5 Things Worth Sharing (Episode 2)
Hi everybody, here’s a list of 5 things worth sharing. They have nothing to do with the picture above. I just used that to draw you in, because, that’s what everybody seems to do anyway. If it’s ok to use boobs to sell climbing media, then surely it’s ok for me to use sicky dynos to sell thought, reflection, and conservation. Right? Besides, nobody’s “buying” anything here, and Fringe’s Folly certainly isn’t making any money. So, just forget about the picture, and being used, and enjoy as if you were watching climbing porn (PS – don’t google that).
- Kelly Cordes (badass alpinist, Patagonia Ambassador, and author of the highly acclaimed book, The Tower) is helping Tommy Caldwell (Dawn Wall, Fitz Traverse, kidnapping) write a book about his life. When you look up “going to be good” in the dictionary, this is what you’ll find. If you don’t believe me, check out Tommy’s brief writeup for the Banff Centre, which was recently posted, following his and Kelly’s residency there.“I thought I wanted to write a book as a way to find answers. But now, nearly a year into the process, I’ve come to the conclusion that good writing is never about answers, but more unanswerable questions.
In climbing we often think that we are working towards a goal, a summit. But when we get there we find little more than hollowness, uncertainty. Maybe that’s okay, because uncertainty seems to be a precursor to euphoria, and euphoria a precursor to uncertainty. So maybe our search for summits and truth will not bring us to the end, but in fact, back to the beginning.”
- Christian Storms is an actor, translator, and television producer living in Japan. I met him a few years ago at Index, and he was a really interesting guy to hang out with. He reached out recently and asked if I thought the readers of Fringe’s Folly would be interested in this short TV show he produced about Japan’s relationship with stone.
I wouldn’t watch this if you’re hoping for some good old fashioned climbing porn, with a Japanese twist. In fact, a lot of the show is pretty laden with “climbing for non-climbers” talk, and the English voice over is kind of hilarious. Christian, himself, is very funny (perhaps without intending to be?). But the reason I’m sharing this is the apparent intimacy with which the various stoneworkers, quarriers, and climbers Christian interviews tend to regard rock itself. There is a certain animism behind their relationship with rock – a respect and love for the rock itself – that I found both touching, and inspiring. I just found it nice to see an attitude that in modern western society – especially among climbers – would be rather quaint, and not taken altogether seriously.
- Home of the Brave, by Scott Carrier, has become my favorite podcast. Ever. I don’t know what else to say. The dude is honest, the antithesis of corrupt, and committed to bravely telling the truths about America that others shy away from. Some of my favorite episodes include: “Maybe He Became a Bear,” “Prisoner of Zion,” “An Introduction to Charles Bowden,” and “Najibullah in America.” But in between those episodes are many other wonderful shows, including serial pieces on burned churches in the South, the refugee trail between Greece and Macedonia, and the DNC and RNC, Trump and Sanders, and more. I think you should click his links, listen to his shows, and maybe even donate money. I did. And I felt good after I did. So maybe you will, too.
- The Access Fund gives a shit – do you? That’s the kind of rhetoric they would never engage in, because it’s probably off-putting, and makes people less inclined to help with the very important battles AF is involved in. Like protecting the Bears Ears region of Southeastern Utah (aka, in climb-talk, Indian Creek and a buttload of other splitter shit, brah). They’re not the only ones who have been working to raise support and awareness for this campaign – but sometimes it feels like they’re the only climbers doing anything. The Access Fund makes me proud to be a climber when they meet with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to campaign for Monument status, instead of the PLI bill. If you still don’t know what any of this means, or what I’m talking about, Here’s a Great Link for you to Click. I was sorry I couldn’t make the drive down to Bluff to see Sally and show support for the Bears Ears monument proposal…
- But I’m glad Erin Monahan did. I met Erin at the 23rd annual International Climbers Festival in Lander, recently. She and I talked about the Bears Ears thing, among other writing whathaveyou, one night over beers. The following morning, I saw her at the gas station. She was filling up, and on her way to Bluff – to put her money where my mouth was. I’m proud she followed her heart, and did what felt right. I was damn close to joining her. Erin proves that climbers are capable of caring, and foregoing the massive sex-appeal of free schwag and beer among our “tribe” to drive 10+ hours to attend a meeting of mostly old non-climbers to take about boring complicated land-use policy stuff. You can see the passion that drives Erin on her content site, Terra Incognita. I think Terra Incognita is a really good thing, and I think it’s just going to get better. So check it out, contribute, and share with friends. What if we had a source for climbing media that wasn’t about selling shit, but instead, was dedicated to art, and activism? Well, we do. So click the link.