Why Old Travel Guides are More Fun October 8, 2009

There are always inconveniences associated with travelling. For those who are interested in the various ethical issues you can worry about your carbon emissions, environmental damage and blah blah blah blah…we paid to offset our carbon, we hitched everywhere etc.. Other inconveniences include Australians, listening to Australians bonking in hostel dormitories, dealing with Australians telling you how pissed they got in every major European capital and Australians complaining how expensive Europe is. Pseudo-philosophers are another source of annoyance; a friend’s holiday was recently ruined by bumping into Alain de Botton at Heathrow Terminal 5 where he was researching his new book about head in the clouds travel philosophy bullshit-cum-nonsense. Read more ⇒


End Of The Line January 27, 2009


Even amidst today’s globalised cultural homogeneity thanks to which there is a branch of Starbucks in the Forbidden City and even previously uncontacted tribes of the deepest Amazon recognise the Golden Arches, Japan has somehow managed to maintain something of the exotique about it. Even though on the surface Japan is one of the most ‘Westernised’ of Eastern nations - fully industrialised, modernised and capitalised, and boasting the highest concentration of McDonald’s restaurants anywhere in the world (26.2 per square mile in central Tokyo) - Japan remains somehow fundamentally ‘different’ enough from anything we can experience here on our quiet little island that the appeal of the Mystic Orient is still strong. It is this strange attractive force that drives otherwise sane and normal men and women to waste months, even years of their lives slavishly watching the endless streams of vapid anime cartoons that Japan generates, masturbate over images of animated schoolgirls being elaborately befouled by many-tentacled aliens/mutants/demons, and even to dress as their favourite characters from said anime series or cartoon rapefest and attend conventions for like-minded Japanophiles where they will (presumably) re-enact some of their favourite incest/rape/tentacle orgy scenes together. Read more ⇒