WHEN: 8:10 am EST, October 13th, 2013
WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME
FORMAT: DVD on a 19” AOC LED computer monitor/Digital Download on an iPhone 3
MENTAL STATE: Just woke up.
THE TRUE HEROES OF JURASSIC PARK:
The insurance industry is not a very popular one. Particularly in the movies. People who work for insurance agencies are generally portrayed as insufferable nerdlingers…
…pathetic schlubs cowed by their jobs…
…or just downright evil.
As such, it’s surprising to note that on Hammond’s deadly island of dinosaurs, it’s not the paleontologists, or the game warden, or even the T-Rex who save the day. It’s the unseen agents of big insurance.
THE INSURANCE COMPANY SAW A PROBLEM AND TOOK ACTION:
Jurassic Park‘s plot gets rolling when a poor unsuspecting worker gets a close-up look at the inside of a Velociraptor. Next thing we know, an investigation is underway requiring a lawyer, a chaotician, a couple of paleontologists and two children to take a three-hour tour even worse than the S.S. Minnow‘s. But between these two events, some pencil pusher at whatever firm insures dinosaur amusement parks had a decision to make. How should they deal with the accident on Isla Nublar?
I’m imagining that the agent on the case is played by Bill Cosby.
It was the death of one worker. By all accounts it could be covered up or shrugged aside (just ask the executives at SeaWorld). After all, this has the potential to be a highly lucrative venture. Instead, they started to worry about the implications of the accident. Could it happen again? Is the park, on the whole, safe?
“Shit! It’s not, get the fuck out!”
The course of action they ended up taking was actually quite reasonable. They would have two experts from different fields investigate the facility and determine whether it was safe or not. If the expert on dinosaurs and the (alleged) expert on complex systems agree that the park is legit, funding will continue.
Was the insurance company’s motive pure? Probably not. But does it matter? Whether they were concerned about their money or the lives of tourists, they made the right call.
THEY HAD ALREADY INSISTED ON SAFETY PROTOCOLS:
In fact, it would seem that this wasn’t the first time they had intervened in the name of safety. Immediately upon arriving at the island, Gennaro asks if Hammond has installed the perimeter fences. A melancholy Hammond informs him that, yes, as requested, fences, moats, and motion sensor tracking systems have been put in place.
Boo. Safety precautions take all the fun out of dinosaurs.
One gets the distinct impression that Hammond would rather not have bothered. He’s downright miffed. Remember, Hammond hates inspections. Thank goodness the insurance company is insisting on them!
Now, we’re never explicitly told who insisted on these precautions, the insurance guys or the investors, but since it’s the insurance company that seems most concerned with safety, I’d say they’re a good bet.
THEIR DILIGENCE (WOULD HAVE) WORKED:
“Ah,” you say, “But the precautions didn’t work. The island turned into a full-on slaughter-fest.”
But, things could have gone a lot worse. The breach in security didn’t occur while the facility was open to the public, only four people died, and in the end neither expert endorsed the park.
But let’s imagine for a moment that Nedry hadn’t sabotaged the system. It’s clear that even before they go on the tour, neither expert is all that thrilled with Jurassic Park’s security. Grant is pushing for caution. Malcolm is pushing to shut the park down. It’s quite possible that neither would have ended up supporting the park. At the very least, more safety protocols would have been added. Install a few more back-ups to the electrical and computer systems, replace the fences with something the Rex can’t tear through like tissue paper, and a safe, functional park might have been a possibility.
The point I’m trying to make is that the unseen insurance company is doing their job better than InGen is doing theirs. When problems arise, they’re looked into promptly by outside experts. It’s nice to see that with all InGen’s fuck-up-ery, someone is keeping an eye on them. Thanks unseen, fictional insurance guy!