Channeling Crusoe and Watney



After reading a thought provoking, wonderfully written WordPress essay about our modern, materialistic, currency dependent society (authored by a blogger who I follow and who follows me), I soon realized that we have only ourselves to blame for this state of economic affairs … no strike that… woes.

From my POV, this has occurred because, with each passing generation, we’ve lost our ability to be genuinely rugged, self-sufficient entities. In short… we’ve wimped out!

SPOILER ALERT: For anyone who may’ve not read Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” and/or Andy Weir’s “The Martian” / viewed films based on either of these literary works… skip the following paragraph.

Well, I had barely returned to my own website when my mind went into a free-association mode… soon recalling one of my fave, fictional literary works, namely, “Robinson Crusoe”… how the castaway protagonist had eventually wound up successfully conquering a slew of initially insurmountable obstacles, perhaps too well, for, as it turned out, even his remote, tropical island was not immune to excessive progress. I also quickly considered the film, “The Martian” where stranded astronaut-turned-potato-farmer Mark Watney triumphantly faced down the prospects of an even tougher road planet to hoe… as it were.

Well, it was at that juncture that I ear-witnessed my audible long sigh… and began time tripping to the past to create my own fantasyland… Pollyanna-ishly and loosly basing that setting on the birth of a nation… i.e., the nation of my birth.

I found myself envious of my centuries ago compatriots, who had braved the Atlantic Ocean to emigrate, tame and settle our homeland. Imagine how, soon after arriving, they began freely staking out the territory of their own choosing… possessed all the required logging and carpentry skills to build cabins… the hunting / gathering / farming knowhow to live off the land… the hunting / weaving / sewing expertise to produce all the clothes on their backs (the nearby, babbling brooks becoming their washing machines / the wind whistling through the tree branches their clothes dryers)… the range of their long distance “calls” to their neighbors limited to how loudly they could yell.

And then, as each long day’s worth of labors began winding down, all would be stretching, yawning and kicking back to, perhaps, play flutes so skillfully crafted from hollow branches… while watching the orange and red hued, setting sun yielding to the blue, purplish twilight skies… observing all of those shining, sparkling celestial wonders gradually coming into view. The rising, silvery Moon acting as their natural nightlight and the far off, connect-the-dots flickers of light becoming their motion pictures… those images supported by the non-Hollywood, literal, true star power of the universe.

It all sounds so idyllic does it not? Of course, my story does fail to take into account the downside of human nature… i.e., our propensity to provoke needless wars. Indeed, these settlers squatters had ripped off and pissed off the actual property owners… Native Americans. Another long sigh as I lament… could they have not found a way to peacefully co-exist?

Well… I guess I had better hurry to end this in the here and now… lest I get ensnared in my usual literary / blogging trap… start straying into the reality of society’s negative territory.

Oh well… fantasyland was fun while it lasted.