The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'lonely planet'
The latest casualty of Jimmy Savile and the consequent Paedogeddon-style panic at the BBC: the South-East Asia forums on a travel discussion board run by the BBC-owned Lonely Planet. Just in case, you know:
The site did not officially reveal the reason for closing the forum without warning except that some posts did not conform with the site's ''standards''. But a source with links to Lonely Planet management said the decision to shut the forum was ''all about Jimmy Savile''.
The Lonely Planet publishing company, best known for its travel guides (as well as random travel-related books and a stock photography library) has been bought — by the BBC, of all people. Well, by BBC Worldwide, which is the BBC's commercial arm (the one which sells BBC content to non-licence-fee-payers outside the UK for profit).
BBC Worldwide international director Ian Watson said there was "absolutely no intention" of introducing advertising into Lonely Planet, which he described as "the most important brand to travellers around the world". "One of the things we very quickly got to talking to with Tony and Maureen was just how closely aligned our editorial values are," he said.The BBC is mooting expanding Lonely Planet's online services and creating TV programming based on the guides. The Lonely Planet offices remain in Footscray (which, for the Britons reading this, is sort of the Melbourne equivalent of Hackney or somesuch), and the management remains unchanged.
The most recent Lonely Planet travel guide to Britain has a rather scathing assessment of British culture today:
The Lonely Planet guide noted that more people vote in television talent shows than in elections, saying this was "a symptom of Britain's ever-growing obsession with fame and celebrity".
Britons are fascinated with famous people "even though their 'celebrity' status is based on little more than the ability to sing a jolly tune, look good in tight trousers or kick a ball in the right direction," it noted.
On the food front, the guide asserted that Britons eat more junk food and ready meals than all other European countries put togetherAlso singled out were alcohol and antisocial behaviour.
Of course, a lot of Brits would agree wholeheartedly; they've been going on about how rubbish things are in Britain (or at least England) for hundreds of years now, and turned it into a national pastime; the horribleness of life in Britain and of its inhabitants (the viewers and their friends excluded, of course) has become a staple of TV shows from Little Britain to Monkey Dust, not to mention the subject of numerous songs. Still, it's one thing to knowingly say "yes, our country's a bit rubbish" and another to see a bunch of foreigners slagging it off in a travel guide.
On the upside, the Lonely Planet praised Britain's multicultural society, with particular reference to curries. Being Australian, of course, they couldn't be expected to praise their warm, foamy beer.
Things I didn't know until today: apparently, David McClymont, the bass player from the seminal early-1980s Scottish indie band Orange Juice, wrote the Lonely Planet book on Melbourne. (Or so someone claims on last.fm)
This book looks interesting; it's apparently a travel guide for aspiring surrealists and such, filled with suggestions for offbeat ways of experiencing foreign locales:
Do you yearn for the glories of yesteryear? Pack an octogenarian guidebook and replace the subway with a penny farthing for an Anachronistic Adventure. Do you like to gamble? Taste the real thrill of adventure with Trip Poker or Monopoly Travel. Are you desperate for a holiday but strapped for cash? To undertake Budget Tourism low funds are not an obstance but a prerequisite.
(via a BBC News 24 segment on Saturday)