TWO bits of news, one maybe more surprising than the other.
Benidorm is applying for Unesco world heritage status! This would place the resort alongside sites such as the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Pyramids of Giza.
Now, Benidorm’s a far more interesting place than it’s given credit for. Formerly a fishing village, it was a pioneer of high-rise holidays near the sea primarily aimed at the residents of major Spanish cities, though naturally it attracts a wide range of other nationalities too. It’s got great promenades, sandy beaches and good restaurants in the old town.
This isn’t the first time Benidorm’s been portrayed as a world heritage site. In 2008, a French professor championed the high-rise resort as the ‘Dubai of Europe’.
Benidorm is undoubtedly a successful example of one kind of mass tourism. Does this make it a heritage site? I’m not convinced.
And the other less surprising news? That teenagers, being teenagers, are replacing old forms of ‘text speak’ for emojis (cartoon-like pictures illustrating electronic messages) and new code words. Fleek (looking good) is popular as is FOMO (fear of missing out) and Bae (a romantic term of endearment). And my response? TGUOD (they’ll grow up one day!). This, then, together with the proposal to allow students to use Google in exams! Since kids are already geniuses at Googling things, the temptation must now be: why bother to learn anything at all?
Some claim that the skin-deep, fly-leaf skimming nature of the internet is already a major problem. The speed of news development via social networks means we know more, learn little and remember even less. We live now in such a very easy environment in which to tell a lie and then move on – a trick mastered by recent political spin doctors.
And Plato complained that writing would destroy memory! Or was that Archimedes? I can’t remember …
Nora Johnson’s thrillers Landscape of Lies, Retribution, Soul Stealer, The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon. Profits to Cudeca.