Look, Mommy! Raw Sewage and Rabid Vermin!
June 3, 2003 6:42 AM   Subscribe

"Visitors can imagine children sleeping in shacks infested with scorpions or snakes."

Come on down to scenic Americus, Georgia, and take in an eyeful of filth and despair! I've always been a big supporter of Habitat for Humanity, but is a poverty theme park really a good idea?
posted by grabbingsand (10 comments total)
It's like Kamp Krusty only better!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:52 AM on June 3, 2003

Experience the new 6-acre educational center at Habitat’s headquarters in Americus, Georgia. See life-size Habitat houses from countries around the world. Learn about the devastating effects of poverty and the inspiring work of Habitat volunteers and partner families everywhere. Try your hand at making compressed-earth blocks or roof tile. Feast your eyes on delightful squalor!
posted by mikrophon at 7:29 AM on June 3, 2003

Poverty, the new infotainment source! Why travel to foreign third world shitholes when you can get a fake American version right here in the homeland? And while you snack on the park's delicious fast-food, please take a minute to remember that the US is possibly the only country in the world where poor people tend to be fatter that rich people. Isn't life glorious!
posted by magullo at 7:49 AM on June 3, 2003

I honestly think this is a good idea.
posted by crunchburger at 8:13 AM on June 3, 2003

I might agree. I'll have to think about it a bit.

Meanwhile, how about a travelling "Slum Circus" ? [ coming soon to a city near you....oops. Damn. It's already there. No, actually I meant a "slum circus" with a circus tent and elephants, tigers, clown and so on. But with a "poverty and squalor theme". ]
posted by troutfishing at 8:20 AM on June 3, 2003

If it helps the Habitat raise more money than it put into building the thing, then it is good. 'Habitat' does a good thing, all around the world. I hope this does well as a reminder that not everyone can go to see the big happy mouse on their days off.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:21 PM on June 3, 2003

You know what would really be great? A 'Nickel and Dimed' themed reality show. A volunteer family (prosperous, think poor people are lazy and just want handouts) would be set up in a trailer court and have to support themselves with nothing but what they can make from low-paying service jobs. It's such an obvious idea that I'm sure I'm not the first person to come up with it.
posted by crunchburger at 1:34 PM on June 3, 2003

I really question H4H's use of money. I've never given to them and just received a package in the mail that probably cost at least $5 to send. 8x11 with glossy calander, kids sticker sheet, etc.. it screams "waste of funds". They must be loaded to be spending all this money on fund raising efforts that IMO could be much more efficiently done. %90 or more of the money they raise should go to helping others.
posted by stbalbach at 4:39 PM on June 3, 2003

This reminds me entirely too much of the world of George Saunders' books, except he was writing it as Swiftian satire. I can't believe it came true so quickly.
posted by fuzz at 6:24 PM on June 3, 2003

FWIW, Americus is right next to Plains, GA... Home of President Carter. I'm sure there are numerous Carter-themed museums, etc in the area. Carter is, for many, the "face" of Habitat for Humanity. So there is some measure of context to the location of the information center (not "theme park".)
posted by russh at 3:52 PM on June 4, 2003

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