Most folks get so emotionally involved with political issues that they can not calmly and quietly have any discussion about spin while using examples from the contemporary world of "elected" (via stealing) officials, so we will write a bit about some recent travel adventures and point out how spin can, very unobtrusively, be inserted.
Every city in Australia is very anxious to help convince Americans to travel to their country and then select their particular location as the ultimate destination. The smorgasbord of interesting places can overwhelm an American by sheer dint of numbers. Should you select the country music festival in Tamworth? Should you see the rock wave? Do you really need to see Uhrlur (whatever)? Should car fans go all the way to Australia just to soak up the beer, boobs and burn-outs at the SummerNats? (Why does Australia always try to lure tourists to their country's pet rock and always ignore car enthusiasts?) How many right hand drive deuces (1932 Fords) have you seen in your lifetime?
One of the Australian cities this columnist was enthusiastic about seeing was Kalgoorlie, which is a gold mining town in a remote area of Western Australia (called WA by the locals). How accurate and spin free would an enthusiastic recounting of the visit be?
Since this columnist's nominee for best movie of all times is "Treasure of the Sierra Madre," and since this particular traveler has gone panning for gold in California, heading for Kalgoorlie (named as one of Australia's top 100 cities) seemed like a good idea.. While in the Kalgoorlie – Boulder City area, he kept bumping into the same three other tourists who arrived at the same time, on the same train, as he did.
The four of us (a German guy and two young ladies from Japan) went to the Big Pit together and toured a railroad museum together. We resisted the temptation to introduce ourselves as "this week's mob of tourists." A visit to the Super Pit reminded the columnist of a line in a Waylon Jennings song about how all guys like things that make loud noises. Waylon neglected to mention that there are bonus points if that thing happens to be a big explosion.
The columnist went (solo) to the Gold Prospector's Hall of Fame and enjoyed it immensely. We did some gold panning there. Bought and sent some postcards. We also registered our complaint that there wasn't one single solitary mention of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" movie or Fred C. Dobbs.
Now, if, in our opinion, we only know one person who might enjoy a tirp to Kalgoorlie, is it honest reporting to write a very enthusiastic column about our visit there?
Skimpy's bar had two swinging doors at the entrance and the only other time we have seen that in real life was at a joint in Santa Monica (was it 14th and Olympic or 11th and Olympic?). Since we figured we'd always have the option to go into the one in Santa Monica, we put it off until it was too late and we missed the chance to go inside for a look-see. Going into Shimpy's for a diet soda (the only time we've ever really had a drink of Sarsaparilla was at a bar in Pennsylvania) was a total hoot (subjective reaction unable to be fact checked.) Is there an objective way to rate taverns?
We met some folks who were in the gold mining business.
One guy wanted our advice because he believes his uncle's children's book had been plagiarized by folks who made a movie with Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie. We put him in touch with someone who is a member of the Writers Guild because all members of that group take a dim view of people who might have committed plagiarism.
Two of the guys in the hostel, where we were staying, were normally good friends, but late on Saturday night they were heard having fisticuffs in the hallway. If there had been any chance to give the brawl some advance publicity it would have been touted as "The Bishop takes on the Falcon" because one guy was known as "the Bishop" and the other as "the Falcon." When asked about it on Sunday morning, neither one of them could remember being in a fight or explain how they had gotten some minor cuts and scrapes on their faces.
How did it go when different groups invited the columnist to go to a local bar for a drink at Judd's and discovered that he would stick to diet soda? None of the rough and tumble crowd had the least bit of trouble with it.
How could a person grow up in Scranton and not learn that St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners? Dunno how, but it did happen. There is a statue of St. Barbara in Kalgoorlie. What's wrong with Scranton? Why doesn't she rate a statue in Western Australia, but not "the Electric City? An online search for a picture of the St. Barbara's statue in Kalgoorlie was inconclusive. We knew we should have taken the time to post our picture of that statue when we had the chance. Now its in our storage unit and there's no way it will get posted in time to illustrate this column.
If the columnist had a blast (15 yard penalty bad pun!) in Kalgoorlie and Boulder City, and if he has only one of his friends who might possibly have any fun in that same city (Jersey Bill might love seeing old cars and trucks if he could find where they were hidden away) how can he write a "fair and balanced" account of a visit to the city that was home to "the golden mile"? Langtree's offers tours of a working bordello. Don't expect to find that fact in a tourist brochure.
Recently while waiting for a bus in Santa Monica, a discussion with a gentleman from London England revealed that he had a brother living in Kalgoorlie. Do you think he e-mailed his brother that night and told him about meeting a guy near the Venice beach who was enthusiastic about a visit to that mining town in WA?
We loved our daily visit to Jesster's Pies. Krispe Kreme Doughnuts are very popular in the eastern part of Australia but folks in Western Australia have to request a favor from traveling friends, if they want to satisfy their craving for that brand of doughnuts.