“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Discovery Channel Episode on the Dual Survival Breakup.


Although I had decided not to watch anymore of the Dual Survival episodes after I heard Cody Lundin had been fired,  I taped them. Last night, I watched them.

I think it's important to remember that Discovery Channel made the show on the breakup. They wanted to get rid of Cody Lundin and over three years of filming it would be easy to get tape that showed people who were not at their best just at the moment of filming.

It's also true that Joe Teti came in after David Canterbury was fired under dubious circumstances. At the time, it was alleged that Canterbury had exaggerated his military record although after he was gone that allegation quietly died away. Rumor Control had it that Canterbury and Lundin just couldn't get along.

It's clear, from the scenes in the episode I watched last night, that Cody Lundin was fed up with Dual Survival and particularly fed up with Joe Teti.  I really can't blame him.  Teti is arrogant, abrasive, self centered and always has to call the shots even when he has no idea what he's about, other than his overwhelming need to keep moving and to give orders. His military credentials are impressive, and doubtless he had survival training, and practiced it.  I don't think that puts him on a par with Cody Lundin in survival skills, experience or decision making, however.

Cody Lundin had some bad moments during the filming of the first four shows this season. One instance where he had fits of uncontrollable laughter was a bad sign.  Another where he threw their equipment into a pool of water, stomped off, and then later threatened to quit the show if the segment was ever aired is hard to just shrug off.  It was probably time for him to go.  He's a good fellow, and certainly knows his stuff, but he has never been, by his own admission, a big team player. He likes his solitude and he likes to do things his way. Getting through three seasons of television land must have been very hard on him.

The new member of the show is Matt Graham.  He is presented as a primitive skills lifestyle adherent. These are very strange people, from my perspective. Primitive skill people are not survivalists or preppers. Rather, they follow the primitive skills lifestyle because they find it to be a "purer" life, closer to nature, and derive satisfaction from their lack of dependence on technology.  I have known a few up here in the mountains and in general I simply don't understand them. However, they're entitled to their life decisions and if they leave me alone I'll leave them alone.

Graham, we are told, has spent 25 years living in the Utah canyons honing his primitive living experience. He was, however, on another survival show called "Dude, you're screwed" until recently. I watched one episode and never watched another. One was enough.  If you google Graham, you are going to find zillions of pictures of him looking perfectly normal, and just a few of him as a latter day Tarzan. What the truth of all of it is, I don't know.


Although he seems a very calm person, I wish him luck with Teti.  In their first show, Joe Teti immediately begins to criticize him and to try to take over the show. He seemed to want to  convert Graham into his "Tonto" while Teti plays "The Lone Ranger." Good luck to them, I don't plan to watch any more of Dual Survival. I wish Cody Lundin well, and I hope his "wa" is restored now that he doesn't have to shill for Discovery Channel. Maybe he'll write another book. If he does, I'll buy it.

18 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    I never really watched thease shows so I cant say anything really.

    What I can say is on that desert survival show (cant remember the name) the one with the West Texas Cowboy 'Howdy Fowler" is that John Wells from "The Field Lab" (thefieldlab.blogspot) turned down The Discovery Channel's offer and Howdy Fowler got the gig.
    John Wells thought if they (The Discovery Channel) are going to invade his privacy. He's going to make them pay for it. John Wells is doing ok financially so he could care less.
    I found this out from his blog and recently he spotted Howdy Fowler out working, being a Cowboy. That's what I respect about 'Fowler. He's the real deal and not some nut that wants attention and few bucks.

    Now back to the Field Lab. If you don't mind me suggesting it. I would add the field lab (thefieldlab.blogspot) to your blog list. I have been out to the field lab twice and John Wells is also the real deal. He lives 80 miles south of Alpine, Texas and releys on solar power, water catchment system and so on. I hit his blog everyday (as well as this one) and some times is just pictures of desert stuff, sometimes its solar ovens, cattle, and John Wells newest adventure. Learning to fly a Parasail. John Wells is also a gun owner (albeit not nut a gun nut like us) but he knows the importance of self defense knowing the nearest law enforcement is maybe 45 minutes away at best.
    There are several interviews and shows of John Wells on youtube and the latest interview was filmed a few weeks ago for Texas Country Reporter next season (The first interview with Texas Country Reporter was in 2009 I think) There is one show about living in wild enviroments out of Britain and he did that show (a whole episode) that came out last year or the year before.

    I may go back out there (West Texas) in late August, September depending on hurricane season and how good the surf is. The desert out there greens up during and after the rainy season and that's the time to go. If I can score an 8 or 9 foot longboard (surfboard) at dirt cheap price, I may donate one to the field lab so John Wells can start the "Terlingua Surf Club" in Terlingua, Texas.

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    1. CC I appreciate the information. I don't think I have ever heard of John Wells but somehow or other "The Field Lab" rings a bell. I'll definitely take a look at his blog and I am glad you told me about it.

      I really do wonder, if you move away from the ocean, if you'll be happy. It seems to be a big part of your life. There must be some isolated town on the Texas coast, that's a vast area of land. Someplace with no drug addicts or gangs. If you find it, let me know I might move there myself.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      heres the link for the field lab and the pic of Howdy Fowler (and his mule) it was from May 21.

      http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2014-05-23T20:25:00-05:00&max-results=7

      if it does not work, go back to May 21 on the post's and read the comments. John Wells wanted $20.000 per episode. I probably would have told the Discovery Channel the same thing:)

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    3. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Yeah' I could give up the surfing for a ranch. No problem. Trade one adventure in for another.
      It's really hard to find anything on the Texas Coast near where good surf is. One spot I can recommend where there is no surf is Rockport, Texas, and try Victoria, Texas there's another one too. I gotta check the map.

