“It just seemed so laughably absurd to be essentially criticizing the planet.”

By Meghan Overdeep
March 10, 2020
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There are a lot of good reasons to write a one-star Yelp review. Maybe a restaurant served you a raw burger or a moving company dropped your piano. But to use Yelp to criticize a national park for something as absurd as being boring or having too many gray rocks?  Honestly, we can’t help but laugh.

And we’re not alone. Upon discovering a smattering of hilariously poor national park reviews, artist Amber Share of Raleigh, North Carolina, felt inspired. She came up with the idea to create a series of old-fashioned travel posters for all 62 national parks, based on their worst Yelp review. One advertises that Sequoia National Park is “full of bugs that bite your face,” while another describes the Grand Canyon as nothing more than “A hole. A very, very large hole.” Fittingly, Share calls the collection “Subpar Parks.”

Share, who sells the posters online, told McClatchy News that she considers the posters “a snarky love letter to the National Park System.”

“I wanted to find my unique spin on drawing the parks and stumbled upon one-star reviews of some of the parks,” she explained. “My gut reaction was just to laugh. There is a lot of absurd negativity about a variety of topics out there that’s easy to get triggered by, but in this case, it just seemed so laughably absurd to be essentially criticizing the planet.”

With some help from social media, the cheeky posters have taken off.  Share has reportedly finished 18 so far, with two due this coming week.

“I think people appreciate the attempt to weave some humor and beauty into the negativity that seems to be kind of pervading society right now,” Share told McClatchy. “It resonates with people because we ALL have our grumpy impulses or go into an experience with expectations that it can’t possibly meet. ... I think it’s about learning to laugh at that sort of dissatisfied human condition that exists in all of us.”