Posts in category: Speakers’ Corner

Bad Taste

South Africa: Human Dignity for Sale?

4.12.2013

A “long drop” from propriety

A hotel resort in South Africa insists that this is ‘an experience of a lifetime’: staying at their imitated Shanty Town! This offer is cynical, tactless, disrespectful and simply outrageous and it mocks the destitute population living at the margins of native society. The related website shows more than 2000 likes!

goodmeetings.com draws two equally disconcerting scenarios for phoney-poverty seeking guests, whose contorted assessment of the actual conditions inside a Shanty Town seems to be light-years away from reality:

1. Poverty – the fake: ‘Becoming poor’ as a pastime

Yippee! Isn’t that exciting?! Contain yourselves, please! Not really poor, of course, just pretending to be poor for the „fun“ of it, inside a hotel Shanty Town established especially for those hopelessly saturated by affluence. Those now craving to sample the gourmet side of poverty for the ultimate kick. With invisible floor-heating, running water and wireless internet access for the comfort they would not miss for anything in the world – not even when voluntarily poor, albeit mercifully temporary! After all, this is ‘the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with such luxury’! They also provide you with a ‘long drop effect toilet’. Emphasis on effect. It’s not the genuine thing, but then again: genuine is not what you are looking for. Moreover, you are probably being given some candles and old-fashioned paraffin lamps to help you douse your hut in a romantic light and – just like in any truly desolate slum – you can kindle a crackling fire in a rusted old barrel drum and leisurely ‘braai’ yourselves senseless open-air every day in any weather…
(quote hotel)… within the safe environment of a private game reserve that is ideal for team building, braais and fancy theme parties. (Quote ends)

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