Venkman vs. Peck: a lesson in community relations

The Ghostbusters may have been motivated by a desire to rid New York City of supernatural pests (and a little cash on the side), but what about poor misunderstood Walter Peck? Who's going to stand up for the EPA? Christine Alice Corcos, that's who. In 1997 (I know, a little old), she used Ghostbusters as an analogy for the environmental regulation debate in "Who ya gonna c(s)ite? Ghostbusters and the environmental regulation debate.

    "... Ghostbusters demonstrates the impact of concentrating massive amounts of waste in a small area to allow the greatest good for the greatest number. The vapors, entities, and slimers that the Ghostbusters accumulate in their storage facility represent the tragedy of the commons and are the ghosts of our past environmental misdeeds; out of sight, and presumably out of mind. That the EPA official who investigates their operation does not believe in the existence of psychic phenomena, preferring to believe the Ghost busters' services are a fraud, emphasizes the communication problems between individuals and government. ..."

Okay, okay. It's a little bit long-winded, doesn't translate very well for simple public relations folk, and her jokes are relatively terrible. Still, a funny read for a crisis communications specialist - or a lawyer.

Included in the analysis:

    "D. Acts of Gods Defense One party who is unlikely to be brought into court is "Gozer the Destructor" in any of its manifestations. As in the case of Satan, service of process on Gozer is, as a practical matter, impossible without serious loss of life. Whether Gozer is entitled to due process is questionable ...."

In