Back in 1980, The Dead Kennedys released “Holiday in Cambodia,” a blistering critique of entitled Western attitudes towards impoverished and war-torn nations. If the New York Times is familiar with this punk rock anthem of bitter resentment wrapped in sarcastic disgust, they clearly didn’t get the joke.
Of all the tourist destinations in the world, this year the Times selected Sri Lanka as the “number one place to go in 2010.” How edgy! How provocative! How… fucking morally bankrupt are the editors at the New York Times?
Just two days before the Times offered this extremely lucrative endorsement of this “island, with a population of just 20 million, [that] feels like one big tropical zoo,” they ran another article about Sri Lanka. This article was about Sri Lankan soldiers committing war crimes by executing blindfolded-and-bound prisoners of war and the government of Sri Lanka not really giving a fuck.
While the travel piece does allude to the decades-long civil war that finally “ended” last year after the Sri Lankan government went on a merciless killing spree against Tamil rebels and all the innocent children and other civilians who happened to get in their way, the NYT writer is ready to move on from that nasty little episode and explore “this teardrop-shaped island off India’s coast, rich in natural beauty and cultural splendors.”
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter: “Decimated by the tsunami in 2004, the surrounding coastline is now teeming with stylish guesthouses and boutique hotels.” Awesome! No more of those stinky fishing villages with their grubby little huts… but if you really want to beat the crowds, you might just want to skip Sri Lanka and head straight for Darfur. I hear the dust storms aren’t too bad this time of year and when the New York Times writes about it next year, you’ll be able to say you were there first.