Da 482: Live Free Below Zero
I've fallen in love all over again.
Live Free or Die & Life Below Zero on NatGeo.
You should really check into some of these shows, if you don't already. This is reality TV at its best in my opinion. Small crews with little cameras that don't get in the way of the action, going out and documenting natures most interesting animal -man- in his most natural habitat. This isn't a scripted show like Hawaii Five-O or the Kardashians, these are shows centred around people who are living some of the most interesting lives on the planet; interesting for several reasons really, but the most profound for me is the one regarding how happy and chatty they all are.
If I told you there was a guy living on a mountain side somewhere in the States, who has renounced all modern pleasures, arming himself only with a hatchet and a few of the most basic essentials that you would have found in most ancient societies -should you go digging in any part of the earth to its lowest strata with complex organism material.. -and that he has been there for 8 months and seems completely and utterly at peace, would you believe me?
You should, because he's there, and it's a show, and it's interesting as hell.
This is not a homeless man, or a crazy person, or a degenerate. Far from it seems, from the one episode I watched. His daughter visits him. She might be eight or so. He gets her every second weekend. *So he's divorced I guess, which could drive anyone to the woods, but you don't get the sense from listening to him that he's there to hide from a Sharon Stone in Casino type of relationship. He's just very in tune with nature and himself. And his daughter enjoyed every minute of her experience out in the woods with her hillbilly bearded dad.. who may have had what appeared to be a legit elven cloak, though filthy and worn..
This is a man who has simply renounced all things, and evidently found peace. It might not last forever, this 'primitivism' as I believe he called it. He may one day find what he's looking for and go back out into the world to reinvest his energies, but no doubt he will be forever changed and will take the forest with him. A little like that scene near the end from Castaway, after he's been saved, where Tom Hanks sleeps on the floor next to the plush and comfy bed of the hotel room he's put in not quite ready to leave the island that shaped him.
That's good reality TV to me. Point a camera at something interesting, something that's happening now, and see how real people deal with it. Be patient. Stay with them a while. And then come out of that world and spend time editing it all together. It becomes a real piece of education for the rest of us, because it's truth unfolding. If it's allowed to become that.
Truth unfolding that helps the rest of us.
If tomorrow the world ends, I at least have the design for something called a 'rocket oven' in my head and could probably build it if I had to. Which is quite a bit more handy then I was yesterday.
When we sit around watching shows like the Kardashians or the Bachelorette.. though to be fair I haven't seen much of it- but the shows where it's just egos running around glorifying themselves for the sake of themselves, we learn nothing. When we learn nothing, we stagnate. And stagnation is entropy and entropy is just slow death.
And it's worse than learning nothing, some of these shows. Though I suppose even watching something like that can become a teaching moment... anyway, you perhaps see what I'm saying and have already made up your mind whether you agree or disagree anyway! So it doesn't matter!
The interesting thing I took away from watching it tonight is that the people who have placed themselves in these situations, these environments, when a MUCH easier lifestyle is readily available to them -especially given the work ethics and resourcefulness- are not the socially awkward, miserable people your imagination conjures them up to be in your mind. You would perhaps think of angry people suddenly flipping the finger to society and trudging off into the woods, grumbling all the way as they kick rocks around all day in anger until they fall asleep, only to do it all over again the next day, until 15 years pass and they get eaten by a bear.
Right? That's what you think of..
But they're not. They're happy, or seem so, and at the very least content, which is more than most of us can say about how we feel on a moment to moment basis. These people made looking through trash seem honourable. And it was, the way they went about it.
I watched another guy kill and gut a goat that had been given to him by the son of his spiritual master. He gutted it in a way I've never seen done before, and then pulled out each organ and explained what it was all for.. then he blew up its lungs like a balloon. Craziest thing I've ever seen. But then, I was already primed to enjoy these shows, which is why my father taped them for me and showed me a couple tonight, when everyone else went to bed.
It got me thinking about my own show, the Family Show, that has been percolating in my head of late. I had a pretty good little idea of how to get it going thanks to tonight. I reckon if this babysitter of ours, this dear, precious, saviour of a babysitter can get to us soon and start working her magic on the little Blaze, it might just steal me enough time to finish up what I want to get done with the memory work, so I'z can then'z begin learning what I need to learn whilst writing what I need to write and getting this whole production company idea up and off the ground lickity split like.
I mean, if you think about it, which I quite honestly don't, much, from this perspective.. have I not renounced a life of my own of late? A life of luxury and glamour and parties and general lavishness of a kind? Could I not be auditioning for other shows with an agent, and manager, and publicist, and yada, yada, yada pursuing other projects with countless other people?
Did I not only a week or so ago attempt to enter a consulate and try to willingly give up what so many actors and comedians in this country and STRIVING to get? The coveted Green Card to the ivory tower on the hill? Did I not do all of that and at the very same time start a family with a woman I've known longer pregnant than not?? And, also, in addition to, buy a house in the middle of the woods and generally start life all over again with an entire and sudden new direction?
Well then let me ask you this.. do I not also have access to little cameras that can be placed anywhere and everywhere, with access to drones that can get incredible shots that make the studios all shit in their pants? Do I not also have access to these things, and other talented people who like working on things such as this... well, I do, but the great thing with this idea is that I need none of them. None of them whatsoever. Not yet. I need only Jeannette and myself and Blaze, and a few others who won't even know what the hell I'm up to until it's too late and it's all done.
But all in time dear priminions. All in time.
The good gardner must first lay waste to his weeds before digging in and planting his seeds.