Has the Internet Replaced the Need to Travel?

It’s odd, whenever I want to know what a place looks like I just google the name of the city and wham, I get to see all sorts of dreary little tourist pictures of the city from pretty much every angle and with lots of wives staring at the lens.

You hardly have to go anymore. You got your cathedral, you got your sad looking woman, you got the feeling of the hot, noonday sun beating down and washing out the color of the scene…

Which brings us to Frank Cannonito. Frank is a math wiz who’s decided to run for office in Sicily under the banner of L’Altra Sicilia, a party that wants to preserve Sicilian culture.

The punch line to most articles about this strange event on the web is: “Cannonito and his wife, Janet, plan to take their first trip to Sicily next year.”

Hmmm. A guy interested in preserving a culture who has never actually experienced the culture. How does he deal with the nuances and apparent contradictions?

This whole deal reminds me of Igor Stravinsky’s jazz. Evidently Igor’s friends had visited America and returned to tell him of the wonders of the new music they’d heard. So, without ever actually experiencing jazz live, without ever being inside a jazz club, without ever experiencing the sort of life that caused the music to flourish and expand, Igor sat down and wrote some jazz based on the second hand accounts of the sound.

It was very, very odd stuff, not a whole lot like any jazz Americans might recognize. But it was music, of a sort.

Odd jazz you can forgive, but what about the politics of intrusion at a time when America’s “values” are being challenged around the world?

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Has the Internet Replaced the Need to Travel? originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Mar 10, 2007 © .

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