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Binge and Splurge

 article about Binge and Splurge
2007-05-13 05:20:28

This article belongs to Heads or Tales column.

An ancient philosopher (either Plato or Courtney Love) once said, "Moderation is best." The ancient Greeks didn't have a word for "buzz kill" or Anna Nicole Smith, so that pronouncement was allowed to stand, unchallenged, for centuries.


By now, we're all familiar with the pitfalls of binge drinking such as a hysterical laughter, a breakdown in inhibitions, and wild, no-regrets sex. Wait . . . have I got that whole pitfall thing right?


Oh, sure, there's the skull-splitting hangover and projectile vomiting the next day, but let's face it, that all becomes part of the legend of a weekend you and your roommate will be talking about for the rest of your lives.


If you're like a lot of us, chances are some of your best binge drinking and partying has been done when you're on vacation in some strange and exotic location like Cancun, Jamaica or Philadelphia.


But now, there's a global warming activist saying that we all need to cut down on binge travel.


Mark Ellingham advanced the following point of view in this past Sunday's UK Guardian:

"It is hard to say the positive impact traveling has can ever outweigh the damage done by simply traveling to the destination Balancing all the positives and negatives, I'm not convinced there is such a thing as a 'responsible' or 'ethical' holiday."

"Is your tray table upright or are you just glad to see me?"

One of the things that's a little weird about this is that Mark is the founder and publisher of Rough Guides, a series of travel books that, for over 25 years, has urged people to get out and explore the world.


Only now, you have to walk.


This reminds me of the Dennis Miller line, "A developer is someone who wants to build a house in the woods. An environmentalist is someone who already has a house in the woods."


I find it somewhat insulting that Ellingham, having satiated his own desire to see the world, now wants to declare that pleasure off-limits to the rest of us.


But, just in case we don't listen . . . he'll still keep publishing his guidebooks.


I'm thinking if I don't buy one of his guidebooks, the savings in paper might just be enough of a carbon offset to allow me to go to Thailand this summer . . .


Let's see if we can tally up the scorecard here . . . my parents got to experience free love, experiment with drugs and travel the world.


Me? I get to try out celibacy and Red Bull while I ride my bike to the mall.


Excuse me if I'm not leaping at that deal.


I'm glad Mark Ellingham got to see all the places he wanted to before he died. I've got a few places I'd still like to visit.


I'd love to discuss this further but I gotta catch a plane . . .


have your say

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