Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nature & the Outdoors vrs the Social Media's Borg Collective Mentality

Staying Peaceful in an Angry World. How ???
Image - citizenmedia.eu

The scene above is Toronto, Canada, 2010 G-20 Summit and the spectators, gawkers & other malcontents are recording the burning of a police car. This theme seems to be a common everyday occurence now being played out somewhere in our modern world and showing up on television or youtube. If these bad events weren't terrible enough on their own, another freaky phenomena is there are many wannbe citizen journalists out there who take time out from their selfies to be the first to record & publish some tragic occurence as it unfolds onto their flavourite social meda page. In fact this new perverted obsession has quickly become the latest hobby for those who are otherwise nature and outdoor challenged. It's bad enough that all of mankind are subjected to all manner of regular dirt from the conventional News outlets, but now the social networking sites offer a glimmer of hope to the average person wanting instant viral video fame. The total tonnage of riots and protests happening right now over every tiny little real or imagined social issue has caused many to want to be a part of the cultural experience. In this obsession to become a social media celebrity darling (even for a small moment), many people will participate in these violent protests, even to the point of going so far as to deliberately instigate a violent reaction from one of their oppsition protesters and/or police officers hopes of receiving some type of injury to be documented on video for the media. They view such an experience as a sort of twisted badge of honor. Suddenly becoming a victim provides a sort of status symbol among your imaginary social media friends & if you play your cards right, you might even find the right ambulance chasing lawyer & hit the Lotto. True we can't blame all this on electronic devices and social media outlets, but it certainly has helped to fan the flames of decadent behviour in our world and making things worse. Clever marketing hasn't exactly hurt either. It's kinda like how climate change has brought us extreme weather wind events that have brought us record breaking wildfires like the world has never seen before.
Then there is another issue of the type of subject content the film industry throws out there as entertainment. Most of it is garbage and doesn't exactly leave people walking away feeling good about themselves after watching. Interestingly, many modern day secular people out there generally claim to be skeptical about anything related to the subject about the supernatural and yet they have no problem allowing themselves to be addicted to entertainment loaded with the supernatural or violent junk the film industry spews out there. It isn't just Hollywood films, but also a variety of books, magazines, and video games which present war, sexual content or supernatural world as harmless fun. Some experts out there are now suggesting that the way TV shows and movies portray many of this subject matter is having strong influence what many people believe and how they conduct themselves. Watching the News and seeing the degraded decadent behaviour of many of these mass protesters all around the globe one has to wonder if maybe the experts are really on to something. But how can the average everyday decent person escape all this ? Since almost no one is willing to give up their precious electronic devices, maybe there's a proper way to put them to better use.
Finding more peaceful ways to use electronic devices wisely
Bill Mason's small Wanigan from "Waterwalker".

I stumbled quite by accident this 1984 feature-length documentary follows the naturalist Bill Mason on his journey by canoe into the Ontario wilderness. I had serious never seen this documentary or heard of this man before. The filmmaker and artist begins on Lake Superior, then explores winding and sometimes tortuous river waters to the meadowlands of the river's source. Along the way, Bill Mason paints scenes that capture his attention and muses about his love of canoing, his artwork and his own sense of the land. Bill Mason also uses the film as a commentary on the link between his God and nature and the vast array of beautiful canvases God created for him to paint. He reflects on some of the early Native Americans sayings and what they may have seen before the modern world changed everything. The film features breathtaking visuals and exciting whitewater footage, with a musical score by Bruce Cockburn. I really enjoyed the music. If you have 87 minutes to kill on a rainy day, this is an excellent film to watch. Interestingly, the film received a rating of 8.1 out of 10.


Exploring Yellowstone’s wildlife migrations through Science and Art
This next film I also really enjoyed. It documents never before followed migration of Yellowstone's Elk herds over high mountain trails to winter pastures at lower elevations. My only disappointment in the film is that it just wasn't long enough. Could have followed this for hours more.  Below are a a photo and couple of paragraphs from the story's link.

Arthur Middleton treks through Yellowstone. (Photo by Joe Riis)
"A new film produced by a UC Berkeley professor takes viewers on an incredible journey with elk herds on their migration from Wyoming’s ranch lands to Yellowstone’s high-alpine meadows.   
The film, Elk River, is directed by filmmaker Jenny Nichols and Joe Riis and produced by Berkeley’s Arthur Middleton, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Middleton teamed up with Riis, who is also a photographer, and artist James Prosek to follow these remarkable ungulates on their journey as they trek over steep mountain passes and ford treacherous river crossings. Along the way, this band of explorers meets backcountry guides, cattle ranchers, and the occasional grizzly bear whose lives are intricately tied to the fate of the elk and other migratory ungulates that live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Watch the film below."
(Source: UC Berkeley)



Laurens Walking - Angelo Badalamenti (The Straight Story)
Not sure if many people actually saw the true story docu-drama, "The Straight Story," which starred Richard Farnsworth who plays Alvin Straight who is an elderly World War II veteran who lives with his daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek), a kind woman with a mental disability in a town called Laurens in western Iowa. When Alvin hears that his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has a strokeAlvin makes up his mind to go visit him and hopefully make amends before he dies. Because Alvin's legs and eyes are too impaired for him to receive a driving license, he hitches a trailer to his recently purchased thirty-year-old John Deere 110 Lawn Mower Tractor, having a maximum speed of about 5 miles per hour, and sets off on the 240 mile journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin. This video below isn't the movie, but one of my favourite pieces played as it's theme throughout the adventure.



The music by Angelo Badalamenti is a kind of eulogy in slowness. I'm always accused of liking films that are slow. Not so much action. But this music is so soothing to me because of it's beautiful farm scenery for which I am so familiar with back there in northeastern Iowa where I sspent alot of summer youth and inlater years Fall and Winters. The music couple with visuals bring back the fresh fragrance of the land, sound of grain elevators, smell of home cooking at those small town cafes who still cook from scratch and the neighbourly culture of people to strangers which is lacking in today's hate filled world. Well, for me anyway, it's a kind of relaxing escape I play once in a while. 😑

Huell Hower's, "California's Gold" video Archive!
Image from KCET
Chapman University: Huell Howser Video Archives
From The Archive Page:
"Welcome to the Huell Howser California’s Gold Archive, a special collection of Huell Howser’s entire California’s Gold television series, presented by Chapman University."  
"Search for favorite episodes by entering key words in the search box. You can also look at episodes by series topic, such as Missions, Palm Springs or Water. Or, you can search by date of the episodes." 
"Howdy and have fun"
The Huell Hower "California's Gold" video episodes (and there are 100s of them) are another way of pleasant wholesome escape. They allow you to view places you'd never thought of being interested in visiting before. In the old days before electronics when I lived up in the San Jacinto Mountains, I subscribed to the Arizona Highways magazine and often would take trips to places I had read about. The Huell Howser programs can inspire the same spirit of adventure. I'll post more interesting videos and subject matter within this post as time goes on, but for now these three will provide quite a lot of healthy entertainment time away from all the present activist violent protests, irrespective of the ideological politically driven cause behind them. 












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