11 April 2011
Masters of Camouflage
I was reading Alan Fletcher's The Art of Looking Sideways while pondering on my recent Disneyland experience. In his book he talk about a variety of things including the purpose of camouflage. Fletcher describes camouflage as "making the conspicuous inconspicuous or the inconspicuous conspicuous" and that "[t]he objective of camouflage is to mislead rather than conceal." I was struck at how well Disneyland is able to camouflage their operations, not by trying to make the disappear (a powerful feat that even the best magicians cannot sustain indefinitely) but rather to make them blend in or seem insignificant. This was particularly notable while waiting in line for Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, a ride that has an incredible long wait time and is entirely underground. The wait time does not seem so bad because we are presented with a vast array of fun (and detailed) things to look at. Even the fact that the entire ride is underground is misled from our mind by having us enter the "temple". Naturally, in the temple we do little to track our elevation and the gradual decline is further masked by even more intricate details to observe and look at. It is almost like an entire movie set put before us just to keep us distracted from the truth: we waited far too long, mostly underground, for a ride.