Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Chris from Chicago, Apr 17, 2016.
This has been an interesting season so far, maybe the best ever. Old boy killed a musk ox. Wow.
65 days to go and winter has arrived....good luck once the snow sticks, the lake deepfreezes and temps really drop.
I just started watching this show a few days ago. I started with season one. Before, I was getting by with @Chris from Chicago recaps, but he's obviously busy. I like the show. It's right down my alley in terms of what I like (man v nature). It's obviously not phony crap like Bear Grylls. It's a bit more 'Survivorman' but far more brutal and extreme.
It'd be wild if they took the previous winners and put them against each other. Of course, few would probably want to do it again, but if the $ was right I bet they'd try. I think it would be interesting.
There's also an offshoot program called Alone: The Beast where 3 survivalists are dropped into an area with nothing but the clothes on their back, the goal is to last 30 days. I thought the swamp episodes were very interesting in terms of how brutal the environment was even compared to the northern ones. Both had their extreme difficulties.
One thing I noticed a couple of episodes back, this one guy killed a squirrel and was showing it off after cooking it. I thought to myself, that squirrel doesn't look done. The next day he was puking his guts up so bad he had to tap out. Always cook your meat.
Another thing, the dude that killed the musk ox, Roland I think it is, was licking blood off his hands and taking a bite out of the raw heart. That's not wise.
Column: Watching ‘Alone’ from the couch, perfect for our coronavirus times
By JOHN KASS | CHICAGO TRIBUNE
I’m so hooked on “Alone,” an extreme survival series on the History Channel that is just perfect for Americans isolated, and alone, in these bleak coronavirus shutdown times.
Contestants, male and female survivalists and experts in wilderness craft, are dropped off completely alone in the wilderness. They fight off bears. In the latest season, set in the Canadian Arctic, winter is setting in. The contestant who lasts 100 days wins $1 million. Don’t worry. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t started watching. But hurry. They’re alone out there.
“They can’t be totally alone,” said reader Marybeth Murtaugh Beechen. “There is a film crew, right?”
No, Marybeth. There are no camera crews. Contestants film their own adventures. The hunger, uncertainty and isolation get to them, and you see how it works on their minds. They must hunt, catch and gather their own food, make their own shelters, start their own fires. They are allowed no firearms. They have no internet. They can’t communicate with the world.
They confront wolves, wolverines and the bears. They are completely and utterly alone in the wilderness.
A few contestants, after being dropped off by helicopter, are zapped by the realization of their true predicament. Stunned, they must fight the urge to quickly tap out. The producers tell me that they call this “drop shock.”
I’d recommended “Alone” shortly after we moved back to Chicago at the beginning of the shutdown, thinking this would be like “A Year in Provence,” but from a three-flat. I didn’t realize that so many of us with preexisting conditions would be isolated and (almost) alone. The other day on social media, I checked with readers to see if they liked the show. They loved it.
“I find it calming before bed,” said Jeffrey Landis, “those people are badass.”
Indeed. Except when a few begin to crack up and weep if they catch a squirrel or even a mouse and, between tears, thank it for its life and meager meat. It is disturbing when some begin to break and think out loud, on camera, about what they miss back home, and how easy it would be to grab the emergency satellite phone, press the button and wait for extraction.
I can’t tap out here. I just call my editors for some big verbal hugs.
“I just finished season 6 on Netflix, and I’m hooked,” writes Joel Friedman. “Blueberries and mouse heads? Rabbit fur rope? Boiled moss for carbs? The ingenuity these folks demonstrate makes this show a hidden gem.”
“I tried it on your recommendation and got sucked in as well,” said Ruth Martens. “I didn’t expect the creative stuff (making a rabbit fur vest and scarf). It was a good lesson on how psychology and mental attitude are as important as other skills.”
And is “Alone” applicable to our coronavirus isolation?
“Yes,” said Martens. “I’m a physician with a psych background. You learn a lot about people when they are put into situations they don’t expect.”
They’re isolated up there, but they’re not gaining weight and watching TV like the rest of us down here. They’re free from the Twitter sewer. But they have to eat, and some go hungry. If they do make a kill, they must hoard the fat, because without fat, the brain can lose its focus. That’s when stupid mistakes happen. And one mistake out there can be fatal. Ah, the things we learn about the wilderness while sitting on the couch.
