I don’t like you.

I realized today that I don’t like tourists because I feel like I am on display.

As my sister is now enlightening me: “tourism is cannibalism.” It’s consumption of the other. I am just, you know, at work, or out running, and here they are, rattling at the cage as if I am there simply for their viewing pleasure.

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2 thoughts on “I don’t like you.

  1. Quite frankly, it’s long past time that we had a comprehensive policy on Tour.
    We need to understand why Tourists come to our country, and we need to know how to defeat Tourism at its source.
    But knowledge costs money.
    As for your question, why Tourists hate us so, well, there is this question: why do you capitalize the “t” in Tour, but not the first “t” in “tourist”? Calling them Tourists seems to legitimize their cause.
    So, why do tourists hate our way of life?
    Quite frankly, they envy us. They have no rustic layabouts down where they live to mock and patronize. This deficit has been shown to knock a good twenty points off the average student’s SAT scores (combined). Many the time I’ve been riding in my sedan chair on the way to my summer palace and seen some rustic layabout languishing in the sewer and

  2. DFW, of course:

    “In truth, there’s a great deal to be said about the differences between working-class Rockland and the heavily populist flavor of its Festival versus comfortable and elitist Camden with its expensive view and shops given entirely over to $200 sweaters and great rows of Victorian homes converted to upscale B&Bs. And about these differences as two sides of the great coin that is U.S. tourism. Very little of which will be said here, except to amplify the above-mentioned paradox and to reveal your assigned correspondent’s own preferences. I confess that I have never understood why so many people’s idea of a fun vacation is to don flip-flops and sunglasses and crawl through maddening traffic to loud hot crowded tourist venues in order to sample a “local flavor” that is by definition ruined by the presence of tourists. This may (as my Festival companions keep pointing out) all be a matter of personality and hardwired taste: The fact that I just do not like tourist venues means that I’ll never understand their appeal and so am probably not the one to talk about it (the supposed appeal). But, since this note will almost surely not survive magazine-editing anyway, here goes:

    “As I see it, it probably really is good for the soul to be a tourist, even if it’s only once in a while. Not good for the soul in a refreshing or enlivening way, though, but rather in a grim, steely-eyed, let’s-look-honestly-at-the-facts-and-find-some-way-to-deal-with-them way. My personal experience has not been that traveling around the country is broadening or relaxing, or that radical changes in place and context have a salutary effect, but rather that intranational tourism is radically constricting, and humbling in the hardest way—hostile to my fantasy of being a real individual, of living somehow outside and above it all. (Coming up is the part that my companions find especially unhappy and repellent, a sure way to spoil the fun of vacation travel:) To be a mass tourist, for me, is to become a pure late-date American: alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have, disappointed in a way you can never admit. It is to spoil, by way of sheer ontology, the very unspoiledness you are there to experience. It is to impose yourself on places that in all noneconomic ways would be better, realer, without you. It is, in lines and gridlock and transaction after transaction, to confront a dimension of yourself that is as inescapable as it is painful: As a tourist, you become economically significant but existentially loathsome, an insect on a dead thing.”

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