Tuesday, February 12

Supertramp... Superapple

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
— Chris McCandless

I really enjoyed watching Into the Wild recently, although it's not a new movie.  I wish more that I had read it, since the story was so interesting, and I couldn't help but love the real life character of Chris McCandless.  Now, I did not know anything about this story, most importantly that (major spoiler coming right now....) he died in the end.  I don't think anyone can read this book or watch the movie without being fascinated with it, perhaps because you identify with him or because you don't, and really need to learn more about him.  I did that, and I have to say I was honestly unnerved at the reaction some had about his life/death.  That 99% of Alaskans feel like he was stupid, disrespectful of nature, inconsiderate and shouldn't be admired in any way.  Sure, he read maybe a little too much Thoreau and not enough books about how to live in the wild, that's obvious... BUT to act on your idealism is romantic regardless if foolish or in this case arguably suicidal.  I just simply find it unfortunate that things turned out that way for him, he could have really accomplished so much if he had survived his Great Alaskan Adventure, and I'd like to hear more stories where others have.  So no I don't believe comments on his not surviving are relevant if they are made from someone's living-room computer, having not accomplished one goddamn hard thing to do in their lifetime.  That or they never really had any ambition or desire to accomplish anything with themselves past get a job or get married.  How fulfilling!

Life the way it is today, too many kids (yeah I'm likely still somewhat of a KID) don't have any defining right of passage as there have been in so many cultures in the past.  I think it leaves us all looking aimlessly for a singular moment in time to point at, as if in their own life's map or constellation, where they realized adulthood.  So Chris McCandless wanted this, he had ideals about this, referring to it as the climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude his spiritual pilgrimage.  And he was a kid.  I remarked during the movie that if I were him, I would have marched my ass to Mountain Equipment Co-Op and spent all my money before ANY pilgrimage... but that is looking for sense in the otherwise senseless need and want to challenge yourself absolutely.  I think the only foolish thing about this was this bright young man giving himself far too many handicaps, which I think we all do to ourselves in some capacity, somehow.

1 Comment:

Ben said...

I've been curious about this movie.

You know, perhaps I'm something of a kindred spirit to this McCandless character... security, stability and conservatism have never been qualities that I've particularly aspired to achieve, much to the frustration of those who care about me. In fact, I'm not far from disappearing from the malaise that confounds me here...

I'll be sure to watch a Survivorman marathon before I go... and fill up on Pizza Depot so as to stave off hunger for a at least a day or two.

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