So I'm curious about this film Into the Wild. It does not look good, nor do I particularly want to watch it. But I am interested to see how Christopher McCandless is portrayed. I've always found his story (which I picked up from Krakauer's book of the same name; everything he's written is gold) to be quite interesting, albeit probably not in the same way that most people do.
I overheard some undergraduates talking about it, and of course they were breathlessly admiring what a brave, idealistic Walden-for-the-90s the protagonist was. There is a reason that both the book and the movie will make a ton of money – approximately 90% of America wishes it could abandon reality and run off to live in the middle of nowhere. And golly, this young rich kid from the East Coast did just that!
Let me be (not) the first to say that McCandless was a fucking idiot. He bravely and romantically ran off into the Alaskan wilderness without the slightest idea of how to live off the land. Lacking even a basic understanding of direction or decent topo maps, this genius managed to starve to death (during the summer) 20 miles away from a paved highway that brings National Park tour buses on an hourly basis. Twenty miles of mostly flat terrain can be hiked in about 12 hours by a healthy adult, which McCandless was until he starved himself.
To quote one of the park rangers who has to deal with this retard's legacy:
"I am exposed continually to what I will call the 'McCandless Phenomenon.' People, nearly always young men, come to Alaska to challenge themselves against an unforgiving wilderness landscape where convenience of access and possibility of rescue are practically nonexistent … When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn't even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild. He arrived at the Stampede Trail without even a map of the area. If he had a good map he could have walked out of his predicament … Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide."
The book was a best-seller, and it's sad how many mentally challenged copycats it created. I don't know much about the film, but from what I hear ("Oscar buzz" and masturbatory reviews) I can only assume that another generation's worth of suburban white guys are about to dash half-assed into the wilderness to either freeze to death or require rescue…at taxpayer's expense, of course.