The Front


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Are all these trips abroad really such a good thing? \.if‘./()l(lf$1 Tom Allbeson

was planning on not going abroad this year. But for reasons ol‘ economy I

hayc tried to refrain: my own personal economy. l'sually. I look to the

prime minister’s own yacation dilemma with interest. What statement is our leaders choice ol‘ destination going to make‘.’ Will he support the national economy or play away"? But the destination isn't just a political statement for Tony as the history ol‘ holidays is the moyement ll'tilil a local to a global phenomenon. When you see your actions in such a context. it‘s hard not to appreciate the political nature of your proclivities. The history of most things l‘ollow s this pattern nowadays: col'l'cc and clothing. terrorism and tourism.

:\s anyone can guess. the word ‘holiday' deriy'es from the term ‘holy day”. But. to most ol' its. what was a religious rite now takes on the guise of a human right. There's A uproar when you deny people their holidays.

You only need witness one episode (llixlI-I'IHH'I to know that. It‘s hard to credit. but there was a

time when we didn't know about holidays. \Ve'y'c heard stories of .'\mericans who lull in 0N understand the meaning of" the word: 24/7 is a

term that they deyised. But not so long ago. we were all in the same boat: no pun intended. We

hayc had to learn to he tourists. Through OF A lashion. fiction and teleyision. we‘ye heen

taught what to look at and how to see it.

The ability and freedom we haye to transport oui'selycs around with speed and case has prompted a radical shilt in our desires and expectations. My grandparents still recall the \Vliitsun holidays when eyeryhody would up-sticks from Manchester and transplant themsely'es to the beaches around Blackpool for a few days. That was their holiday. Now I can quite easily flee to Goa by myself for two weeks.

:\nd because the world is a much smaller place. our high street holiday companies can now outsource their call centres to countries like India. There the yearly salary of' employees isn‘t even as much as what we might pay for our annual hreak. Intangible though it is. leisure time is one more consumable on an eyei'-increa.sing list which makes apparent our responsibilities as members of‘ a global economy.

Yet. despite the price. we're still not yery good at it. .-\ fair number of as (myself included) find it hard to know what to do on holiday. Should we be out seeing new things or should we he in the sun doing nothing‘.’ llow odd is it to go hallway around the world at much personal expense in order to do nothing'.’ .\'o matter how often the lifestyle gurus and the destination industry representatiyes tell me how little I should he doing. I still find it difficult to be busy doing nothing. It may not always be easy to find lots of' things not to do. but it certainly is costly; in many more ways than one.

Disagree? react©|

10 THE LIST -1 ':4 Set‘

1 Spirited Away

Film It‘s the film that Split the Festival's Surprise Movre audience straight down the centre. Either way. it‘s causmg an animated revolution. See feature and Film, pages 14 and 25. Selected release.

2 Splrltualized

Music Jason Pierce has put his days of sacking his whole band behind him to deliver a psychedelic rock monster. See feature. page 22. Liquid Room, Edinburgh: Sanctuary.

3 Canterbury Tales

TV Geoff Chaucer's bawdy tales are given a modern twist With the likes of John Simm, Julie Walters and Billie Piper pulling out all their stops. See Watch it this Fortnight. page 101. BBCl.

4 Boutique Soundsystem Clubs Two of the current stars of electronica and hooligan house. UNKLE and Audio Bullys, help promote their massive new albums with a pair of DJ sets. See Clubs. page 76. Arches, Glasgow.

5 Persepolis

Comics The Iranian-born Mariane Satrapi sheds comic tears for her beloved Persia With this masterpiece of a memoir. See Comics. page 104. Jonathan Cape.

6 Monica Bonvlclni

Art The ltalian-born artist seeks to challenge our traditional concepts of architecture and the built environment through installation, sculpture and film. See Art. page 84. Tramway, Glasgow.

7 Cypher

Film Lucy Liu puts her high-kickin‘ Charlie’s antics to bed for now with this cerebral sci-fi thriller opposite the great Jeremy Northam. See feature and Film. pages 19 and 26. Selected release.

8 Owen O'Neill

Comedy After the tremendous success of 12 Angry Men, the Irish stand-up and poet returns to the solo stage for more tales of wonder. See Comedy. page 70. The Stand, Glasgow & Edinburgh.

9 Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire Games A Gameboy Advance that is far from kids' stuff. A complicated strategy title to beat them all. See Games. page 107. Nintendo.

1 O Ruarldh Nlooll

Books After the acclaim of White Male Heart, Nlcoll hits the ground ninnlng with another tale of community fear and loathing with Wide Eyed. See Books, page 102. Doubleday.