Tuesday, October 24, 2017

YouTube Tuesday #16: Coastermania

I’m not going to mince words: this is one of the most bizarre specials you’ll see. I don’t just mean roller coaster specials. I mean any special. Ever.

In a nutshell, Coastermania an hour of interviews with coaster fans/nuts/crazies, with musical interludes that are an inexplicable combination of Thus Spake Zarathustra from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Vangelis synthesizer soundtrack from Bladerunner, and feeling of cosmos-level expansiveness as we watch a train slow-mo through a cobra roll. There are interviews with priests and psychologists. There are interviews with people who got married on roller coasters. In case you couldn’t tell, there couldn’t possibly be more interviews.

One of the highlights of the show is the emphasis on Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK, a Cedar Point-level thrill park on par with the Cedar Fair parks and Magic Mountains of the world and is usually summarily ignored by the American-dominated cable media. This show must have been made in the 1997/1998 time period (perhaps 1996), so the Pepsi Max Big One is the real BIG NEW THING for this special. Another unsung relic from the mid-1990s coaster wars, a hyper on par with the Steel Phantoms and Desperados of the age.

I know we are all obsessed with roller coasters, but this special really gets you thinking why the living heck are we so obsessed with roller coasters? Believe me, you’ll meet plenty of people in this video who have your obsession licked. Well, at least the UK bus tourist group isn’t obsessed with Cedar Point’s Iron Dragon. They “boo” the ride on the bus on the way to CP.

Anyway, I could go on a bit about humanity’s quest for companionship and connect it to the forming of coaster clubs, or talk about the need to be challenged/need for danger/excitement/fear and adrenaline rush and everything else and how roller coasters are a form of safety valve for this desire. But, you know, filling up blog column inches with psychological analysis would somewhat legitimize this video, which is something that simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

So I present this video without further comment. Now enjoy Ron Toomer pontificate on the Desperado. 

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