Tag: Thoreau

A Modern Transcendentalist – maybe

“Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” ~ Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp

I was first introduced to this story about a year ago. A co-worker and I were having a conversation about outdoors experiences and he said, “Did you know Chris McCandless?” As it turns out, Chris went to the same university as I and graduated a year before me. Chris was a history and anthropology major and unfortunately our paths never crossed – not in a physical sense, anyway.

I did not think much about it until I recently saw an independent documentary on PBS   The Call of the Wild by Ron Lamothe.  Lamothe lives in Concord, MA near Walden Pond. He is touched by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. Having been to Walden Pond myself, I can understand why. Walden Pond has been preserved to retain the setting that Thoreau inhabited when he shook all conventional materialism and shunned cultural norms to live a short portion of his life communing with nature.

Likewise, McCandless upon graduating college gave away the remainder of his college fund to a charity, left his belongings behind, and drove west.

“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” – Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp

“There Is Such A Fact As Death”

149 years ago today, at 11:15 in the morning John Brown was hanged by the neck until dead in Charles Town, Virginia, for the crime of trying to start a slave insurrection.

Henry David Thoreau said in his breathtaking A Plea for Captain John Brown:

This event advertises to me that there is such a fact as death; the possibility of a man’s dying. It seems as if no man had ever died in America before; for in order to die you must first have lived.

I read Thoreau’s piece this morning. Rather than quote it at length, or editorialize about John Brown, I encourage you to take a little time today and read it yourself.

Today, as in 1859, there are great crimes being committed on our soil and around the world by the rulers of these United States, committed in our name, with our taxes.

Let John Brown’s example encourage us to try and stand, like him, “with the oppressed and the wronged, that are as good as you.”

Crossposted at Fire on the Mountain.

Quote for Discussion: Unqualified Offerings

Yes, an argument can be made that however much Reid and Pelosi and their cohort deserve punishment, the other side deserves even more punishment.  That’s assuming that you continue to accept the premises of the system, and dutifully choose between the party that commits the crimes and the party with a leadership that will not actually stop the crimes.  However, stepping back and looking at it, the whole system is broken if that’s our choice.  The only option, then, is to opt out, and vote for, well, anybody else.  (Some would say that revolution is an option, but I say that if you have enough energized people to go and burn down enough stuff, you have enough energized people to vote out the bums and vote in a real opposition.)  The fact that most Americans don’t care something about the culture.

“Not me!  I’m not just blindly excusing crimes!  I’m trying to make a difference!” you say, and you’re probably right.  If nobody else is voting third party, it’s irrational for you to vote third party.  However small the difference between the parties might be, if there’s any difference at all, and if those are the only viable options, then you are being completely rational by voting for the guys who promised to at least pick the undigested corn kernels out of the sh!t sandwich.

But here we are:  Crimes were openly revealed on the front page of the nation’s most important newspaper two and a half years ago, and less than a week ago the ostensible political enemies of the criminals gave them full immunity.  And there is no uproar outside a few corners of the blogosphere and a few activist groups.  The fundamental significance of this is lost on or irrelevant to most people, and so the crimes will go on.

~Thoreau, blogging at Unqualified Offerings.  Emphasis added.

Read the whole thing.

If we don’t understand why this is happening, I assure you that we have no chance of stopping it.