Friday, May 25, 2007

No Fear. No Sense. A bit of loathing in Alaska.

Did you see the film where the bear(s) ate the guy and his girlfriend? It was odd in that the guy who was eaten was actually making this movie about how these particular bears were like minded creatures and it was his mission to live among them in the summer time and then spend the rest of the year giving presentations to increase bear awareness.   All in all, this seemed like a harmless endeavor because these particular bears were living in a protected area of Alaska, a park really, and they just lived their lives as bears had lived for hundreds or thousands of years and, other than a few bear sighting trips given by local guides, licensed to do this by The Park Service, no one really got in the way. Well the film guy and his friend, they did.  

 It was not very hard to make a comparison between this bear lover and the late writer Hunter S Thompson who, at one time, got close to the Hells Angels Motor Cycle Club to the point that he felt a certain kinship with the bikers. Well, he got in the way too, and a group of the Hells Angels attacked.  They might have killed him too, but the mood passed and they quit. The bear man did not have the luxury of his assailants showing a bit of self restraint, once they determined to get him. I guess that some people become enamored with the lifestyles and general affairs of the tougher animals be they controlled either by society or the laws of nature.  After all,  Angel Boss Ralph "Sonny" Barger was once a babe in arms and bears start out as the cutest creatures. To some, this logic is enough to a body think he or she has a special skill or unique grasp of the situation, so its OK to just jump in the swim. Both Thompson and the bear guy had that certain conceit which made hanging your hat in a danger zone seem OK.   I will hazard a guess that neither HST nor the Grizzly Man had done much, if any, bad boy stuff as youngsters. In fact, it might have done both major good to have done time in the Juvenal Justice System (Reform School) where the thirst for dangerous living could have been tempered by the acquisition of some street smarts. In other words, it should have been painfully obvious (not the other way round) that there is no percentage gained by sticking your nose into a "closed shop" <–––trade union lingo.

What about women? They often can keep things in line, being the survivors and keepers of the societal flame.  I don't really know that much about girls, just the obvious stuff, and when some man says "Women like it when you..." I usually tune him out because I don't think one person can be all that certain in regard to what might move a whole gender.  Of course I am making the assumption that everyone has a basic understanding that people like it when you treat them in a courteous manner and refrain from exhibiting unexpected or uncommon behaviors. 

The grizzly man's sweetheart was an educated and ambitious person who liked adventure, however; seeing her posture around the bears, even the summer bears, one would feel that she was not in the least bit comfortable and it seems as though her plan was to get as far away from Alaska and Mr. Grizz as possible ASAP. She almost made it too and would have, had it not been for the bitchy demeanor of the GM whose tantrum, at an airline ticket counter, forced the couple to book a later flight and therefore return to the most hostile of all the bear hangouts. 

Thompson? He married more than once, had at least one son, but never seems to profile any women in his books.  It seemed to me that the writer, who was following the Sex, Drugs, Rock, Roll and political-science beat for Rolling Stone Magazine, must have been letting some good ink go dry in not talking about the female involvement in those topics, given that it was considerable in more ways than the sexual issue.  For a lot of men, I guess that is where it just stops, and that is too bad.  

So do all these words come down to "Mind your own beeswax"?  Probably, but I am somewhat motivated by a certain penchant that we humans have for suddenly lashing out when an invisible barrier is stretched or pierced.  In that way we are, in my opinion, showing real kinship with the other beasts.  Have you ever been fooling with a dog or cat and have the animal suddenly snap at you? Or have you ever been on the edge of a conversation  between two people where you feel you are involved enough to make some harmless comment only to have one person jump you with the "You don't know me well enough!" thing?  If you have been unlucky enough for that to happen, then you know that you did not see it coming and had no Idea you were "out of line." While I really can't imagine being so rude and am extremely kind to animals ( excepting bears) these outbursts have occurred one or two times and left me physically or emotionally "clawed."  Some kind of defense?  Animal Magnetism at work?  Or maybe someone is just an asshole.  Thing is, snaps like that got the Grizzly Man and his sweetheart killed and almost cost us the pleasure of Dr. Thompson's better efforts and did cause the man's death when snapped himself or caught his limit, one.  This life we are in?  Well,  it's a caution to be sure.

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