Every once in awhile I obsess over things. Sometimes it’s a T.V. show, actor, character or a book but I usually forget about it after a little bit. I probably become preoccupied with something else. The one person that has popped up on my obsessive radar more than once is Chris McCandless. This young “asthetic voyager” left behind his old life of privilege to live on the road and in a Henry David Thoreau-like existence. His goal was to make it in the Alaskan wilderness. Well, he made it to Alaska but he didn’t make it at living there. At the age of 24 he died of starvation in a bus that was converted as a backcountry shelter.
I’ve read the Outside article and the book that spun out of that article both written by Jon Krakauer. I’ve followed off and on the press that this young man received since he died in August of 1992. Recently, I watched the Sean Penn film based on the book and that, of course, got me all engrossed about Chris and his story all over again. In my obsessiveness (thank you internets!) I found the documentary “Call of the Wild” which I ordered because Netflix didn’t carry it (remember I’m haunted by this guy) after watching the film it helped me connect to Chris even more so.
When I heard about Chris I was out of high school in the process of transferring from junior college to a small school in North Carolina. My intended major was outdoor recreation/outdoor education and my initial take on the guy was that he was a little lot delusional and idealized or romanticized the wild and nature too much. Those of us in the O.E. program were focused on safety, preparedness and lessons that could be learned and taken home with us. I believe none of these things were on Chris’ radar at all.
After watching the documentary film I’ve looked at the whole situation a little different. The filmmaker takes a look at Generation X and how growing up(both he and Chris are the same age) as a part of that generation may have played into his actions. I, too, didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was a little cynical and was disillusioned by school and people. I wanted nothing more than to just go into the woods or be a monk or something. So, in one aspect I respect the guy for actually following his dreams of solitude. But, on the other hand, he’s a schmuck.
But how is it his story keeps on living? What is it about this ill-prepared intellectual that keeps him at the back of my mind?
I’m not sure I have any answers to those questions yet. I do, however, recommend seeing the documentary which I own or you can order a copy here. Where the Sean Penn film romanticizes Chris McCandless the Ron Lamothe documentary tries to get to the heart of why Chris may have headed out to the wilderness and Ron poses some interesting new ideas about Chris’ situation as well.
Here are some of my favs:
Try to absorb as much of the radiation as possible with your groin region. After 5 minutes and 12 seconds, however, you may become sterile.
If you are sprayed with an unknown substance, stand and think about a cool design for a new tattoo.
If you spot terrorism, blow your anti-terrorism whistle. If you are Vin Diesel, yell really loud.
If you have set yourself on fire, do not run.
Hurricanes, animal corpses and your potential new tattoo have a lot in common. Think about it.
If you spot a terrorist arrow, pin it against the wall with your shoulder.
We always thought there was something wrong with Texans.
Use your flashlight to lift the walls right off of you!
After exposure to radiation it is important to consider that you may have mutated to gigantic dimensions: watch your head.
Stephen Moseley over at CoolPeopleCare twittered his experiences of being a single parent for 36 hours. I am coming to the close of my time being a single parent and it is extremely hard especially when work and school is a factor. I would much rather have had the weekend to be the full-time daddy. Today, alone, I believe my head almost exploded three or four times. And that was just this morning getting ready to take the Young Extroverted One to work with me to get some things done before I took her to school.
Alright, the Elder Extroverted Holy One just called and said that she and the Bobblehead are leaving Montreat now. Hopefully, by the time I pick up the YEO we’ll be a complete family again. Single parents out there need some sort of huge award. Monetary in nature would be preferable.
I had to revert back to looking through my moleskine to get some writing mojo. I just came across a little entry I wrote while I was up in Schaumburg, IL for some sales training.
It must have been my second night in my hotel room because I got to the hotel way too late on the first night and I just passed out. But, it was 11:00PM and I was channel surfing through the small amount of channels this hotel had and came across Oprah. I have no idea why Oprah was on at 11 o’clock at night. Maybe they have a 24-hour Oprah channel in the Chicago-land area? I really don’t remember why I stopped on this channel but Oprah gave a little tease of what was up next after the commercials.
She was talking about survival and what you would do in certain situations to survive. I thought to myself, “Self? This should be pretty cool.” Considering I like surviving in all situations and the guest is probably someone cool like Les Stroud. Do you know who it was? LEEZA GIBBONS?!?!? WTF? Did she recently become the ‘survival queen’ and I didn’t get the memo? Needless to say, I was too aghast to continue watching. So, I ended up watching something else as I fell asleep dreaming of being stuck on the roof of a high rise inferno as Leeza swooped down to save me. Good times. . .