Thursday, October 13


1. In 1980, Paul Fussell wrote an incredible rant on the subject of “anti-tourists.”

"Before tourism there was travel," Fussell wrote, "and before travel there was exploration... . I am assuming that travel is now impossible and that tourism is all we have left." This gives rise to the anti-tourist, who suffers from a "uniquely modern form of self-contempt." As Fussell explained,

It is hard to be a snob and a tourist at the same time. A way to combine both roles is to become an anti-tourist. Despite the suffering he undergoes, the anti-tourist is not to be confused with the traveler: his motive is not inquiry but self-protection and vanity. . . . The anti-tourist's persuasion that he is really a traveler instead of a tourist is both a symptom and a cause of what the British journalist Alan Brien has designated tourist angst, defined as "a gnawing suspicion that after all . . . you are still a tourist like every other tourist." . . . But the anti-tourist deludes only himself. We are all tourists now, and there is no escape.

Read more of it here.

2. European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men

3. In Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad, there’s a famous excerpt about pretentious ‘anti-tourist’ types. Here's a great excerpt that, if nothing else, proves that the phenomenon of juniors coming back from a semester overseas and calling their dorm rooms "flats" is nothing new:

We wish to learn all the curious, outlandish ways of all the different countries, so that we can ‘show off’ and astonish people when we get home. We wish to excite the envy of our own untraveled friends with our strange foreign fashions which we can’t shake off...The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become, until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass.