Finding the ways to fill the time
Contribute to Matador’s first major book with St. Martin’s Press.
The email said, setting off a Pavlovian signal for my brain to start secreting article concepts and bylines.
The Matador Network, in six short years, has developed its online travel magazine platform into not only the producer of excellent journalism, photography and video, but, with its growing course material through MatadorU (you can read about my trial experience with it), the incubator of it.
Inclusion in their first full length publication would be an achievement.
Or so I thought, until I opened the email.
Writers, photographers, party people: Matador is in the final stages of producing a manuscript for our first major book with St. Martin’s Press: 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die.
So this is the end-product of a thousand, 10 best… listing articles, I thought. A title designed by experts in click-bait, aimed at shifting the most books off the shelves with a gauze thin conceit of ‘travel literature’.
I have two issue with pushing binge drinking onto travellers.
Firstly, people die. Sometimes young, just left home to explore the world or celebrate graduation, sometimes older, but just as unlucky.
Of course you don’t need to be far from home to be hit by a train, or drown in a pool while drunk, however there is a tendency for people holidaying abroad to be more extreme, to get completely and utterly f*cked up.
Now Matador will give you a book that encourages the utter loss of control 101 times before you die! (or until you die from getting f*cked up! Whichever comes first.) In more countries where you might not know the language or and be struggling not to inadvertently offend people while you’re sober.
The second reason is just ranty, personal frustration from too many acquaintances who can’t see past their beer to enjoy the country they’re drinking it in. I can’t see why you’d waste the money on a plane ticket just to wash away your memories in a dark nightclub, and nurse off the hangover in a dark hotel room. Is it that different vomiting in Bali or Roppongi than home?
I don’t think this is just a ‘get off my lawn, you darned kids’ moment. Alcohol can be a fun part of travel, when its taken at the ‘social lubricant’ level, which is a fair few drinks less than the amount for ‘f*cked up’.
It’s a serious disappointment that this was the best idea that Matador Network could come up with for their first “travel” book.