The setting of a movie is as much a character as the two-legged kind that populate the scenes. Your own setting or environment can either support or be in constant conflict with you and your dreams, kind of like a many-armed kraken that spews fire and lightning and plays practical jokes.
(Thanks for the pic, Prof. Myers!)
So go ahead, rail against the concrete canyons that fence you in or the muddy paddocks you have to clean for the umpteenth time. What to some is mindless drudge is actually no less than the age-old conflict of man versus nature/environment. As a dramatic theme, it is rife with epic possibilities for heroic shining and heroic railing, whether you are sure you can overcome the problems or positive you will sink, heroically, beneath them. (Ask yourself: Is that glass half comedic or half tragic?)
But before committing to something that could have such comedic or tragic results, find out what is your destiny. Are you destined to be a hero or a fuckup? Let’s see with the following quiz called
The Man vs. Nature Quiz
Imagine you’re the average urban or suburban cowboy with some time, money, and energy on your hands. You want to put yourself in the path of Mother Nature, mess with her head, to see if she will chew up your real or metaphorical hormone-laced, antibiotic-swollen balls and spit them out, the way she has done to fuckups since time immemorial. And by those effed-up folks I don’t mean people in tragic circumstances or who are caught in freak-of-nature flashfloods, etc., or those who go searching for effed-up folks so they don’t die in the wilderness. I’m talking those who run from their desk jobs to harm’s way on weekends.
Now imagine on one adventure-filled weekend, you are one of the following urban or suburban cowboys, having some face-to-face time with the terrible power of nature. What do you do?
1. You and your partner walk swiftly toward a one-ton buffalo bull grazing in a national park. The buffalo lifts its massive head and looks straight at you. You:
a.) freeze until he begins to move away.
b.) pray out loud in a calm voice and hope the beast will understand you’re just a tourist who has gotten to close, no harm meant.
c.) stop, lift your camcorder to your eye and yell, “Watch [partner’s name] get gored!”
2. You and a friend have no rafting or camping experience, and you have only several cans of Dinty Moore beef stew and a liter of vodka, and no overnight gear. Yet you are drawn to build your own log raft and float down the Virgin River in Zion National Park. As the raft drifts into the first set of Class IV rapids and begins to break apart, you:
a.) thank your lucky stars that you and your friend decided to bag the trip and send the so-called raft by itself down the river. That night you eat stew and drink vodka and plan to hike out the next day, because of course you’ve carried enough water to do so. You’re not dumb, sheesh.
b.) grab onto a log and head down the rapids, swearing to Jesus and Mohammed and Mother Nature that if you get out of this alive, you will never do it again unless you go with a certified guide.
c. Pull out your camcorder to film your exploits for YouTube and Man vs. Wild fame.
3. You decide to go off-trail in the Grand Canyon National Park because
a.) you have a gallon of water for every day you are hiking, you have experience using a map and compass, and you’ve told people where you are going and when you are coming back, so if anyone misses you, help will be on the way.
b.) you want to walk to the edge and take a photo but you soon turn around and go back to the trail. You don’t have enough water in case you get lost, and you don’t have a map, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
c. you have a bottle of water and a cell phone, so you’re sure if you get into any trouble, you can call for help.
4. You and two friends, one with limited backpacking experience, are hiking the backcountry of a national park. The sun is dipping below the horizon and you begin to set up camp but notice that your water in the water bottles tastes salty. You:
a.) check all water supplies and decide to stay for the night and head back the next day.
b.) put water-purifying tablets in the water supply, just in case.
c.) use the emergency signal on your SPOT GPS locater device.
Record your answers and answers here. Meet your destiny!