Chad Love: On Cell Phones and Parks

As presidents go, Ulysses S. Grant is a pretty forgettable character, known mainly for being a raging drunk, authorizing the … Continued

As presidents go, Ulysses S. Grant is a pretty forgettable character, known mainly for being a raging drunk, authorizing the creation of Yellowstone National Park and being buried in Grant’s Tomb.

But if he were alive today this report might make him shoot his 12-step counselor and grab the nearest bottle of rotgut.

From The Associated Press:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Yellowstone National Park officials, attempting to balance competing demands for cell phone service and preserving the park’s tranquility, have released a draft plan to guide the development of wireless services within the park.

This is the 21st century and you shouldn’t be inconvenienced by dropped coverage just because you’re in a national park. And wi-fi, too! You can keep the kids glued to their Facebook pages after they’re bored watching the roadside bison chewing cuds and trampling pushy tourists.

Our national parks have become idiot concentrators where suburbanites gather to delude themselves and perpetuate the Animal Planet notion that this is nature. They want it contrived, they want it convenient, they want it easy.

So let’s give it to them. Sacrifice Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, maybe a few others. Pave the hell out of ’em. Cell towers on every ridge. Wi-fi coverage at every trailhead. Slap a revolving restaurant on the top of Half Dome. Bring in hotels, fast-food joints, B-list entertainers, strip malls, the whole works. Think Branson or Vegas.

If that’s what it takes to keep those people out of the rest of the woods I’d gladly sacrifice Old Faithful.