The World - I want to get off
Owain Treece- on travel writing...
heartening to read a writer recommending travel writers to stay at home,
Michael Sean Morris on 'Why
I can't be a travel writer' and while they're at it - shut the fuck
up and throw away their pads, pens, typewriters, wordprocessors, pods,
cameras, mobile phones, the wallets containing the currency they will
fear losing/buy a year's worth of cocaine with/hand over to a cab driver
by mistake and all the other too familiar accoutrements of their so-called
Read the historical record if you wish to read lies, damned lies and
the stories of men with heads on their bottoms - thinly veiled propoganda
of the state and the self in most cases, to generalise a wee bit. As
travel has spread the state has been so, so very effectively replaced
by the self.
Travel broadens not the mind - with luck some interesting tropical bug
may cause swelling of the cranium, but the mind will stay resolutely
the same size and shape it was when you first stuck those sunglasses
on, they will fit when you return, and, no doubt, remind of many an
interesting experience when they fall off in a bar, cripes the mind
If anything, travel reinforces stereotypes - even if even they are amusingly
struck down for effect in the first paragraph: "of course Las Vegas/Wales/Iceland
isn't all gambling/eisteddfodau/whaling and top-price whores/mountains/members
of Blur these days", yes they are, I've been to a Rhyl holiday
camp blubber and bloated weekender, you obviously haven't.
No-one is more likely to come out with the ludicrous (check the population
figures before you judge just how ludicrous it is) sentence starter
- "of course the Chinese", than someone who has been to China.
A couple of weeks in Africa and people will start telling you things
about "the Africans" - yet when you tell them thirty years
in England has left you convinced of the blinkered, up-yer-own-arse
arrogance of the population, they take offence - go figure.
Stay home young man, stay home.
© Owain Treece August 19th 2003
all rights reserved