Wallace Vs. Iyer
This quote from Wallace challenges the opinions of Iyer, but only in the modern form of travel. Both Wallace and Iyer are well accomplished writers, with a good education and both make opinions based on observation and fact. Iyer argues that the diversity and progress a place can gain from tourists can make that place better and more authentic. The problem with this argument is that tourists while influencing a place do not make it more authentic when they are following commercialized and distorted advice. By distorted advice I am referencing travel information that has been commercialized as travel became more feasible. The commercialization means the recommendations are no longer honest but are instead ads paid by the business owners. Wallace touches on this when he analyzes the review of a large cruise ship. He realizes the description is “dishonest, but what’s insidious is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real substance, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill.” He explains that the dishonesty originates from the argument between cruise ship and author. Furthermore, that dishonesty diminishes the substance of the text and confuses the reader. This type of travel writing and the result from people taking it seriously contradicts Iyers opinion.
The evolution of travel writing makes it so tourists are seeing what the host wants them to see, which is clearly not authentic. The tourist is no longer free but is subject to stealthy commercialism. They still may have a great time and benefit from travel information in a large way but it is not a completely authentic experience. Since it is not an authentic experience how could the place still be its authentic self with tourists spending their money and time in places that were advertised to them? Maybe the two ideas are disconnected, and the place is still authentic with tourists following guides but the lack of goodwill in dishonest reviews attacks the integrity of the information.
Note: Last week I did the assignment for this week, so this week I am doing the work that was do last week.