* No one should be surprised that the officials at Disneyland have courageously succumbed to political correctness in deciding to alter the venerable and venerated Pirates of the Caribbean (Jan. 4). After all, this is the same group that painted the gray submarines yellow (gray was too warlike) and instructed the Jungle Cruise skippers to stop shooting at the charging hippos. (Don't want to offend the animal-rights crowd.)
As a former "cast member," I'm saddened to see Disneyland stoop to measures like this in a misguided effort to avoid offending anyone. People who can't deal with animated pirates chasing animated maidens around an imaginary town square ought to grow up and get a life!
* I am distressed to hear that Disneyland is planning to change the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to show the pirates lusting after food and drink rather than the damsels that have been the objects of their amours for the past 30 years. How politically incorrect! Can Disneyland officials be so insensitive to life in the U.S. not to realize that obesity is a problem to over half of the population over age 30? Do they not realize that upon exiting the ride, the patrons will be salivating along with the pirates for food and that they will descend like ravening wolves upon the nearest food attraction?
If that were not bad enough, the artist's rendering showed a pirate chasing after a waitress with a bottle on a tray! Drink! Disneyland may become hoist on its own petard on that one, since there is nowhere in the Magic Kingdom that anyone other than the elite patrons can get a drink. Upon exiting the ride, they may flock to the exits to hie to the nearest taproom to assuage the thirsts for strong drink that the pirates have encouraged.
ROBERT W. ARMSTRONG
* Dana Parsons (Column, Jan. 6) justifies the present depiction of pirates raping and pillaging by saying, "Hey, it's history." So was slavery, but imagine the outcry of an attraction glorifying slave auctions. Or maybe we could have a Holocaust ride--that's certain to get the adrenaline flowing. The trouble with entertainment like this is that instead of showing rape as the violent crime that it is, assault on women is romanticized and trivialized.
Disneyland prides itself on its family focus and as such is to be applauded for responding to its customers' concerns. I urge the park to go the final mile in sensitivity by removing the auction block scene.
* Regarding Disney alteration of the pirate ride: How about Disney stockholders chasing Michael Ovitz?