Into the Wild is an in depth look into the journey of Chris McCandless/Alexander Supertramp. It also chronicles a few other adventurers who may have met similar ends and what drove them in their seeking. The movie, from what I remember, seemed to have romanticized the whole thing, but Krakauer’s book effectively strips away the Hollywood veneer, revealing a haunting experience. Krakauer brings up a good point, that most of the people who most vocally criticized Chris have not come close to being tested the way he was tested. He managed to survive for 114 days out in wilderness that creeped out Krakauer, himself an accomplished outdoorsman. Sometimes I think I shouldn’t read books like Into the Wild because they bring up the worst questions: Am I truly living or am I just getting by? What does it even mean to be truly alive? Or to live truly? Usually I don’t have to face these questions because I have plenty of distractions, I have to work, I have to get groceries, I have to update my various online platforms, I have to meet up with someone, and so on. But then a book like this comes along and it’s kind of like clouds being blown away and being under a cold harsh sun, even if just for a little bit. Yeah, I can see, but it is terrifying.
One of the my favorite things to watch is the preliminary rounds of America’s Got Talent. My favorite acts tend to be the more sideshow like, the more grotesque stuff, and of course I love a good magic trick. The new season just started, and who should I see on the first episode but one of my favorite performers, Puddles Pity Party, “the sad clown with the golden voice.” Just this past St. Patrick’s Day I celebrated by having precisely one Guinness and listening to this:
I know that clowns have a pretty bad rap nowadays, but here’s a great essay on clowning by Mairead Case on clowning.