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Alternative Culture Articles

March 18, 2001

Golden Arches National Monument
By Royce Carlson

Our National Parks are in financial trouble! So says an article published March 14 on the ENN web site. More money is needed to handle increases in the number of visitors and maintain infrastructure. The National Park system falls hundreds of millions of dollars short each year. Although the corporate-controlled lackeys in the Bush administration probably have already thought of this, here is my humble offering of a solution to this problem that ought to make those people very happy.

What business has done for ball parks, it can do for National Parks. That is, corporate sponsorship. We are constantly being advertised to already. What difference does it make if, every waking minute of the day, someone is trying to sell us something? Imagine the excitement in business at the opportunity to sponsor a National Park, National Monument or, picture this: The Exxon National Wildlife Refuge. It has a ring to it doesnít it? This kind of opportunity is just the thing, especially for environmentally unfriendly companies who need to greenwash their tarnished public image.

Hereís another: Yosemite Sam National Park. Just a slight name change, but ever so valuable to Warner Brothers in keeping their name before the public. National Parks are entertaining, and so is Warner Brothers. Itís a perfect match.

MGM could sponsor the Grand Canyon and change it to, you guessed it, the MGM Grand Canyon. I know you are getting excited now! I can see your eyes going green with dollar signs.

Why stop with National Parks? Every natural land feature could be sponsored by corporations. In Sedona, Arizona, not far from where I live, is a beautiful sandstone rock formation that is a landmark for miles around. Itís called Bell Rock. I think youíre catching on, now. Yes, it could become Taco Bell Rock!

Carlsbad Caverns could become Carlsberg (the beer company) Caverns. Iím sure you can come up with hundreds more.

And thatís not all! You know, raising a child can be pretty expensive. Wouldnít it be great if parents could get sponsored? Of course it would. Hereís the plan:

Offer to name your children after a multinational corporationÖ. for a price! Clever, huh? These big companies spend billions in advertising. Why shouldnít you get some? All you have to do is sell your, uh, soul. Yeah, thatís it. Youíre not using it anyway and, if you could get a little money out of the deal, why not?

What, you are using your soul? You mean money isnít everything? You donít want every waking minute to be filled with ads and sales pitches? Well, then, you better keep an eye on the U.S. government and itís pro-corporate activities. You better let them know how you feel or you really will end up taking a vacation in the Golden Arches National Monument someday.

As for me, I am offering my services to connect National Parks with sponsors and to facilitate big money deciding whether you name your next child Pepsi or Coke. Letís deal!

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Royce Carlson