“No helmet, no ride.”
It has been brought to my attention that riding camels (at least in Australia) has succumbed to political correctness. What is the world of adventure coming to? Tourists are now required to strap a pancake-like fibre-glass contraption on their obedient heads. YES! ... a little trip into the Oz desert on a camel is impossible without a camel helmet. How to spoil a perfect experience!
Camel riding insurance requirements have intervened. Tourism in Australia reaches a new low in spreading ‘civilization.’ For a look at bemused tourists “in those silly helmuts” see “Camels in Australia Part II,” Travel Blog (http://www.travelblog.org/Oceania/Australia/Northern-Territory/Ayers-Rock/blog-491142.html : accessed 2 May 2010), from Thomas Marshall’s book Our Summer in Australia and New Zealand.
This is a matter up with which Winston Churchill would not have put. Nor Gertrude Bell. Lord knows, a sensible sun hat suffices for all but mad dogs. Protesters, join me in the ranks of such revered adventurers.
Photograph 1921, Gertrude Bell Photographic Archive, Newcastle University, UK. Churchill is second from the left, beside Gertrude. Oh, and that's T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) on her other side.
Like we have rules about helmets for bicycle riding and snowboarding and everything else that’s fun. Fun, and possibly risky, but did we ask for big brother to imposed controls on personal decisions? Assuming we are mature adults? Oh, wait. It’s something to do with fear of litigation, right? Like you might sue your surgeon if he sewed you up leaving a rubber glove in your body somewhere south of your kidneys, right? Or the cost of keeping you hooked up to hospital tubes after you wiped out that tree on the ski hill, right?
My sister-in-law was in a camel fight and it wasn’t a helmet she needed. What was needed was a cushion on her backside which is precisely where she landed after the exciting brouhaha. I offer this as prima facie evidence that helmets are a waste of time and money. How many people fall off a camel onto their heads, I ask you.
Huff. And it’s the first time I’ve heard the expression “camel careerists”—the Ozzie guys who actually own the camels and lure the tourists for rides. Imagine a self-respecting Bedouin or Hindi, scrabbling for a meagre living, saying “No helmet, no ride.” This is cultural appropriation and setting a very bad global example.
For that matter, what is this political correctness sweeping the world where we are supposed to substitute euphemisms for every cultural-sensitive expression and have to revise history of the same and stop me before I’m foaming at the mouth.
Next thing you know, travel agencies will have a tick-off box about camel riding to warn the insurance company and then you know that buying and lugging your own camel-riding-helmet through the airport can’t be far behind.