An Open Letter To Rob Zombie
Hello Mr. Zombie! Can I call you Rob? Great. Rob, you have recently found yourself at the epicenter of what I can only call a shit-storm. What started as a local issue/story has now gone global. Billboard, Business Week and the Daily Mail UK have all written about your situation with radio and TV picking up the story as well. This is the most press you have received in quite a while. It might not be the best press but you know what they say…
Let’s run through a quick recap shall we? You own a home on a pretty good chunk of land in Woodbury. Somewhere near your property is a skate park. (I don’t know how close the park is to you as reports are conflicting. Some say it is half-a-mile away and others make it sound like the park uses your gutters as rails) This skate park was two decades or two years in the works depending on where you get your news. Regardless the town spent $53k to build it with some of that money coming from the fundraising efforts of children and their parents. Since the park opened the hours of operation have been cut due to “noise”. Now you, your wife and (allegedly) other neighbors want the park moved. Did I get that all correct?
Let’s look at the park itself. I assume that in the building process that surveys, votes and consultations were conducted to make sure this was a suitable location for a skate park. Perhaps the noise factor wasn’t taken into account as much as it could have but I assume it made the checklist. Everyone knows getting local government to do anything is an arduous process and many people have to sign off before a project sees approval let alone breaks ground. I would guess you had your chance to fight the park during this planning stage. If you did it would appear that you lost and the park was built.
Now you find yourself with a skate park near your house. Bummer. It sucks but maybe you thought you could get used to it. People live near train rails and airports surely you could tune it out, right? But maybe your wife couldn’t. Perhaps her complaining about the skate park got to be more annoying than the skate park ever was! Annoying enough to motivate you to talk to neighbors and convince them the skate park had to go! Anything to silence that woman you are married to. Or perhaps the noise really is that bad and you couldn’t block it out. Either way your wife described the park as a “significant noise pollutant” for you and a few neighbors and this drama was born.
So the park has seen its hours cut and it is closed on Sundays. Now, I don’t know if the Sunday closing is due to your complaining or if it was always like that but COME ON! That is half a kid’s weekend! Mr. Scary Zombie can’t expect these kids to spend all day in church, right? Since I am not sure I can blame you for that I will look at the new hours which have to be in response to your complaints. 10am to 5pm. In the summer months where it doesn’t get dark until 8:30pm that 5pm closing is awful. I suggest changing it to “dusk”. I don’t imagine you as the type of guy who goes to bed at 8pm.
Are you getting the feeling that you are fighting a losing battle yet? There is no way you can come out of this without looking like an asshole. Here is a quick list of factors working against you:
-You are rich. Richer than me at least and probably richer than a good percentage of the state.
-You are fighting against a park for kids. You CAN NOT win against kids. You might as well be punching a baby.
-You are a SCARY ROCK & ROLL /Horror Movie guy. People have a hard time separating your professional image from your cranky “Get Off My Lawn!” persona. Some even feel there is a hint of hypocrisy to the whole ordeal.
-You took a sarcastic “Rob Zombie Hates The Children” title and made it the cornerstone of your defense. Not one person read that and thought you really hated children. They just think you are an asshole for complaining.
-You claim that you are looking for a solution that makes “EVERYONE” happy yet it doesn’t seem possible for you to be happy without a complete relocation of the park. They have already cut the hours and added soundproofing materials. Short of moving it what else can they do to make YOU happy? I can tell you the kids don’t seem too happy about their end of the bargain.
Doesn’t paint a pretty picture for you, does it? There have been suggestions that you could be the hero by offering to build a new, better park for the children at a location more suitable to you. This makes perfect sense as you would look awesome and get a fat tax break. I can also understand how, as a citizen and home-owner, you don’t want to do that. You are going to the right meetings and making enough noise in an effort to get what you want. That is how it works… for normal people. The fact is you aren’t normal. Your celebrity can work for you or against you and this case it is an albatross. Especially with the stance you have taken. As I detailed above you probably had your chance to fight as a normal citizen and failed. Now you are coming off looking like a sore loser.
In closing Rob, I hope that you and the children can find a solution that really does make everyone happy. In order for that to happen, both sides will need to make concessions. I would have to say it is your turn.
PS – You should use this whole ordeal as the storyline for your next movie. Then you can at least exact some kind of fantasy revenge against those skaters. I am available if you need a co-writer.