The Ugly American: Why We Should Still Travel to Paris

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First—and this is not to be discounted—travel is cheap as crap right now. Don’t let the recent bunch of suicidal maniacs let loose in the streets of Paris scare you. Or better, be scared and do it anyway. Go see all the beauty, culture and civilized loveliness that these murdering assbags are so desperate to keep you from experiencing.

Second, you might even get an upgrade to first class, because that’s where the doors on the plane are, so that’s where most of the jump seats are located for the flight attendants, who will probably be so scared they’ll want company close by no matter who it is, even if it’s you, a lowly passenger.

Third, if you don’t want to travel across the globe—try time traveling. It’s very popular these days. Every GOP politician on the docket is ruminating about traveling back in time to kill baby Hitler.

Jeb Bush in particular seemed a little eager—to kill a baby. Not sure you really want that in a world leader. Didn’t Hitler himself like killing babies? And isn’t it a politician’s job to figure out how to fix a social problem before it gets to the point where you have to kill babies? Since when did killing babies become a good political move with the GOP? With all this time-traveling hindsight, why not avoid murdering babies and just go a little further back in time to keep Hitler’s parents from meeting so he never gets born in the first place?

Because the only thing a violent worldwide history of killing people has accomplished, in my opinion, is the consensus that murdered babies and innocent people is an unfortunate but necessary side effect to The Important Agenda, whatever that is. Babies are bombed, people are machine-gunned on their way to seek refuge. It’s a confusing way to treat the things we love most.

Or is it really. In order to effectively control a person, you have to threaten them with the removal of something they value. Just look at how parents behave in a custody battle. The threat of losing their children turns them into monsters who ultimately do irreparable damage to themselves as well as the babies they thought they were protecting. Often, the parents who lose the battle are so demoralized, the only way they can cope is to devalue the very thing that meant most to them. It’s either that or live with the pain of what they did or did not do to bring this about. They sit around wishing they could travel back in time when the people they hate were helpless and easier to kill. They imagine wiping some kind of slate clean by wiping someone else out. As if there were no alternatives.

But you can’t clean up shit with a piece of shit. You can’t go forward by traveling backwards. So go forward. Go to Paris. And fuck the morons who try to keep you away.

Hollis Gillespie is Paste Travel’s The Ugly American columnist. She is a writing instructor, travel expert and author of We Will be Crashing Shortly, which is on bookstore shelves now. Follow her on Twitter.

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