Opt Outside; #fuckyou


Just a friendly reminder this Thanksgiving day that while it’s great you spent yesterday in mass carbon mode to get somewhere nifty so you can do rad things today and #optoutside tomorrow, the world really isn’t so simple.  It would be nice if hiking, camping, and even more complex things like backpacking and mountain biking were the democratic pursuits they were meant to be, but they’re not.  You can spend T-day shredding slickrock and pass on Black Friday at TJ Maxx because you are well outfitted from mining online discounts, and don’t have 180 bucks with which to holiday-fit four kids.  It’d be nice if our culture made gifts of experience as attractive and attainable to poor folks as it does to yuppies, but it doesn’t so hold that instragram righteousness.  It is in bad taste.

And have a lovely holiday.

16 responses to “Opt Outside; #fuckyou”

  1. Haha, what would ‘Merica do without you. But on point.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you, also. Looking forward to your thoughts on how to make experience accessible to poor people. Very much enjoy your writing; thank you. Ken

    1. In Oregon we just passed measure 99 giving *all* kids access to Outdoor School for a full week.

      1. Looks like a very well crafted law: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9B6HeekrtpXOVBBcFh5Z3VHdEk/view

        The Glacier Park fund makes a similar program almost universal for the schools within 2 hours of the park, but state lottery funding is a significant gesture.

  3. Interesting words from a guy who’s just decided that social work isn’t a cool enough profession for him, and is now going to be spending his days hawking high-priced, boutique outdoor gear to the very yuppies who he’s just given the finger.

    In other words, the perfect personification of the problem.

    1. Long time no see. ;)

      We’re both painting with a broad brush, but yes, if I let hypocrisy paralyze me everytime it came along I wouldn’t say or do much.

    2. First, you assume that I did not have to save every penny to get my gear — i.e. that poverty is an unsurmountable obstacle. Second, you assume that a social worker is there to get the poor to go hiking. Third, Dave has been a social worker — have you? Two final things. I see a general assumption that one needs lofty peaks and alpine meadows to ‘go outside’. The wasteland I grew up in, and that is in the marrow of my bones, was free. The assumption that anybody but a trivial number of hipsters actually wants to go outside puzzles me. The poor are poor. Yet they still can speak their minds. Do they ever complain about not being able to go camping?

  4. “It’d be nice if our culture made gifts of experience as attractive and attainable to poor folks as it does to yuppies, but it doesn’t so hold that instragram righteousness. It is in bad taste.” Preach it, brother. Instagram righteousness is unquestionably one of the worst forms of righteousness.

  5. The curated life in general tends towards bad taste, but posting about getting out seems much more benign than many of the alternatives. Still, as you say, it’s complicated.

    1. Curated has become an easy word to dislike, and as you say for very good reason.

  6. I don’t always agree with you, but I can appreciate the sentiment behind this. I always assumed the optoustide thing was not directed (probably obviously) at those who don’t have the means to even consider recreation, but rather those (like myself all too often) who spend their time / money perpetuating consumerism as opposed to actually filling life with experience and memories.

    An interesting question is if eliminating black Friday does more to help those with retail jobs by creating work or if it would be better to have the time off for family, etc? I don’t know. I’m just rambling.

    I do appreciate your posts though. It’s been helping me make the difficult transition from buying for want / possible experince to buying for need (which again is a loosely used word…how much do I need BD carbon poles would I could probably get by with Walmart ones?) things I actually do.

    On a last note, it’s funny how a sale will make you suddenly feel like you’ve been missing a product your whole life, lol.

  7. I always dig your honesty. Especially since I spent the day inhaling exhaust fumes on the slickrock trail. I almost want to check my instagram to see if you unfollowed me… Ha.

  8. Well crap, DaveC. I’m gonna miss these foul titles that randomly use a body function/fluid/excretion as an adjective, pronoun or noun. When I saw that you were giving up the good life as a social worker and taking work in retail manufacturing, my first reaction was “FUCK ME!”, DaveC’s foulness is done. In my rather extensive experience with employers, I have yet to meet one that recruits potty mouths to help generate revenue. Spit in me eye, but I speak the truth. Either way, foul or gentlemanly, your blog makes for some darn fine reading. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that we’ll be okay if you are forced to tone it down because of some corporate desert toad giving you the hairy eyeball. It was good while it was good, and you did more than your share to keep the road show traveling down that curvy, torturous path between P.C. and the Dangerous Right.

    God bless you Bro and best of luck in the new career,

    1. Thanks Billy. New life is none too corporate yet. Complications are sure to develop tho.

  9. My goodness, I start looking for a lighter shelter that more appropriately fits my aging abilities to opt outside in an ever increasingly crowded outside and voila!…I stumble on a bedrock and paradox thing where we examine ideas about the Other and social conscience.
    I’ll be damned, there is hope afoot yet in this Country!
    Many thx.


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