NFR: Into the Wild, Matthew Wilson gone missing

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by wadin' boot, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. David Prutsman

    David Prutsman All men are equal before fish

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    You make an extremely valid point, difficult to disagree with, well done. I guess what irks me is when leaders fail to consider the well being of the men following them, such as Shakelton and Scott. Amundsens first priority was the safety of his men.
     
  2. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Knud Rasmussen was no slouch either.

    JonB
     
  3. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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    My girlfriend bought me the documentary "Deep Water" for Christmas - good film about Crowhurst and the 68 Golden Globe. Really interesting. Having spent a few weeks on a small boat in the middle of the ocean, I feel for the guy. Not hard to imagine how you could go mad out there with just your thoughts... especially with the pressure he was under.
     
  4. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    So Boot,

    I’ve been watching this thread since you started it and finally stopped using the speed reading method and reread it correctly to uncover which way you were going on this. I’m assuming you’re intrigued by the idea of just cutting oneself off from society and bailing out for the wilderness. It would seem Matthew, and the others mentioned, found it necessary to leave for whatever reason. With what goes on in schools regarding peer backlash or the overwhelming burden of becoming a productive member in society when faced with the fact that only the one percent of the richest people will get richer while the rest of us peck out some modicum of a living, it’s a wonder that more people don’t cut and run for the woods. Knowing that Dick Cheney is the only one really in charge at the white house, is enough to scare anyone.

    In my case, I remember getting my own copy of The Other Side of The Mountain as a kid and as an adult, I’ve had to face the reality of giving 1/3 of my income to support my kids (via a divorce) which only enhances the lure of living alone in the wilderness. I just can’t stand the thought of leaving my kids or my meager job as a nurse. In other words, the young and the very old depend on me, but everyone in between can go fick themselves. So on I trudge. But I do fantasize about living alone in AK. Eight years in the Army (not health care) and growing up in the outdoors would certainly prepare me a bit more. Find an old mining tunnel or some other shelter. I like eating so a .22 is out of the question, besides one might run out of ammo. Dig a big pit with pongee sticks and drive mammals into it. Forget the fly rod, I’m gill netting. I wouldn’t leave a digital trail of ATM withdraws right up to the pacific crest. I’d probably hike hand tools up to a staging area cuz I like fires. Maybe use packhorses to bring what I would need and then eat the horses when I wintered over. I’d have to do the research on edibles. Screw medical supplies cuz I’d accept death up there in any form. I mean, if you were to check out of society, you might as well accept checking out all the way if you didn’t have the skills. But I’d miss my kids. I just couldn’t do it. Doesn’t mean I don’t think about it though.

    Don’t have any personal stories, but I’ll bet there are people up there now. It might be kind of cool to find them and write their stories. I imagine he or they would be kind of gamy smelling all covered in animal hides cuz all the clothes would have rotted away. To some extent, they would be a lot freer than any of us. It wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
     
  5. MarkM

    MarkM New Member

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    You mentioned Survivorman earlier in this thread. That's an awesome show and has many really useful tips for survival. Not sure if you saw the show where he's based in Alaska on a kayak and he eats a rotten fish that some eagle dropped. I think my favorite tip is how to make a prison match with tissue, lint from a sock and a spark.
     
  6. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

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    Into The Wild was one of the first books I read when I first started crabbing in the Bering Sea of AK. It was recommended by my engineer as a book I should read. I read it on my first trip crossing the Gulf of Alaska. Not a fun crossing in a 108 ft Marco boat in average sea's of 25ft a crossing that takes about 10 days. I myself had that calling to go up to AL by myself and my adventure was fishing for red king crab, opilio (snow crab) and brown king crab. While I didn't just wander out into the wilderness, I did embark on some wild times. Being in the Bering Sea I've never been so scared in my life and yet felt so alive in the same moment. Taking shift in 30 ft plus waves in the dark, looking out one tiny window that was heated, while all others were covered in snow and/or frozen. Watching the swells under the sodium lights start to break then engulfing the whole bow making a huge rumbling and washing back on the very window I was looking out. It was an addiction for me at the time. When I got home I swore I'd never go back and when it got close to going I would get so excited it was hard to sleep at night. Crab fishing wasn't just a job it was a life style. Working on deck wasn't like work it was more like a game of how far you could go mentally and physically. There were times I just didn't think I could go on anymore and yet some how you seen to be able to reach down and gather inner strength to keep going. My engineer gave me other books to read as well. I think his point in this was to show me how one could go and test themselves to the extreme and survive to fight another day.
     
  7. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    With all due respect, that is absolutely pathetic. We, as a society, are currently enjoying the highest standard of living in human history. Our life expectancy is increasing. The number of choices and opportunities available to people today is staggering in its enormity. We have comfort and free time our ancestors couldn't even dream about.

    I sometimes wonder if we are more challenged by the ease with which we float through our lives than any of the numerous difficulties we choose to focus on. Perhaps this is why we are so fascinated by stories of people who have braved the forces of nature and succeeded in the face of natural adversity.

    It's so much easier to fantasize about conquering nature than it is to face the drudgery of this cushy existence. I would opine that a person who is unable to carve out a good living in this world where we are almost totally insulated form discomfort, is singularly unfit to survive in the wilderness.

    If one employed, in this world, even half of the courage, determination and strength it would take to survive in the wilderness this person would easily rise above the crowd of drones who complain about their lousy lot in life.

    Reach for your bootstraps, Matt, and start pulling!

    JonB
     
  8. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    With all the respect you deserve, my bootstraps are fine right where they are. I make a good living doing something that helps my fellow man instead of taking from it and I’m happy. Very few people can say that. We may think we are enjoying a better standard of living, but the reality is that there are more homeless and starving people in America. It’s so competitive out there, the panhandlers with better hooks on their cardboard signs, like ‘my wife had a better lawyer” get more money tossed at them. If we were really living in a better world, we wouldn’t be seeing more and more incidents of children killing their classmates with guns. “Going postal” is no longer used because disgruntled employees blow away their coworkers on a routine basis at any type of workplace, not just the P.O. Try telling the kids in the central district this is the land of opportunity, but don’t wear anything red or blue. When I was growing up, my folks didn’t have to warn me about sexual predators released into society who wanted to sodomize my asshole. I didn’t have to walk through metal detectors when I went to school. You could walk around the pike place market with money hanging out your pocket. Now, there are people who lean up against walls staring at the tourists, but they are not looking at them as much as the camera equipment around their necks and adding up how much they could get for it from the meth dealer. Deregulation has enabled the lower class to pay 25% in taxes while the upper classes only pays 17% via legal loopholes. Jobs are going overseas and on and on it goes. People like Matthew and others with issues that make it impossible to deal with society are slipping through the cracks everyday and the number is growing. Why? Because it isn’t profitable to correct these problems. What is pathetic is that people believe the preprogrammed news media and what they hear at the young republican meetings. How can what is happening to Britney Spears be more important than the children dying overseas for OUR oil and diamonds? Still, I’d rather be an American hoping we get it right someday and I’ll stand right behind you backing up your right to your opinion with my shotgun.
     
  9. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

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    Matt, you hit the nail on the head. (I'm gamey smelling this morning, not mountain-man or fat bastard gamey though) The idea of going out into the wild is in many cultures- Aboriginals with the Walkabout, the Iniut with Vision quests there are probably a bunch more terms but I don't know them. I'd argue it's cross cultural because it hardwires an adolescent's realization of how hard it is to procure food, day after day, and how it's easier when you're on a team. That realization would be the first milestone of adulthood.

    In this age, that milestone and its implications are unfortunately very small. Food is cheap and the time gained not procuring is abundant. Filling in that extra time, that's the tough part. It becomes the seond milestone: How do you improve your society in a way that is meaningful and that sustains your mind and its stability?

    So the public McCandless story, and maybe Matthew Wilson's too, has some fundamental draw to it, they are or were on the threshold of that first milestone, and McCandless at least, made it the original hard question it ought to be. And the second question, well I would argue you can't answer that in three months, that's a lifelong one and one that is not well approached in our schools.

    There's a million angles. How will it turn out, do these guys remain free or do they reconnect with society? Are they self-absorbed jerks or heroes? Are we emphasizing rote memory skills and standardized test-taking and "the building of self-esteem" without building fundamental skills of self reliance and independence? How is it that some engineering undergrads don't know a nut from a bolt? Why are applications for hunting, fishing or even small plane licenses falling? Should kids still be booted into the wild and be made to find proverbial food? How do you get a kid to realize their "Myspace" is an ether world? Are there perpetual adolescents and how can we shoot them? Do you get wisdom or can it be taught? How do you unlearn a set of rotten assumptions your family might come with? Why do adults wear sweatshirts with Disney characters on them? How do you get someone to pose a good, original question and then answer it in a way that improves us all?

    Matt- you got Mark Graham's Crab boat story, B Jofus G's friend in the Rockies, Hick's pal Ben, Hartman's three day adventure- these are all variants on this story, but I bet you are right, there are probably some guys out there in the way back (or downtown)...and I bet the only thing we could say for sure about them... they aren't fat....
     
  10. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Matt,
    I read your post, then I went back and re-read my post, then your post again. The juxtaposition of our 2 world views is striking. You seem to have identified very much of what is wrong with the world as you see it. I choose, for myself, to focus on what is right with the world and build on that. Thank you for your service to our country and bless you for being a caregiver.
    Best wishes!

    JonB
     
  11. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    Only in America brother.
     
  12. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Huh?:confused:

    JonB
     
  13. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    Only in America can you have such a wide variety thoughts and ideas.
     
  14. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    Boot wrote:
    How basic is this impulse when it seems to cut across all political and economic barriers? You can see the same wild eyed gaze on the faces of survivalist wannabes at a WAC gunshow as you see on the grubby faces of the back to nature granola munchers. It seems like the driving impetus is more a rejection of our society than a rite of passage that would teach the value of teamwork.

    I know of a guy who lives in the woods on Ft. Lewis who (dys)functions more like a parasite than a visionary. Being as how it's nearly impossible to escape the influence of civilization, much of the panache of these "vision quests" disappears when you consider the finely woven social safety net that is strung under all of us including the modern mountain recluse who has only a few miles to the nearest road.

    The Ft. Lewis guy is perhaps more at risk than the mountain recluse because he has made himself an "untouchable" and has become invisible to (nearly) all of us. The guy who sneeks off to the woods to escape society or pursue his "vision" or go "walkabout" is on the national news for chrissakes!

    In either case the motivation appears more to be a rejection of modern society than a journey in search of something. Perhaps they are both running from the same demons?
    Not entirely convinced, just thinking out loud.

    JonB
     
  15. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    People do that every day. I took a 2 week vacation in the carribian to reject modern society. A guy can only sit behind a computer in a stuffy office for so long. I still don't see the problem. Hell if I could have, I would have stayed there, parked my ass on a beach, and fished every day until something in the ocean ate me or I droped dead from a rum and coke overdose :) I guess I don't get what the big deal is about disappearing into nature for an indefinate amount of time. Maybe it's because I'm confident in my ability to survive it. Believe me, If I didn't have a family to provide for I'd be down for it in a milisecond with no second thoughts. :beer2: