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Camping in Bear Country

1 min

Let us all spend more time in the bear country of our hearts.

In Western societies, life is essentially artificial.

The environment is all blunted, all of the hard edges are sanded down.

Entire aspects of human nature atrophy to nothing.

We are almost perfectly sealed off from death.

The threat of imminent, violent death has been mostly eradicated; in the small number of cases where it occurs, it is statistically predictable in aggregate if not in the particular.

Don't you want to know what the whole thing feels like?

One night I went camping alone in Montana and I didn't sleep because I was terrified of getting mauled by a bear.

September 25, 2020

I recall that night fondly and often.

If the vague fear of an improbable mauling was so inspiriting, how lastingly delightful must it be to survive a real scrape with a bear? Would that not be the apotheosis of living?

I'm reminded of Bataille, who once wrote:

"Extreme seductiveness is probably at the boundary of horror."

My car doesn't even let me keep my seat belt off.

Everyone admires Steve Jobs. I admire Steve Irwin. The market would have eventually required someone else to invent the smartphone, but nothing would have required a different human being to get stabbed in the heart by a short-tail stingray on camera. He's still the only person with this honor.

Don't you want to know what the whole thing feels like?

Steve Irwin (1962-2006)


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