Tourist-infested waters

Tourists all the time

Don’t be a tourist. No one likes a tourist.” —Paula Hawkins, Into the Water, p. 52

Tourists themselves, the human people traveling to destinations near and far, are not so repulsive. It’s more the idea of “tourist” that inspires antipathy. Ironically, though, we are all tourists all the time. [I think I first came across this realization in John Urry’s work.] Tourists distinguish themselves as uber-consumers, exemplary subjects of the modern condition. And to the extent that we have all become consumers in every facet of our modern lives, we live in the touristic ethos of consumerism. All of us are tourists all of the time.

So, if no one likes a tourist, but all of us are tourists all the time, then we must be carrying a lot of self-loathing around with us. How might we calm the fires of self-revulsion? By doing the tourist thing: consume more—buy more stuff, eat more, travel more, indulge in every entertainment offered for our constant distraction.

Yes, we really must be tourists all the time!

Tourists on the rocks
Tourists on the rocks, Acadia National Park (Photo by T.S. Bremer, 2018)

[Post 101 of 260 in my year-long challenge.] ♨

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