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just finished watching "Into the Wild"

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Callie McAllie Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:26 AM
Original message
just finished watching "Into the Wild"
What a film! It left me feeling really profoundly alone and fearful of my hermit-like tendancies. I've got to get out more, connect with people. I think sometimes the computer allows us to be even more alone than we already are, by providing an illusion of connection.
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PinkTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. The book is also very good.
I've taught the book to students. This is my take on the nut of the story:
Christopher McCandless was an extraordinary young man who felt alienated by society, and sought to prove that a person could make it without social interraction, or at least, without networking. His story, though, as told by Jon Krakauer, shows, ironically, that McCandless was most successful when he utilized his new friendships, collaborated with others, and took advantage of networking opportunities. He was woefully naive and unable to survive without help. If he had only known, for example, that he needed more food; if he had only known that the plant he was eating was actually killing him, rather than sustaining him; and if he had known how to field dress an animal -- of course this is actually refuted by some scholars, who say McCandless simply starved from lack of food and was not the victim of a poison plant.
But in any case, the real point of the story is the irony that humans need each other to survive.


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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. SO true
you know I have hermit tendencies too, but the scial creature in me always wins in the end.

we were mads to live in community. Remember hat the worst thing that could happen as a tribe member in the ancient times was to be exiled and forced to live alone. Most who were put out of their tribe found another band to run with. We are so much like our brothers the wolves... to be alone is really the worst thing that can happen to us.

and this is coming from the girl who would like to sit on the mountaintop for 300 years...but that only works in theory. we work best as a comunity, because we all have such diferent gifts!

PS - I haven't seen the movie yet or read the book, but it may be next on my list!
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PinkTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. My suggestion is to read the book.
the movie is good, but the story seems so different. Watching it last allowed me to enjoy it all more. And the book has a lot more in it than the movie does.

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Since I like to live in wilderness areas myself, there is a little secret that
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 03:52 PM by Cleita
people who do go out into the woods to live, also look after each other. They don't live like hermits. They actually have tighter bonds than city people. In the city I seldom knew my neighbors and an axe murderer could have done me in an no one would have paid any attention to the screams because frankly you hear stuff like this all the time and it's usually a husband and wife yelling at each other or at their kids. But in the woods, you have to help each other especially in winter when you could get snowed in and you need your neighbor with the snowmobile to come and help you out or you could break ice on the lake and maybe even drown if you can't get hold of someone nearby on your CB to help you out. (People who have access to their homes only by boat on some of the bigger lakes in the northwest, have to drive over the ice in winter. Every year a couple of people get lost on thin ice then the community joins together to help the widow.)

I haven't read the book but I think I know who you were talking about because there was a TV story about it. This young man was very unprepared to brave the wilderness alone. He really needed to listen to the locals.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. I loved that movie.
It was a 20/20 or Dateline or 60 Minutes show several years ago not long after he died. I knew the story, but watched the movie, only because a friend of mine, who lives at Slab City, told me that Slab City was in the movie! I didn't realize it would be a movie of this kid's adventures in Alaska. I'm so glad it was. I really enjoyed it.

The separation from his family, once he realized that they weren't all bad and that he needed them, was so painful. Watching that rushing river and the disappointment on his face really hurt.

Lots of lessons there, though. Research where you're going. He was pretty blind and naive about what he was doing. It was so cool he wrote and took lots of pictures, though, otherwise we would never know what happened. The documentation of it was what made it so sensational.

And, yeah, connect to people. I'm a hermit myself, and I think you're right - we feel connected with the internet even though we spend a lot of time alone. It's a weird paradox, but the fabric of the 21st century.
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Callie McAllie Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yes, that rushing river bit made me so sad
He was finally ready to leave, and he couldn't. There were so many places in that move that I go back to and think "if only..." he had done this or that, he might have lived.

But I like to think that maybe the son of that woman at Slab City saw the movie and got in touch with his mother afterward.

The other thing that really struck me was that everyone wanted to take him in. Everyone he met wanted him to stay, to be part of their family, but he couldn't do it.

It's about control, to me. If you agree to be in a relationship with someone else, you have to give up a little control. He couldn't do that. But in the end, it was clear that none of us has complete control, no matter what illusions of control we may create for ourselves.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. There really are no 'what ifs' unfortunately.
I googled him and read his story on Wikipedia. He did have a map, but he left it on the dashboard of the truck of the guy who dropped him off up there. That was no accident. It was his time to experience what he experienced then die. I always have to keep that in mind when I'm tempted to play the what-if game.

I absolutely respect his need to want to experience solitude, like Thoreau, and to blow off the establishment, like we did in the 60s. I resonate with him and his ideals. I have even traveled like he did, from place to place, just passing through. I'm surprised I never got to Slab City! I wintered in Tucson. There is so much freedom is traveling like that. After a few years, I yearned for a sewing machine and a big garden, so I stopped. I still love a road trip, but I'm always eager to get home.

He was, too, once he found what he went there to find, I guess. I saw the movie a long time ago, so I don't remember exactly, but he was sitting outside the bus and had this ah-ha moment, and I think it was summed up in one quote. You'll have to refresh my memory. But after that revelation, he was ready to go home. He was searching for something spiritual in his travels, and when he found it, he was done. It was very profound, and I was so happy for him. Perhaps it was that revelation that was his purpose for living. Once he found it, he could go.


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Callie McAllie Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. "Happiness is not real unless it is shared."
Not sure if this is the quote you mean, he wrote it into one of his books, after he couldn't cross the river I think. It certainly struck me as profound.

When I was just out of college, as he was, I also wanted to run off to the wilderness. I had fantasies of moving to New England, weaving my own cloth, making my own clothes, growing my own food.

Of course, I knew I'd never be able to survive like that, so I quit the job that I hated and did a stint as a bartender instead. :-)
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. He finally realized he needed to connect instead of isolate himself.
And he couldn't get home. It must have been agonizing. Fortunately, all of us who read the book or saw the movie get to benefit from his spiritual travels and insights. Hey, bartending is sharing the happiness! That was one of my favorite jobs...


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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Looks really good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LAuzT_x8Ek

Even though he died young, I would wager he lived more than most people ever will.

If he was eating a poisonous plant, he should have read something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Browns-Field-Guide-Wilderness-Sur...

Thanks to Metta for tuning me into Tom Brown.
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