Wednesday, October 1, 2014
National Geographic's "Live Free or Die."
I suppose, if you had to categorize the lifestyle here, it would be "primitive."
There really are people who want to live in the "mountain man era" or "the stone age" and I guess they are entitled to try it if they want to.
This show is about trying to do that. Being something of an eccentric myself, I hesitate to throw stones. There would be a degree of "the pot calling the kettle black" in that.
Still, to be honest, Nat Geo is doing another "Doomsday Prepper" thing here. They look for the most bizarre, outlandish people to film. There's the wanna be mountain man, who lives in the Georgia swamps. He says he's been drinking the swamp water for years without ill effect. I cry "B.S." on that one, even Les Stroud met a hideous fate with parasites in the Georgia swamp and he boiled his water, something that the character in the picture above does on a hit or miss basis if at all.
I also think there's something in the "screw loose" department about a guy who wears his Daniel Boone fur hat every second of the day. His red trapper coat is right out of Backwoodsman magazine. Maybe he's trying to recreate that life style and if he wants to, so be it. It's his life. But he's no survivalist.
Then there's the hippy couple, and I confess I liked them. I have no idea how they pay the taxes on their land, but they seem pretty content living off grid with just about zero amenities. I wouldn't mind having them on the next mountain. I wouldn't want "Mountain Man" anywhere within a 100 miles of my house.
Then there's the fellow who lives a primitive hunter life style in California. Harmless, but I doubt that with the drought out there, he's "sustainable." People who eat rats as the primary staple of their diet don't have good teeth, so he's getting some veggies and vitamins from somewhere. Maybe a future show will tell how.
Finally, there's stone age man. He lives in the Blue Ridge just up from me. What is it about the Blue Ridge mountains that attract all these strange people? Even if I accept I am one of them, I at least have a foot in the modern world. This Stone Age hunter fellow lives in a grass and leaf shack, at a higher elevation than I do. He apparently subsists on squirrels, beans and rice. I don't particularly think I'd want him living near me. I think he's like Trapper Man, he's one beer short of a six pack.
Maybe I was put off by the cheesy, pseudo hillbilly music the producers elected to use for a background. None of these individuals have anything at all to do with mountain people, so why the banjo's, dulcimers, and drums throbbing away all through the show?
Again, if somebody wants to go that route, it's their right. Looks like a hell of a miserable life all around, and I have some doubts about the complete authenticity of the presentation, but I could be wrong.