(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

The CoB calls BULLSHIT

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Some might ask why I decided to go and see “Into The Wild” and to be honest, I did too more than a couple of times while watching it. I have railed against the stupidity that I see in the tale of Chris McCandless as well as the crazy following that he and this story have engendered, but there I sat, watching the film.

It is as I feared, inaccurate,glossing over key facts from the book and in the end, a maudlin “mythologizing” of a life lost, but with that twist of “Oh how bright he shined” The reality is that McCandless was an egoist.


Semiotic left with tears in her eyes and a lump in her throat. I left with my usual anger and conflict over this story. More so now that it has been spoon fed to the masses without the benefit of some reality to balance it out. Here are the simple facts as I see it.

1) Christopher Johnson McCandless came from another classic American dysfucntional family. He was reacting to his home life with his whole attitudes toward society. He was a little boy lost, not a visionary.

2) Had McCandless been serious about his ideas and ideals, he would have done more than just give his 24K to OXFAM, he would have gone to work in another country and made some difference. Instead, he chose to run away and put his family in a painful position, even with all their foibles, it was not deserved.

3) Throughout most of the two years he wandered, he railed about society, but please note that he was always within “society” until he actually left it for the back woods of Alaska, and even there, he was not that far from civilization. He worked jobs, he hitched with people, and he lived in places like “Slab City” with a cast of alternative society types (hippies and the disenfranchised) Like it or not, he was not an island unto himself and I guess really only realized this at the end during starvation.

4) McCandless’s last actions of going into “The Wild” were almost atypically “classical” suicide behaviorisms. He gave up his worldly goods, well “good” in giving his watch to Jim Gallien (who gets short shrift in the beginning of this film) at the trail head. He wrote letters to friends saying “It may be some time before he returns” which sounded ominously like goodbyes, and though told on numerous occasions that he was ill prepared for this, and even offers were made to buy him the things he would need to survive, he refused all help or advice. I would put it to those out there, that perhaps that day he burned his money and just walked into the world was just his first attempt.

In the end, McCandless came to realize his ego had written checks that his body could not cash as he starved. However, one has to wonder about why he just didn’t try a little harder to walk out of the bush? For that matter, why he didn’t just do a little research before going in and know that 2 miles away was a cabin with a full cache of food. Or, alternatively, to take the time to hike the rivers edge and find the means to get across that was only 1/2 mile away. Lazy? Too freaked out? Not thinking straight? Who’s to say, the net effect, he managed to really separate himself from society… Permanently.

If you go to see this film, just think on this post and do not let Hollywood tell you he was a great person. He was no messiah, he was “A little boy lost” This film also, certainly does not note the Oscar buzz that it has been receiving either.


Written by Krypt3ia

2007/10/21 at 12:09

Posted in Uncategorized

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