might personally not be the best in the world to you but there's no denying that coasters like those are above average. I guess this applies most to the poor souls who have convinces themselves that Vekoma SLCs are actually tolerable, or even enjoyable, coasters. Stop lying to yourselves - it's OK, just let go. We're all here for you, and we support you. There is no need to carry on with this charade now that the irony has gone and nobody is laughing at the joke anymore. You are free.

And there's plenty more where that came from but let's face it, if I spent all day listing the things enthusiasts say vs. what they really mean we'd be here all day because the harsh reality is we all talk a lot of shit a lot of the time. Are there any major ones that I missed? Let me know in the comments - I'd love to argue with you!

Talk later xoxo,