Monday, August 31, 2009

Tourists are idiots

I have no solidarity with tourists.

When I was once on a bus in Berchtesgaden, Germany, an American tourist had a digital SLR , which typically requires at least a basic understanding of photography. He then proceeded to shoot through the bus window with the flash (landscape scenery, no less). His flash reached just far enough to splash a huge white sun over the top of his picture. Even his teenage son told him to turn the flash off. "I can't," he said.  "It just decides when it needs it."

Walking along the ramparts of Rothenburg, I was behind a Chinese woman with a video camera who documented every step of her teenaged daughter three metres in front of her. Never mind that there is a beautifully preserved medieval city surrounding you!  Imagine the tedium of sitting through the tape. If travel writers chronicled their trips to the same degree of banality, the market indices would gain readership: "I walked along the city walls. They were very long, and I kept walking. I passed some stairs down to the road several times, but I didn't take them. Instead, I continued to walk straight ahead. I did stop once, but there were no stairs where I stopped, so I resumed my walk."

Cheap camera prices and the digitisation of photography have meant the medium has been ransacked by the proletariat.

I am not a hypocrite; I am an elitist.

1 comment:

MilazzoMan said...

Fear not, Mister Meaney, thou are not alone in thy worthy disdain for tourists and their excessive zeal for the viewfinder!! That so many view magnificent sights (sights they may only visit once in their lifetime..) by obsessively, endlessly squinting at a tiny, digitised image is truly staggering.

I'm sure they have a diagnosable condition (aside from moronism). Digital Obsession Syndrome? (Hmm, maybe not, that sounds a bit proctological).

Just whack them on the chin, ever so accidentally, with your backpack. As long as you stay out of their viewfinder, they can't possibly be aware of your presence!