We heart Amanitas. Apparently you can eat them safely in certain regions and some people are more affected by their toxicity than others, but we're not that hungry. So if you see us skipping naked under a full moon and maybe shrieking and fighting ourselves, there's probably another explanation.
Speaking of wilderness, we watched Grizzly Man over the weekend, the Herzog piece about that execrable dickhead Timothy Treadwell who was apparently so determined to be eaten by bears that bears eventually lost their shit and ate him (and his marginally-smarter girlfriend).
It's not that large wild animals are inevitably going to attack anyone who spends time in their orbit; nothing could be further from the truth and many of us owe our lives to that forbearance. I've ridden borderline personality horses. Handled Oxyuranus scutellatus without knowing what it was (we were too far from any antivenom source anyway; lol, thanks dad!). Swum in oceans heaving with Crocodylus pororsus, Galeocerdo cuvier and Chironex fleckeri. Broken up dogfights. Run very quickly away from angry and extremely feral Bubalus arnee. And I'm still here.
If luck plays a part in that, so does acceptance of the fact that treating potentially dangerous animals like witless props for your self-dramatising tableaux is a bad idea.
Many people clearly thought Treadwell a selfless champion of the places and creatures he was featuring in his rambling dispatches. I saw something else, a lot less cuddly and altruistic. To my jaded eye, he was a basic, textbook narcissist; vain, profoundly ignorant, auto-absorbed and explicitly self-congratulatory. The wilderness he so conspicuously treasured was the one source of narcissistic supply that could support his relentless entitlement when the people attracted to his routine began to fall away. He knew bugger-all about the things for which he claimed such consuming passion and routinely disregarded wisdom from more experienced parties- always diagnostic of the chronic arsehole.
Watching him misread the nonverbal cues from the bears to fuck the fuck off, over and over, was intensely enraging. Few other factors were as instrumental in guaranteeing they would be killed by people than Treadwell's disastrous disregard for their safety and I deeply regret that this most egregious of consequences did indeed come to pass. It's almost a shame that Herzog declined to include the audio of this twat's death in the film, choosing instead to pan over the bear that was killed and mutilated in the aftermath. The complex, scathing irony loops back on itself in a black ouroboros.
That the place got sick of Treadwell's bullshit and stamped his arse out was neither surprising nor unwelcome. I won't lie and pretend I didn't wish him serious harm by the third act because smoke was pouring out of my fucking ears.
We shouldn't shed a single tear for people who get chunked by crocodiles while drunk-swimming near the danger:crocodiles signs. Romanticising performative victims just encourages a legion of thirsty recruits; Instagram has suffered enough and our planet is on its fucking knees while we pander to these wastes of skin.
Fuck you, Timothy Treadwell (he assumed that name, btw). I hope you have to sit next to Steve Irwin in that especially igneous hell for the people who subject our last wild places to their barrel-scraping twinkletoes look-at-me bullshit, dishonouring the conservation movement and endangering the animals they so loudly claim for themselves.