The Art of Travel 12/31/2021
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I call bullshit on:
- The word "wonderful." This mealy word is used everywhere, for everything. Some things are wonderful. A lot...aren't.
- Let's not forget "congrats." Lazy, harsh on the ears.
- Or "kudos." Just dumb.
- "Your guys" as a possessive. "We're going to your guys' house tomorrow." Whether pronounced "your guys" or "your guyz-iz," it causes me physical pain.
- "Veggies." Horrifying.
- "Foodie." Obnoxious, ugly, appaling.
- "Bucket list," "hidden gem," "quirky." If you are a travel writer, don't use any of these, ever. Seriously. Don't.
- It's not a "tab," it's a link. It's not a "backslash," it's a slash. These are not difficult concepts to grasp.
- Eating outside. Totally overrated—and I used to live in France. The conditions have to be 110% perfect for me to want to eat outside: 75° and partly cloudy, less than 50% humidity, no wind (literally none), no construction anywhere nearby, and...why not: a faint scent of lavender or pine in the air.
- Glurgy inspirational signs. Exit your graphics program and stop forwarding. Many people aren't perfect the way they are; they're mean-spirited, hypocritical sociopaths who aren't nearly as intelligent as they think. Few things were actually better back in the day. And a coffee addiction is neither amusing nor interesting.
- Complaining about being cold. Put on a sweater. Problem solved. That's not a micro-aggression toward women, and I stand firmly on this one.
- Certain kinds of posed photographs. First, put down the bottled water, you look stupid holding it. Second, why are you sticking out your knees and crouching? It looks absurd.
Case in point: calling President Obama a socialist. It boggles the mind.
Scenes in movies and television where characters...
- Wear fingerless gloves. It looks unbelievably dumb.
- Say, Let's do this! to get pumped up. Cliché, pseudo-cool, lazy writing, awful.
- Repeat a wise-sounding line. It's usually an older character, or one established as someone who sees the world and gets it. It feels like the line "All in good time" is often said twice.
Scene: Young, exuberant character asks, "When will people understand?!?" Wise character, sighing: "All in good time, my friend." Pause. "All in good time."
I really hate that. Pause. I really hate it.
I call extra bullshit on:
- People who exist in a world of airtight certainty. I don't trust anyone incapable of saying, "I could be wrong." Sadly, nowadays, that's a lot of people.
- Casually using the terms "fascist" or "Nazi." Stop trivializing the Holocaust. It's only appropriate to talk about Nazis or fascists is if you're in a history class on interwar Europe or WWII, or criticizing members of white supremacist groups who embrace Nazism. Don't call someone who's a stickler for grammatical rules a "grammar Nazi."
- Casually using the terms "socialist" or "communist." In my experience, only about a quarter of people who use these words actually know what they mean. Case in point: calling President Obama a socialist. It boggles the mind. And if someone thinks the government should take an active role in something, that's not a sign they're socialist.
If people do know what the words mean, and still use them as attacks, they clearly don't care about sky-high infant mortality rates, wealth inequality, incarceration rates, child hunger, and outrageous healthcare costs. Markets have not solved those systemic problems in America, and they never will. It's disgraceful.
I say that as a successful capitalist entrepreneur who wouldn't mind some socialism—or something attacked as socialism—if it meant my fellow Americans could live healthier lives. (Psssst: that's what it means to be "pro-life.")
I could not be less interested in the pushback of conservative economic beliefs to that statement. The GOP routinely violates their supposed economic philosophies unless a Democrat is in the White House. Then the ideologies are sacrosanct. It's laughable.
With respect to "communist," stop trivializing the horrors of the Soviet Union. For fuck sake, no one you know is an actual communist—unless you hang out with this guy or this guy or her.
Postcard: Los Angeles 11/5/2021
Red Dust 6/30/2021
Eat Pray Love 6/10/2021
Voyage au Brésil 5/16/2021
Postcard: Lake Tahoe 4/30/2021
Baedeker's United States 4/5/2021
To Shake the Sleeping Self 3/7/2021
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