Monday, July 30, 2007

Heroes are there, we just ignore them.

Jeremy Clarkson (Tall, loud chap), James May (Floppy-haired, uber geek) and Richard Hammond (Rocket-powered hamster-man), deranged presenters of the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’, recently played out one of their typically batty challenges.
To date, they’ve raced each other all over Britain, Europe and a few of America’s southern states.
Their latest epic escapade took them north.
All the way north.
Dog sled vs. a customised Toyota pick-up.
First one to the pole wins.
From the comfort of my living room I watched the madmen charge across the most inhospitable of terrain and laughed myself silly as they started mixing themselves G & T and producing wine, cheese and other posh nibbles from their rucksacks.
Intentional or otherwise, these presenters were keeping alive the age-old traditions of the true adventurer; they didn’t have a clue what they were doing, but carried on regardless.
100 years ago, the world was much larger, as were the old empires and the vast egos that dwelled in them. There were still blank areas on the map, which meant there was still the opportunity to get in good with a cartographer and have yourself immortalised in geography.
Lords, ladies, knights and other titles set out on all manner of insane expeditions in an effort to find a lake, waterfall, mountain or canyon that the rest of the world had yet heard mention, and then write themselves into the history books as its discoverer.
Usually, they only found plague carrying mosquitoes or cannibals, which is unsurprising as they all approached the endeavour in the same way; with complete and utter naivety.
They had no idea of what they were getting into, no clue of what clothing or food they should bring along and certainly no respect for local knowledge.
“What do the natives know?”
Enough to stay out of that part of the jungle, matey! There’s a reason no one goes there, you know!
The Brits were, without a doubt, the best at this, mainly because 90% of the island’s adventuring aristocracy were utterly barking and didn’t bat an eyelid at the concept of being mauled by the indigenous fauna. They had no problem setting out into the great, godforsaken unknown armed with naught but a crisp English accent and a hipflask full of Scotland’s finest tipple.
Obviously; most were eaten, but a number did survive, as can be proven by looking at a map.
Everything’s named “Victoria”.
Discovery and achievement were real social currency back then. If you hadn’t climbed a mountain in South America, crossed India on an elephant or been forced to drink your own excreta while lost in the Sahara, you were a nobody.
The celebration of such adventurous (if a bit mental) individuals is something I really miss in this age of mass media. A dim blonde can squeal onto a CD then bounce their baps on TV and is worshiped for it, but people that hike from pole to pole, cross the Atlantic in a row-boat or circle the globe in a hot-air balloon, as they have done in recent years, are ignored.
I think that’s the key to the failings of society: we’re idolising the nobodies.
I set you all a challenge: look at those currently deemed ‘famous’ and ask “What have they actually accomplished?” and “Is it worth being remembered for?”.


Himax said...

Absolutely brilliant.

Although there is "one" method of immortalizing those with true adventurous spirit,
They call them the Darwin awards.

Angry A said...

Agreed. "Mass" media will always seek to entertain with the most cost effective product.
How do we make independent media the mass media without having it "sell out?"

Exmes said...

I don't know if I'd put the guys from Top Gear in that company, but I'll agree for the most part.

Interesting side note for your American readers, when Jolly Jack called one of the presenters from Top Gear, Richard Hammond (rocket-powered hamster-man), it is an excellent description. Check uTube and Wikipedia for why that is true.

Still, I suppose that you have to give credit to any show where they launch cars off a cliff and try to hit them with artillery before they land.

Tatter said...

They've spoken out against genocide, rather than committing it (and, in the case of the British explorers, reveling in it).

Now apologize again, you evil white person.

johnchrist said...

Top Gear is absolute hillarity, we've got to download it here in California but it's well worth it! Not sure if my favorite episode is the 'Toy-boata' or the attempted space shuttle out of that odd three wheeled abomination you guys call a 'Reliant.' Needless to say I was very impressed at the altitude it did achieve and for a moment thought it might succeed in the mission.
But yeah, dumb sluts (remember kids, whores charge money) are taking over the media and ruining the world.

Dohickey Jones said...

Alas the mass media seem to revel in popularising people for no reason other than they look vaguely interesting in front of a camera.

The whole fact of them speaking out against Genocide, whilst this is true for some of the more talented individuals, the others only seem to do this when their popularity is waning.

British Explorers revelling in Genocide? Spanish conquistadors certainly, and there were no doubt several British Explorer who were a little too far on the insane side of eccentricity - but the vast majority weren't.

ian said...

Here Here old chap.

DHos said...

xI have asked meself the same question many of moons ago and found nothing to like of them. Henceforth, to this day ask me who a celebrity is and I wouldn't know. Ask if I have bought a CD or Ipod, I havent. If Ive seen a new movie, probably not. If Ive read about the people with break throughs in their field, yes I have. Praise the brains behind a project and not the head hancho glory hog, again yes.

There I feel better, thanks!

peirrin said...

I know this post is super old. But I was catching up. HERE, HERE! I SAY!