Friday, July 12, 2013

So there's an angel with a burning sword standing before my door into Althouse's comments section.  She wants to out-source to our own little bloglet comments sections, and since I have let my blogspot account fall into decrepitude, I thought "why not?"

Last night, she asked the difference between a traveller and a tourist - and my first thought was that "traveller" is a synonym for "gypsy", and no-one wants a caravan full of those parked on their street.  But I suppose in the context asked, "traveller" is for that arrogant sort that hates to think of himself as an ugly American, a fat tourist wandering around landmarks in oversize sunglasses and baggy shorts.  (Some rogue spell-checker objects to the extra ell in "traveller", but nuts to that, two ells has more of a song to it.)

The other quote is from one of my favorite books, "Walden," by Henry David Thoreau: "I have travelled a good deal in Concord..." Concord! Not even Massachusetts. Concord. Of course, he didn't have a car.

 Walden again... damn, I'm a lot like Thoreau, at least in temperament, habits and prejudices, but every time I slam up against his Walden rubbish, I find myself hating those parts of me that I see in him.  Insular, pompous, incurious, misanthropic, narrow, indolent... I can't help but think that he might have been worth a pinch of owlshit if he had been kidnapped by gypsies as a child and had his outlook forcibly expanded by encounters outside of his own small sphere.

ADDED: A reader quotes my "Those who get paid for a particular type of work may find it hard to explain the value of the activity to someone who isn't getting paid but must in fact pay"

One quote deserves another, from Bujold's A Civil Campaign, which I once had taped up in my  cubicle back when I was the company bookkeeper:

Never... ever suggest they don't have to pay you. What they pay for, they'll value. What they get for free, they'll take for granted, and then demand as a right. Hold them up for all the market will bear.

14 comments:

Evi L. Bloggerlady said...

The traveler vs. tourist thing is nonsense. Not that I dislike William Heat Least Moon, I like his books. But because someone works and has two weeks for vacation, does not necessary make them a "tourist" in a pejorative sense. Just like some backpacker hitting all the "hot" trekker and related internet cafes around the world is automatically a "traveler."

And the Heat Moon's suggestion that you would skip the Grand Canyon to see Wilcox seems dumb. If you have never seen the Grand Canyon, it is a great thing to go see (and it would be foolish to skip it). And when you drive there, hit some small towns too. Win win.

Attitude during travel matters. I have run into plenty of people on trips who are rather closed minded. I have met many who are into adventure and are not slaves to some guide book. But just getting off your ass and getting out is the first step.

MTN said...

I like that last statement/quote. That's one reason why I always ask for retainers from new clients. Not so much the worry of getting paid as establishing up front that my time has worth. (In six minute intervals.)

MTN said...

I like that last statement/quote. That's one reason why I always ask for retainers from new clients. Not so much the worry of getting paid as establishing up front that my time has worth. (In six minute intervals.)

DAN said...

And of course J.R.R. Tolkien had it as, "Not all who wander are lost."

DAN said...

And of course J.R.R. Tolkien had it as, "Not all who wander are lost."

Lem said...

Never... ever suggest they don't have to pay you. What they pay for, they'll value. What they get for free, they'll take for granted, and then demand as a right. Hold them up for all the market will bear.

I didn't want to admit that high salaries would ultimately save baseball. Because, ultimately, I wanted to pay little if next to nothing to see a game.

Mitch H. said...

The local minor-league team barely seems to care about baseball - when I've gone, it's more like a vaudeville revue interspersed by occasional pitching and running about. I certainly didn't pay - my company keeps wasting money on season tickets that they have to bully employees into taking on your average night.

Mitchell the Bat said...

People give away free samples all the time with welcome consequences so those quotations must be talking about something else which remains opaque.

Rocketeer said...

Thoreau: Insular, pompous, incurious, misanthropic, narrow, indolent...and a fraud, to boot. Cabin in the woods, my ass - when you're eating barley cakes adn drinking wine in some Distiniguished Concord Citizen's house every other night, and hauling your laundry home to Mommy weekly, I get to call you out even at this late date, Henry David.

Leon said...

if that guardian angle doesn't go away i may have to bookmark you to make comments. although to be fair non-topic comments really annoyed me.

whilst most all tourist travel not all who travel are tourists. intent to me seems the difference.

dustbunny said...

I can't believe no one has mentioned The Sheltering Sky “Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another. Indeed, he would have found it difficult to tell, among the many places he had lived, precisely where it was he had felt most at home.”
― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky

Anonymous said...

One distinction between the traveler and the tourist is that the tourist never arrives/leaves on a motorcycle....

Anonymous said...

"Traveller" is the nobler title; I base this presumption solely on the fact that I don't think anyone ever named their horse "Tourist."

Robert Cook said...

"People give away free samples all the time with welcome consequences so those quotations must be talking about something else which remains opaque."

Not opaque at all: artists and writers (and doctors at parties) are often asked to "contribute" that which only they can produce--art, writing, medical advice--for free, whether because it's for a good cause or, often, as an inducement to "create published pieces for your portfolio," to "enhance your professional standing and visibility" and suchlike.

Well, given that artists and writers--though not doctors--are not often well-paid even when they're paid, expecting them to produce work for free adds injury to insult. Those who connive to convince artists and writers to "contribute" their work for free assume that the artists can and will be happy to just "knock off" something (of professional quality!) in an afternoon, and, to the extent such efforts succeed they exert a downward pressure on the prevailing scales of pay. As more and more young hopefuls work for free, the expectation more and more becomes that "free" should be the norm, or as close to free as can be had.

I read an article by a well established illustrator nearly 20 years ago lamenting the problem of pay for professionals in his field. He said that assignments that paid him $1,000.00 (for example) in 1970 were still paying only $1,000.00 at the time of his article (ca 1995), a quarter century later.

The point: if you're a professional, don't let others assume you will (or should) work for free. Make them pay.