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Ed Driscoll

Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome

June 8th, 2005 - 5:08 pm

Glenn Reynolds links to a great post by Matt Welch on the blindness of tourists to death, decay and starvation in Cuba:

this common sentiment has always irritated the hell out of me. Oh, the crumbling, no-longer-beautiful houses! Ah, the lovely two-feet-deep potholes, and rickety Chinese bicycles (because the 50-year-old Chevys and 30-year-old Ladas don’t work, and at any rate there’s no gas). How people can derive pleasure from evidence of the suffering of innocents is beyond me, and few sights are more unseemly to my eyes than seeing a Lonely Planet-waving travel snob whine about how some current or formerly misgoverned hellhole has been “ruined” by all that yucky reconstruction, material success, and (worst of all!) tourism. Oh how pretty! The baseball players make $20 a month, and they live on a prison, but at least there’s no annoying electronic scoreboard!

But hey, at least they’ve got free healthcare!

The left complains endlessly about the US’s prisoner of war camp at Guantanamo, even as they’re gleefully ignoring the rest of the island, which is itself one giant prison with Castro as the warden. Val Prieto dubs it a case of OTS–short for “Omnipotent Tourist Syndrome.”