Double thrills

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Thrill ride at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Thrill ride at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure

Even thrill rides have a doubled inhabitation.

Thrills can be desirable as a suspension of complexity by way of a thrust into immediate bodily presence. Bodily disorientation or danger (real or perceived) focuses the mind, pulls us out of textual loops, and confronts us with our fragile existence. The advertisement for one Universal Studio park reads, "Are you ready to feel more alive?" and says that there "Hearts pound, imaginations soar."

But thrill experiences have their own kind of doubled inhabitation. People talk enthusiastically about the roller coaster to others considering a ride. Then the ride itself is taken in a group. Then people relive effects and thrills with one another. Often the rides are out in plain view, to attract riders but also to pre-stage their experiences. The talk surrounding thrill rides stages the thrill by preparing a space for enjoying it without real panic. The roller coaster, too, is a ritual experience.