Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heroic adventurer or immature opportunist?

...Music is still a fundamental part of life. Because of the long period of isolation, many of the indigenous songs, stories and dances have survived. Many of the songs date from the period before European contact, which occurred in the mid 19th century. The songs tell stories of voyages between the islands, while dance performances fill 20 or 30 hours a week.

I found this document online which is a compendium of some of the least visited islands in the South Pacific.  The photo and description above were taken from it.  The author writes, "I admit that I have some reservations about creating this compendium, as remote tropical islands that are as infrequently traveled as these are getting very difficult to find, as are the traditional cultures one finds here. I did not want to be responsible for causing the ruination of paradise."

I love how the word "paradise" is used here.  It is pretty much anywhere left that still remains outside the influence of the modern world...   We all know about these places.  They make those TV documentary specials about them.  It takes about an hour of listening to some science person before we can shut the TV off, recharged to yoke the burden of maturity needed to be civilized.  Don't worry, go back to work.  Be confident that the experts are out there taking care that paradise is being carefully documented and preserved.  No more ruination will take place.  We will put the last bit in a museum and make it free for the first Wednesday of every month.   God forbid if you actually want to visit the real paradise yourself.  Truth is most of it is gone anyways.  Most places have fallen in line and understood the power of uniforms and rubber stamps.  But if you insist, they will say to grow up and get over it.  And if you don't we will smother any last bit of remaining dream and then make an example out of you.   

Lets watch what they will do to Jarle Andhoy and the Wild Vikings.  In his own words he describes the Wild Vikings as "instead of being a part of the playstation-generation, in a 7 – 4 life with computers, electrical tinopeners and washingmachines, they seek adventures and exploration in the spirit of the ancient vikings. Simply equipped on a low budget ,The wild vikings turn the time back to the old days when men were men. Back to basics. Back to nature in harmony with its simple and real beauty to the worlds remote corners."  Last year he sailed down to Antarctica without obtaining permits or having insurance.  He defended his "unofficial" expedition saying that Antarctica is a "no man's land. "  That almost sounds like the word  "paradise."  The expedition ran into trouble and three of the Wild Vikings and his ship were lost.  Personally, I don't see how driving quad bikes through whiteout conditions in the South Pole is any kind of harmony with nature but anybody who single hands a 27 foot plastic boat to the high latitudes at the age of nineteen is an exceptional person.  You can get the latest updates on his current trip back to Antarctica here and the debate rages here.

No comments: