hermit vs. society
Hermits are one of those groups of people that we talk about with a smile on the face, and wishful thinking in the heart. Sure, the world thinks they're crazy and different (strangely enough, much like we label suicides), but damn, wouldn't it be great to live alone, with no one to bother you, and not a care in the (real) world?
Yet, we seem to think that to be a happy and sane human you must be a part of society - gleefully indulging in the day to day task of making money and pleasing other people. We think that the "mountain-men" are the crazies of society, much like we think hobo's are its dirt. And we're happy with that -- because we've been built to disregard what other people think... happy to bunch our security blanket around our "in the know" shoulders.
Have you ever wondered that the so-called "mountain-men" and hermits are the ones in their right minds? Hell, they have not a care in the world! They merely enhance a skill called "Survival". Not any old survival, though. We all know to survive in our world of scrapers - it's dog eat dog. You don't piss off the boss, but you do whatever you can behind the boss's back to take her place. Hermits, on the other hand, believe in bear eat human.
I've heard people call hermits unnatural and crazy and label them as being on a social level lower than normal. Why can't we just except that there are people who simply do not like the way we live and instead live in a way acceptable to them? Grizzly Adams was a prime example, but we can then call hermits crazy because they talk to animals. Animals listen, are more peaceful, don't talk back until they hear the whole story, and don't hold grudges. Seems like an ideal example for humans to take after.
Are hermits really unnatural? I've heard classes being taught that man is a social race: without society, a human cannot live. Like science, we explain dissidents to our examples with either ignorance or "they're crazy".
That's just our way... and it seems, that's just fine.
air jordan grounded;
stock market plunges
Try as I might, I can't seem to find a way to lament or grieve the end of another millionaire ballchaser. Michael Jordan's feats and accomplishments on the basketball court are praiseworthy, in that he has excelled in his chosen field. Granted, in my years of paying both close and cursory attention, I've never witnessed a more athletically gifted, graceful human animal. Beyond that, he also seems like a humble-ish and friendly person.
But balls to all that! At a time when the global psyche is enduring the horror and violence that wealth breeds, it feels beyond me to devote mental or emotional energy to the alleged 'loss' of another icon of greed. To pay lip - service to the "great unwashed" and their sufferings, while collecting their cash for tickets, t-shirts, $150 sneakers, and other trademarked wallet liners is at best, hypocritical, and at worst, indefensibly cruel. People in the U.S., and all around the globe, willingly crack the piggy bank to fuel the machine that keeps them poor, and for that price, get to walk around as mobile billboards for the ultimate shoe, or the Team-of-Choice, Inc.
The Church of Sport (a subsidiary of the religion of Celebrity) encourages us to align ourselves with the Winners and Losers, and invest our identities and our money into the doings of what are, at the base of it all, entertainers and their production companies. Perhaps a disclaimer can be added at the start of every telecast: Warning! What you are about to witness really doesn't matter a whole hell of a lot in the grand scheme of things! ...but enjoy!
So as genocide rolls over Kosovo, Zimbabwe, and others, and the slow burn of suffering and wanting permeates an over-populated planet, we focus our attention on such pivotal occurrences as the retirement of a millionaire entertainer, and throw a week's pay worth of roses at his feet. Or we focus our vast resources on investigating Oval sex and the shocking revelation of lying amongst politicians. When another privileged princess unexpectedly dies, or some other "crucial" entertainer decides to retire as a young person due to a "lack of challenge", we can all chat about the horrible sense of loss during our 15 minute breaks, and plan which piece of memorabilia we'll buy once the children are fed.
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Sure, I agree wholeheartedly in the freedom of anyone to live in anyway they want to. Maybe I dont agree with the "streetbums" who justify asking for handouts with a romantic "hobo hermit" philosophy, but as far as those who travel and work day to day (like the common definition of hobo), or live off the land on a mountain side, (popularly known as a "hermit"), all i can say is... if it harms none, then do as you like.
What I DONT understand is how this subject got into the mix. What's the point in talking about how the hermit is not accepted in societies eyes? If we all accepted hermits, nothing would change. In fact, the hermit wouldnt even KNOW! lol. Well maybe the birds would tell him and then he might come down for coffee every morning. Then people would say "some hermit, he comes here every morning." well actually they wouldnt consider him a hermit at all, they would just think he's some gentle redneck that likes to drink coffee in the morning LOL.
all's i gotsta say is...
YES, YES, YES!
i LOVED the article about jordan's retirement. any idiot can see that yes, he was a phenomenal basketball player. but when society gets to the point where 14 year old kids are willing to KILL another 14 year old kid for his $199.95 Air Jordans, it's time for the rest of us (remember us, the "civilized" ones?) to wake up and smell the reality. OK, so now Mike isn't earning his untold millions of dollars every freaking year. shed me a tear.
i make 12 grand a year. i have a hard time feeling sorry for him. when are we as a society going to realize what we are doing to ourselves? not that i want to get on my "soapbox" or anything, but as a firm believer in the teachings of Jesus, the concept of putting the needs of others ahead of ourselves that He taught about seems to be glaringly absent from our world today. how much longer are we going to do this to ourselves? shouldn't we be embarrased about the way we drool and fawn over these "celebrities" that, as the writer of the article so succinctly put it, cause us to "crack the piggy bank to fuel the machine that keeps us poor?"
A couple of good articles. The commentary on the celeb/althele worship was quite good. So far I managed to steer my kids away from the walking billboard fashion. Hopefully my influence will last... As for the mountain man piece, lately my wife and I have been having these conversations about how to at once be a part of society but also opt-out of the whole 9 to 5 routine. Man, it's easy to get caught up in that rut. Maybe I could go live in the woods...but the interenet connection charges would be horrendous <g>
I would just like to comment on hermits and their typical interpretation in our society. While i do enjoy your writing on the subject i would like to make a suggestion. To those who are perhaps too taken into their roles your arguments would be pointless. Raising questions only helps to demonstrate another side to a subject to the inquisitive mind; solid real world examples however, can persuade even the dullest of individuals to take a second look at a subject. I realize that you may not be writing for the dullards of the world, but consider this: the world was, is, and will be dominated by some of the lowest human intelligences. The problem with most philosophers / psychologist / sociologist that have the right intentions is that they write for someone like themself, which ultimately, while spreading the word, does no good. Anything you could possibly discuss in you e-zine has, in one form or another, been a central argument in someones world outlook for hundreds, if not thousands of years. However the only "real" way to get this demonstrations is to make contact with someone who is perfectly happy with their life working 9-5 and fueling the machine with their work. This in and of itself has inherent dangers(socializing with stupid people is never a good idea).
Further i would just like to inform you that some of the greatest works of nonconformist writers have been accomplised in solitude. Henry D. Thoreau accomplished his greatest works during a 3 year period of solitude.
Not to say that he is a true or dedicated hermit, recluse etc. However "Cival Disobedience" has surely influence many great writer/philosophers including Martain Luther King Jr. There comes a point when a free thinking individual becomes tired with being told what to do as if he were a child. At this point one has to make a choice, bend to the will of the unjust authority, disobey that same authority and face the consciquences, or run from their responsibility. I consider solitude to be fleeing for this reason, although very few changes come about in our world on a societal level, those that do are influenced by the few with the insight and courage to speak out and make a change. It is not difficult to see what aspects of society have disgusted these individuals to the point that they simply give it all up to pursue their personal interest. It is about doing what is expected and doing what you believe is right, few have the ability to decide for themselves what exactly is "right" and "wrong".
The woes of Michael Jordan vs. the daily "must reads" is an excellent piece. Though I am a rather dedicated fan of the gifted athlete, I see the cause, the hype and the upset tummy he brings out in us all. Having two young sons, who want to keep up with Michael's new line of shoes...which would mean me forking out about $70.00 every month, I get crazed when I see the commercials and hear the details of Michael's career told in my back seat during carpool. However, my sons, 5 and 7, don't know who the vice president is! Or should I be proud of that?
There should be more balance, in all aspects of life, but especially in this one area of indulgence.
Anmlwzdm says it like it is. I hope he has a plan to put his words into action.