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    4. Hey Harry.

      (captaincrunch)

      yeah' I got it.

      Seadrift, or Tivoli Texas.

      Tivoli is a real neat historical town.

      heres the map https://maps.yahoo.com/place/?lat=28.38401855680014&lon=-96.85158231295645&bb=28.613459424004414%2C-97.30213165283203%2C28.154346532343986%2C-96.40193939208984&addr=Corpus%20Christi%2C%20TX

      You can try Port Aransas. I think you would really, really like Port Aransas. Its kinda expensive to live there and you would be boxed in. Lots of tourist, but its a virtual ghost town in the winter (except for the winter Texan, Snow Birds)

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    5. Is there nowhere in all that long stretch of coast where there just isn't any town or anybody? I don't need a port. Actually, I doubt I would move to Texas because we've got troubles enough here with illegals and the problem there is worse. Nice place to visit, but.......

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  2. I haven't seen past the first two seasons, but I really liked those. I think it would be hard to have the same show with the original key players gone. I liked Cody - he was an interesting character.

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    1. Cody Lundin has an interesting past. Long before there was "Dual Survival" he was well known in the survivalist community. He had a few one hour , one off shows on television, but he wrote two very good survival books, and has his own school for desert survival which has a good reputation. He did time as a young man for selling drugs but that's a long time in the past and doesn't seem to effect him now.

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  3. You never know what happens behind camera. Sometimes there are fights among the actors, or other staff members.

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    1. From what I could tell, Cody Lundin and Joe Teti just weren't compatible. It didn't help that the producers intentionally egged them on to be "contentious" as part of the show format. They created a Frankenstein's monster they couldn't control.

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  4. I had the feeling that Lundin didn't fit the ever growing safety nanny mindset that is consuming this country. In particular, that he wasn't the least bit PC and didn't want to try and fit in with that crap.

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    1. He seems to be one of those people who "does not play well with others." I'm glad he had a run with the show, as it enhanced his reputation and put some money in his pocket, but I doubt he was ever happy with his partners or the Discovery Channel mind set. Before the advent of "reality show" Discovery Channel produced some high quality documentaries. Now, it has degenerated into a machine for cranking out low grade programs along with a few decent series.

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  5. Harry, you have summed up all my feelings very well re: Cody Lundin and the various characters they have teamed him up with. As a person, he seems head and shoulders above the rest. I enjoyed one of his books. Should read the other.
    I have a lot of respect for this guy.

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    1. I've always appreciated his practical, realistic approach to survivalism. I doubt he would call himself a survivalist, and in some respects he is correct because he certainly defies categorization. He's almost a primitive living skills person, but he's too realistic to be lumped in with that crew. I saw some of his one hour shows years ago when he wasn't so well known, and while he lacked tact with his students, he knew his stuff and they got their money's worth.

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  6. Cody is the real deal for sure. A character to the point you have to be willing to look past some fluffery but there is really good stuff in what he says

    As to the show, I sort of liked it with Cody and Dave. The new guy Joe was OK but I think he might be better suited for a more military type show about escape and evasion or some such. His whole 'security' thing is a bit silly in the context of Dual Survival. Like you said I think part of the show is based on getting folks who probably won't get along and egging them on.

    As to the overall rotation of people on that show. Part of me thinks that it is all about money. Contract renewal time comes after an individual gets some name recognition they want to make some real money then Discovery says no. Subsequently Discovery creates hype on why they were fired.

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    1. Canterbury wasn't as pushy as Teti. Dave Canterbury runs his own survival school and has quite a following. He's also a little extreme, remember the episode where he took his knife and cut a big wound in his arm to practice cauterizing wounds with fire or some off the wall thing?

      I like Cody Lundin. I don't know if I would like being in the field with him because he has a streak of sarcasm not too far below his surface. Still and all, he's a good fellow with practical skills.

      Joe Teti reminded me of a Major I worked for as a Lieutenant. The dumb ass made life miserable for everybody because he was constantly running around, getting in everyone's business, giving orders that made no sense, and generally just messing everything up with nonessential B.S. He even looked like Joe. That might be why I was rooting for a crocodile to gobble Joe up, or a lion to get him.

      It's hard to tell how much is acting and how much is real in these shows, but I'd say Cody Lundin had maxed out with Dual Survival. I can't imagine he would have let them film him doing some of the things he did, which made him look bad, for extra cash. He just isn't that money motivated but seems to be very jealous of his reputation. Discovery Channel did some unethical stuff like filming him talking over some issues with the producer "accidentally" because a camera was set down on the ground still on. You couldn't see anything but you could hear Cody talking and what was said did not cast him in a very positive light. This guy they brought in to replace him is a Discovery Channel regular from a really pathetic survival show about a bunch of veterans who run around acting like teenagers. It's called "Dude, you're screwed." I watched one episode, cursed Discovery Channel for the exploitative bunch of bastards they have become, and never watched the series again. I don't doubt money figures in there somewhere, as well.

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  7. Edited to include I recall one show where Joe made a big deal of security and got a sharpened stick because they were in a jungle full of tigers, or a forest full of bears (I cannot recall). He was 'patrolling' around their little camp with the stick and it was quite silly. Tripping Cody or whacking his bare foot with the stick would've been a better plan than fighting the giant predator with a pointy stick.

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    1. Yeah. I remember that one. Teti likes to run around yelling "you're compromising the mission" but what's the mission. Well, it's to walk around until they have enough film for an episode and then they do the fake rescue. So why do you need to rush around like a hog in heat?

      I'm sure Teti had some good training in the service about living in the field, but he isn't in Cody's league. For him to be yelling and screeching because Lundin didn't want to follow one of Teti's rather foolish plans was not conducive to enhancing Joe's credibility.

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