We visited Hearst Castle today. There was a pleasant little notice taped to the door of the visitor center, to the effect that was necessary to photograph everyone going to the castle “due to heightened security.” There is a similar notice on the hearst castle web page.
Actually, what they want to do is make money selling you photograph trinkets on the way back out. They snap your photo, then charge you $17 (or more) for the photo on the way out.
I suppose the photos could be useful for some security purpose; I’m sure they’d hand over rolls of negatives if the police wanted them. But why not use video cameras instead? (Indeed, there were video cameras installed).
One of our party wasn’t completely visible in the photograph they took of us, and he accused them of not doing a very good job. They didn’t seem to care very much.
It would be amusing to phone the office at Hearst Castle and press them on this. “Do you realize what a shoddy security job your employees are doing? One of us got to the castle without being photographed. My goodness, aren’t you going to institute more stringent controls?”
Of course, they won’t give a damn. Because that’s not what it’s for. It’s dishonesty at the level of “Now, national security requires that you remove all of your clothing.” Riiight.
Just more preparation for the Big Lie. I’ll rant about paid informants in a little while. In the meantime, I think we’re at war with … Eurasia?