The Tourist #14

“In nineteenth century northern Europe the desire for and capacity to fix places of the ‘other’ dramatically developed. As we have seen, places came to be ‘Kodakised’. Such places of desire and fixing through the objects of the camera and tripod and photograph included the mediterranean (Premble, 1987), The Alps (Ring, 2000), The Caribbean (Sheller, 2003; Thompson, 2006), the Grand Canyon (Neumann, 1992, 1999), the exotic Nile (Gregory, 1999), stinking fishing villages (Lübbren, 2001) and water generally (Anderson and Tabb, 2002).”

The development of the idea of the other. The development of the world as being seen. The development of the intersections.
Why is there such a perverse sense about these critiques of power structures from the penis of Foucault? Why the delight in negating what has gone before with a kind of grand gesture, a sort of brushing away of entire histories?
There is a particular contemporary pleasure in writing off histories, ideas of starting again, anew, with better knowledge… which is to say with all the bits of knowledge we have picked up from all of the things we have written off. It seems comical to write off Freud using language developed by Freud.

The bizarre deference to the “academic” style of writing is also amusing. The quotations of terms, not even single words from the texts themselves, a sort of “jobby quotation” of entire concepts of other thinkers work to describe a thesis so wide ranging and indistinct… but it is ok because a lot of other books have been read. Whether they are understood or not is meaningless here, their value is as evidence of THIS point not of whatever point they may or may not have made in themselves.

The silly fallacy of it makes it impossible not to imagine the names are made up.

The mediterranean (Preamble, 1987)

The Alps (Bum Ring, 2000)

The Caribbean (Shelling, 2003; Thomspon Holidays Brochure, 2006)

The Grand Canyon (Gary Neuman, 1982, 2002 reunion tour)

The Exotic Nile (Gregory(‘s Girl), 1987)

Stinking Fishing Villages (Haddock, 2001)

And water generally (Mr Anderson aff the Matrix, Barry Gibb from the BeeGees, 2002)

There is something pedantic and silly about this. Childish. Unloving.
But then isn’t there something unloving about it as it was? Something desirous, desirous of bringing one’s own work into the same arena as some work one admires, a kind of self inflation, an onanism? Isn’t there something more loving to be silly about something which one recognises, as an academic, as a slightly pathetic and ridiculous, the pursuit of a new idea on the basis of others at the end of a paragraph which suggests that all historical views are, essentially, so brutally prejudiced as to be utterly unthinkable, now. There is a pathetic quality about this, not awkwardness of effort but rather the self undermining performance of authority. The master looks like a buffoon, we all know that the master isn’t actually a master, really. An expert is someone who is able to be disinterestedly involved. A master is she who attempts to demonstrate her power by standing on the narrow little shoulders of phalluses.