Saturday, March 26, 2005

On Sex Tourism and Dan Cruikshank

Its the hat that gives it away. The white Panama Hat and the white Englishman Abroad trousers.
"Woooaaargh! Warm Bodies!....... The Joyous throng"
He ejaculates as he is jostled by Chinese tourists in the Forbidden City in Beijing. The city draws 7 million tourists each year, making it the most visited attraction in the world. Most are Chinese. "Most of them seem to be here today", hahahahahahahahahahaha! Such thrilling wit!

He has already sniped at the beastly Chinese authorities for only allowing two hours private filming before letting the rest of the tourists in (Dan Cruikshank isn't a tourist, oh no, he's not common like that at ALL), but the crew have fucked up coz its been so moist in the early morning dew that the equipment isn't running properly, so they've only had 2 minutes filming in tranquility. Now the Sadistic evil evil BAD Chinese authorities must be called to account for not allowing him to get his grasping - sorry- curious and admiring educational hands on their precious Ming pottery. The reason they have given for not yielding their treasure to Mr Cruikshank, Who is From The BBC And Therefore Very Important, is that the humidity of the atmosphere might damage them, since they are over 1000 years old. This does not wash with Cruikshank (Indeed, judging by the sweat marks visible on his shirt in most of this series it looks like he doesn't either), who doubts how humidity can affect porcelain is such a way. Can it? I haven't got a fucking clue. Were the Chinese authorities not aware of how Incredibly Important this series was? Did this mean they were keeping their beloved Ming away from the Gwailo on purpose, so that if anyone else had turned up at any other time of the day or year, it would have been available?

Maybe its better to ask: if it was a camera crew from France, Germany, the Middle East or Japan, would they have been able to grant the same privelidges to the camera crew?

Nevermind, you can always trust the profound insight from the presenter to neatly sum up an entire nation with a few trite observations masquerading as insights. So, China and Japan, then: They are very modern looking, and very high tech, but they still have a lot of tradition in them. And, actually, they are a bit... well..... inscrutable, aren't they? Because, you see, you could never quite tell when they would let you see their treasures.

How in fuck did this man get into the presenting lark again? Is he a professor of something? He seems to have moved into it by osmosis, having been friends with the American man who owned a house in Bethnal Green that he renovated into an authentic inauthentic artisistic rendering of life among Hugenot tailoring families in the 18th Century. He still lives in Bethnal Green, in what is the heart of Britains' Bangladeshi community. He doesn't seem to have found any treasures there though, as it isn't on his trip list. Southern India, Sri Lanka and the Islands of Indonesia & Cambodia are though. And it is here that the more creepy side of this little jaunt comes to the fore.

It first came to the fore in Cambodia when he traipsed all over the ancient Khmer city of Angkor Wat laid out to mirror the Hindu/Buddhist vision of the cosmos. There are 9 layers of the palaces, each representing 9 levels of consciousness in Buddhism. But Dan really wants to talk about sex. And the carvings of celestial maidens. And their tits. Definitely about their tits. Dan is a tit man. Dan proves this by relentlessly rubbing the (already smoothed and polished) nauks of a number of the carvings, and babbling about the link between sexuality and enlightenment in Eastern Asian cultures, and Ooooh, they're really spiritual in the East aren't they? And they see the virtue of sex and spirituality, with pleasures of the flesh not being diametrically opposed to opening of the mind. Those Thai and Cambodian girls, they're goers aren't they? And he's very very impressed. Bravo, I'm sure the peoples of East Asia are welling up right now that you rate them. Except the ones who are Muslim, possibly, which is most of them actually. Not that Dan Cruikshank visited Bangkok, since it was vulgar, although he did stay there overnight. He's saving his juices for the wank fest coming in India and Sri Lanka:

Around the World in 80 TreasuresSat 26 Mar, 7:20 pm - 8:20 pm 60mins
India to Sri Lanka

Fertility and sex are recurrent themes in the fifth leg of Dan Cruickshank's epic journey to seek out humanity's greatest creations.In Calcutta he tangles with a ten-armed naked goddess and is moved to passion in the Cave of Heavenly Maidens. Everything becomes clearer when he meets the triple-breasted goddess Menakshi.Dan's personal journey of enlightenment is marked out by beautiful and noble giant Buddhas. He finds the key to the cosmos in the celestial city of Jaipur, worships at the Temple of the Tooth, loses at cricket and revels in a palace of smells. Finally, he is blessed by an elephant before ending up in the world's greatest temple to love, the Taj Mahal.For Dan, Nirvana is India and Sri Lanka.

An hour long frottage frenzy. Do people normally jerk themselves off like this whenever they see a naked female body? Does Cruikshank get the urge to caress the crotches and breasts of unclothed shop window dummies as a symbol of the naked greed of modern capitalism? Does he have special interest magazines filled with pictures of Reubens and carvings of celestial (Christian) maidens done by Michealangelo? Would he do this to carvings if they were in a museum? No? Did any of the locals in the film do that? So how come its OK in the tropical heat for an Englishman to go perving over some fucking stone carvings and babbling cod-mystical bollocks? "Its not a dichotomy between the sacred and the profane, its both sacred AND profane! ungh! Ungh! Urrrrnnnnnghah!"
I suppose this means he likes them dark and doe eyed. Homily #5: Ooohhh, they're really impressive and buxom in Sri Lanka and India aren't they? And then he marvelled at the dancing girls brought into dance in temples by the Bra-minz as a gesture of profound spirituality, and other types of dancing, nudge-nudge wink wink, and I had to hurl. Yes. Its called prostitution, they have it in the west but it doesn't quite have that same spiritual mystique, does it?
He saw the Taj Mahal, so far the only Iszlaaaaaarrrmik era building and babbled some shit about love or something, and you suddenly thought that the old puritanical Moguls smashing idolatrous statues maybe wasn't so bad after all, if only it would stop some old pervert centuries later fuelling his wank fantasies with inept musings about fertility and sex.
I'm surprised he didn't visit the Golden Temple, nor find any of the treasure of Mohenjo daro or Dollavera, now in South western pakistan, let alone the Baluchistan figurines and settlements widely credited with being the oldest in history. Perhaps there weren't enough statues of naked ladies. Or perhaps he was worried about having his fucking hands chopped off.