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More discussion on an extreme-skier's death (2 April 2009)

re: “It frustrates me that so many are quick to judge those who are killed doing dangerous outdoor sports. I sometimes wonder if they would be happier if the youth only got their inspiration from mass-murder video games, ultimate fighting, and crystal meth.” (Armor de Cosmos, response to post, “Vancouver Ski Legend Dead at 39,” The Tyee, April 2, 2009)

Hey Armor. Some of us aren't quite sure if there's a whole heap of difference in the phenomenological experience of extreme skiing and engaging "obstacles" in hyper-violent video games. If you can argue the case, go ahead. Strikes me that pretty much all the soldiery you play in first-person games, are unshaven but it in great shape, and engage with villains amidst awe-inspiring scenery. I actually think a lot of good things can go on in these games, but it is the kind of epic aesthetic that appeals to the militant as much or more to the peace-loving environmentalist -- no? (Wasn't nazi-youth all into fresh air, and crisp, manly, mountain climbs?) And again your take reminds me of my concerns with Geoff's: apparently to some extreme skiers have inspired, the alternative to the pure, manly "pioneer," is either (with Geoff) pathetic laziness or (with yourself) drugged-up decipatedness. (And yes, society right now is getting to like the idea of shaping up youth and creating a more pure society: which, since it's the mentality that's everywhere just before a nation gets seriously militant, is very much our collective, concerned problem.)

That you're grateful that people like Shane showed you what is possible, is very much the appropriate reaction for you, though. I'm glad people like Shane have showed many that life can be exhilarating self-actualizing. But they shouldn't shy away from a thorough exploration of the motivations behind such charged, aggressive, embattled fun

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re: The B.C. tradition of extreme skiing is strictly a peace and love aesthetic. Shane was part of that tradition.

It's not that I want to "shy away" from discussing the motivations behind "such charged, aggressive, embattled," activities; it's just that I know that is not what the culture is about.

Don't believe everything you see on TV, Mac. I'd suggest instead that you go take a hike. Trust me, it won't make you a war-monger.” (Armor de Cosmos)

Lately in threads were hearing from soldiers who are saying that the infantry is primarily about helping people and promoting peace, and from extreme skiers, that their sport is all about brotherly strolls, ease, peace and love. Hmm . . . Might it be fair to conclude that the most accurate take might actually come from those who see things from a distance (like, on T.V.), rather than from within?

An extreme-skier advocate isn't one to "shy away" from anything. I get it, and perhaps regret my use of the term. Still, I think to present a more plausible case you should explained exactly why the sport got to be called "extreme" in the first place? Isn't the extreme label used 'cause the sport wants to see itself as well-beyond ordinary limits, beyond what the rest of sport offers and the rest of us can handle? And isn't this charged, aggressive -- macho -- stuff? And isn't this what the military advertises itself as offering?

Link: Vancouver Ski Legend Dead at 39 (The Tyee)

Link: Who don't do the dew (Open Salon)


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