A few random thoughts…
I get a lot of emails from tourists visiting London, and chat on a few London centric forums, where tourists wander in to ask questions.
What are the Must Sees, the Must Eats, the Must Dos the Must Experiences etc etc etc.
I see reviews in newspapers describing a television show as a Must Watch. Art gallery exhibitions are Must Sees. Restaurants are Must Book Reservations.
Everything is a must do now.
What happens if you don’t do something described as a must do? Do you die? Imprisoned?
If you are visiting London, the only things you Must Do are eat, drink and sleep. Everything else is optional.
No museum, art gallery or event is so exceptional that it becomes a Must See — to the point that a failure to see it is so catastrophic that frankly you might as well just kill yourself now.
I know it is just semantics, but damn it’s an annoying one.
Celebrity and Wikipedia
Whenever someone famous does something deemed to be news worthy — has sex, sings a song, gets arrested, dies — I sometimes struggle to work out the deep level of public interest.
Yes, I can google the name to figure out who they are. Yes, I can read up their list of “things the famous person has done” on Wikipedia, or other suitable sites.
But what is lacking is the emotional explanation.
I intellectually know who OneDirection are, or who a range of celebs are, thanks to a spreadsheet of achievements, but what these websites rarely explain is why the public hold them in levels of adoration that goes vastly beyond simple popularity.
I am still left baffled.
Remember how people used to write bluffers guide to the classics and high-culture so you could get away with attending a dinner party.
We need something similar for popular culture. Not just that celeb A is now sleeping with celeb B, but why it is deemed to be newsworthy that they have done so.
I put out a bit of a desperate plea last week as money was proving to be rather non-existent at the moment. I have been genuinely stunned at the reaction, and deeply grateful for all the contributions.
As much as the money salves the fiscal wound, it has been the comments that were most uplifting.
Having run a number of websites and services that were a bit generic, I have tried with IanVisits to be a bit more unusual and fill a gap that needed filling, even if only to give me something to do. The events guide itself only evolved into existence by accident, but seems to have been a very happy accident.
As much as I know people read the website, what matters more to me is that people are actually going out and doing things. It is exceptionally rewarding to know that you are having enjoyable days out as a result of the work put into compiling the events guide.
Again, thanks. It meant a lot.