Listening to: “Blue Ridge Mountains” – Fleet Foxes

Apparently, Into the Wild has spurred a rash of pilgrimages out to the spot where Christopher McCandless met his end, in an abandoned bus along the Stampede Road in south central Alaska. I can’t say I’m surprised. If I go to Alaska–which I hope to sometime in the next few years, if and when I can cobble together enough cash–I’d probably also be tempted to make the trek.

But it’s sad. People setting off into the wilderness not in search of nature or of themselves, but in search of a grave? A monument? The Stampede Road becoming, well, stampeded by tourists?

But here’s the worst:

“Even tourists without plans to see the bus can still view a piece of the saga. Excursion businesses in Denali National Park and Preserve are offering popular off-road McCandless tours that take visitors partway along the muddy, rutted Stampede trail. Some people are disappointed that the scenery is flatter than the flashy snow-covered peaks shown in the movie, only to discover those scenes were filmed closer to the tiny town of Cantwell about 40 miles to the south.”

Do your research before you strap on the ol’ rucksack, kids; it’s a fic-ed up adaptation, not a documentary. And also, seriously, “McCandless tours”? If Chris were around today, what would he think of that? So much for a aescetic’s quest, away from all that is commercial to find the heart of things.

One more thing about this article:

“They envisioned hordes of copycats making dangerous pilgrimages for a character portrayed as a spiritual visionary rather than an ill-prepared misfit, as many Alaskans view McCandless.”

See, why does it have to be either-or? Why can’t it be both? McCandless was both a spiritual visionary and an ill-prepared misfit. I’m sure in his day, people were calling Siddhartha Gautama a freakin’ idiot, too. (Not that I’m say McCandless was the next Buddha).


Alright, thus endeth the rant. I could use a trip into the wastes myself at the moment. Instead, I’m going to New York next weekend. Practically the same thing, right?


“My brother where do you intend to go tonight?
I heard that you missed your connecting flight,
to the Blue Ridge Mountains, over near Tennessee.

You’re ever welcome with me any time you like,
Let’s drive to the country side, leave behind some green-eyed look-a-likes,
So no one gets worried, no.
So no one gets worried, no..”

Playwrights in furs

Listening to: “Adventures Close to Home” – The Raincoats

Ah, my dear goitery little blog. My little dancing-ground for getting my writing muscle pumping when it won’t go on its own. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, considering I’ve been writing my guts out all week. Ugh. I don’t know if I can keep up at this pace–4 or 5 plays a week, articles for all of them, plus DVD and CD reviews and a preview piece here and there; plus fielding 6 conference calls with writers in cities all over the fucking country, then amassing all their blurbs and editing them and… christ.

Lately, I think the universe is trying to tell me something. This week, I’ve run into a ridiculous amount of people from my past. I mean, who’d figure on my old GeVa Summer Academy teacher showing up in a touring production of Spamalot? Or my old fight director in the crowd at The Misanthrope after party. Or my college acting professor emailing me out of the blue. Or running into half the ol’ grad acting program at The Little Dog Laughed.

Small world, or small theater world?

I was talking to Meron about how I’d always wanted to get a staged reading of this one-act play I wrote in college, and he told me about this thing called the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. A bunch of playwrights shooting the shit and getting their new works read….. in the Alaskan wilderness! During the summer solstice, when the sun’s out 24/7!

So I figure, what the hell. I’ll submit Thanksgiving and see if they bite. Everyone loves pterodactyls and incest, right? And Alaska…gawd. That would be the hotness. Well, the coldness. The frozen wilderness, and mooses, and playwrights!

*busts out Eskimo gear*

K, ’nuff ranting for now. More coffee, and more writing. Pinter isn’t gonna deconstruct himself, after all.

Well, actually–he probably would. Maybe I’ll just let him do that.