by Bowen Craig
LURE TO THE WORLD Pt. 1
The title of this article is a pop culture reference waaaayy too old for the Internet. If I didn’t hate Millennials with such a burning passion, I might actually listen to them or care what they think. There was a Kevin Costner movie in the late 1980’s called Field of Dreams, about a farmer in Middle America who, against the wishes of pretty much everyone he knew, plows under his cornfield and creates a baseball diamond.
“If you build it they will come,” is what he keeps hearing, the mantra that spurs him to go against the grain and do something crazy and amazing. So he builds it and they do, indeed, come. Ghosts, baseball players, ghostly baseball players, some random author, his father in ghostly form wearing an Afterlife stretchy baseball uniform, and I think a few members of the infamous Nineteen Nineteen Black Socks. Kevin Costner follows his inner muse and good stuff happens, as it always seems to when Kevin Costner’s involved. (wow, that was a long description. I blame the Millennials)
This article will be an expression of my desire to travel (written in the worst era for world travel since before the invention of the sailboat), a test of my psychic abilities, and an ode to Kevin Costner.
In the past, I’ve written a few odes to countries where someone has logged onto AthensUncharted.com, whether purposefully or not. This time I thought I’d flip it and see if we can get new visitors from some interesting far-flung countries BECAUSE of this article. If I type it, they will come. Writing on faith. A Psychic text message to spur some inter-country unity. Or, if you prefer, just for the fuck of it.
Yes, I know that technically you’re a part of Tanzania, but not inside my mind. Zanzibar, you’ve always held a certain romance for the world. Island. Maybe the pinnacle of “exotic”-itude. Hard to reach. Spices. History of mystery. The fact that 99.99% of the people on the other six continents just don’t know much about Africa. But even they have heard of you, Zanzibar. I’d like to visit, preferably on a boat. The first steps towards my visiting would be for just one of you to check out Athens Uncharted (even if you mistakenly think it’s a site that offers Greek sailors helpful nautical tips and olive-based milkshake recipes). Also, I’ve got to say that you’ve got maybe the coolest country name on the planet.
I’m concentrating hard on you right now, Zanzibar. Google this site. Do it. Do it NOW!
I recommend that you watch Dances with Wolves – good flick, sentimental, a little gooey but good landscape shots and a decent message of cross-cultural hope.
Although I refuse to call you Myanmar, I still think you look like a pretty awesome place to spend a few months. I know your country only from books and the news. Trust me, from an outsider perspective the books are better than the news. And, hey, since we’re talking, Burma, I’ve got to ask, “Why would you change your name? Myanmar sounds like a bureaucratic decision by committee. Burma sounds like a place you could hunt for a hidden sapphire the size of a dingo in a swampy cave while narrowly escaping a legion of hardened minions of an evil genius bent on world domination spitting poison darts at you through bamboo reeds.”
You’ve got some good stuff, Burma: sugarcane, wool, teak, and you make a lot of shoes. Shoes are pretty important. They make walking a lot easier. Women seem to fetishize them. Other than your tendency for jailing and/or murdering pro-democracy advocates and journalists, you seem like a pretty cool country.
I’m concentrating hard on you right now, Burma. Yahoo the crap out of this site. Do it. Do it NOW!
I recommend that you watch the popular modern cowboy television show Yellowstone – great visuals, outsized family drama, cool shots of horses running, some but not nearly enough nudity.
I understand that you suffer from a really crappy worldwide reputation. I’ve heard that you’re the poorest country in the world. More people can name craters on the moon than can find you on a map. Let’s change that. Step one, come to Athens Uncharted. Step two, I’ll send you some money. It won’t be much money, but if you’re really as poor as they say, it should still help. Buy yourself something nice. Perhaps a solar farm (Dalton, GA.), a sturdy bridge or two, maybe a Teddy Bear.
It may seem like I’m making fun of you, and of course I am, but I make fun of everyone, so don’t take it personally. I appreciate the fact that two of your major exports are wine and tobacco (at least you’ve got your priorities straight). Also, much like Burma, you too make a lot of shoes. Maybe I’ve got more of a foot fetish than I’ve ever realized, but I continue to believe that anyone who makes shoes can’t be all that bad.
I’m concentrating really hard on you right now, Moldova. Google Athens Uncharted. Do it. Do it NOW!
I recommend that you check out Waterworld. Sure, it’s generally considered one of the worst movies ever made (and not in a loveable way), but that’s the point. Life may be rough in Moldova, but not as rough as it is in Waterworld.
I’ve wanted to visit you for years. Any country with a city named “Monkey River Town” is somewhere I want to be. You’re one of the more recently-de-Colonialized countries on the planet (1981) and I like seeing that burst of freedom. It usually comes served with a heaping portion of readily-available sex and binge drinking. Mayan ruins. Caribbean values. Seafood that’s never seen the inside of a freezer. Plus you’ve got jaguars.
I’m concentrating hard on you right now, Belize. Firefox Athens Uncharted. Do it. Do it NOW!
Since you’re a pretty laid-back country with an historical tie to the early 80’s, I recommend the movie The Big Chill. Sure, Kevin Costner plays a corpse in the movie and therefore doesn’t have any lines or much screen time, but it’s still a pretty good flick where people wear a lot of the same clothes and hairstyles as they did when you gained your independence from formerly-Great Britain.
I don’t want to stretch my psychic abilities too far, so we’ll stop with four. Zanzibar, Burma, Moldova, Belize, it’s all up to you now. I’ve written the article. I’ve sent out the vibes on the original Internet (the one with less pornography but also less Zuckerberg), it’s your turn to take the baton and run with it. Check out Athens Uncharted. Do it. Do it NOW!
Then we’ll talk.
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