I don’t have to rely on mice and blueberries. And I think I can make it to the fridge for Betty’s pasticho.
And here I can amuse myself by reading witty observations online, about how America 2020 is very much like the French Revolution, though we haven’t yet reached the part with the guillotines and the wincing, rolling heads.
Or read about those liberal writers, professors and scientists signing their “open letter” in favor of free speech, hoping to protect themselves from the cancel culture. Some of them have already withdrawn their signatures in fear. It appears they’ve finally figured out, too late, that the Jacobins of the hard left will devour them first.
But up there, the Jacobins are the least of their worries.
Watching “Alone” is, for me, an escape from all of that, to see evidence of American virtues now discouraged: individualism, self-reliance, courage and grace under pressure, all expressed by thoughtful men and women facing the savage wilderness.
In our savage wilderness of Illinois, where politicians feed wantonly on helpless taxpayers (you can hear them stampeding across the borders like wildebeests), a few Twitter trolls hunt me. They’re not noble wolves, but more like deranged, rabid meerkats. One is sniffing around, trying to find out where we live, probably so he can publish our address in some Jacobin newsletter and invite the mob to my place. I hope they have the good manners to bring decent coffee cake.
He thinks we live in Mount Greenwood.
Lighten up, Francis. Go find some other witch to burn. I’m busy watching hungry survivalists on TV while eating a no-sugar Fudgsicle.
Up there in the Arctic Circle on “Alone,” there are no rabid meerkats.
“It’s a favorite in our house,” says Lin Kay. “Always amazed at the stupid things that take people out. Like losing a fire starter, getting a fish hook stuck in your hand, stepping in a hole and messing up your knee …just simple accidents that take you out of the game.”
I love “Alone.” It’s so unforgiving, like our world, now.
Gah! I have to stay away from this thread now. Too many spoilers (and I'm the type of guy that reads up on stuff while I'm watching it because that's just what I do). I finished season 1 and will now watch season 6 on Netflix as I just listened to a podcast with Jordan Jonas which was interesting. It doesn't seem to be that important to watch each season in sequence. One thing I will say is though the episodes can be fascinating they can also get a bit tedious. Especially towards the end when the contestants are wiped out, starving, and starting to lose it mentally a bit. I mean, watching someone just babble in a sleeping bag for 10 minutes isn't exactly 'must see tv'. That said, the winner of S1, Alan, was an amazing guy. Bright, well spoken, talented (he could be a voice actor if he wished), incredibly steadfast, and resourceful. I was very impressed with him. I wonder if there will be others I like as much. Time will tell.
I'm enjoying this season more than some of the past ones, for some reason. Barring some unforeseen disaster, this guy Roland is set to win it. Most of the others have a more precarious existence, and kind of live from rabbit to rabbit, or fish to fish. That woman Callie seems to be doing pretty good for herself, though. A constant problem on this show is the storing of food, if you happen to find enough of it. We've seen wolverines get into the guy's moose cache a few seasons back, which he had stored in a platform. This season, one guy has caught a lot of fish and has them in a platform well off the ground. It's not enough, as he finds a wolverine in it, tearing through his cache. Now he's lost half his fish. When Roland killed the musk ox the first thing he talked about was the need to keep wolverines out of it, how they could climb a tree or platform. Within sight of his shelter he built a stout, notched log box, with a log top, with more log across the ends of them. A bear could tear into it, but Roland would at least hear the commotion and drive it off. No wolverine will get into that box.
Fire is also a necessity and an enemy. Those shelters start to dry out. Got to watch those sparks.
This is going to get ugly, right now I would bet that none of them will last 100 days, we're not even half way there yet (day 45), 6/10 are gone and it's only Nov 1 or so. If Roland can bag another muskox (based on the next ep preview) he might have a chance the rest will starve if they don't catch something substantial and soon. They can't fish anymore until the lake freezes over and now they have to rely on catching rabbits to sustain themselves. If I was chosen for this show assuming I had any skills to survive out there I would pack on an extra 30-50 lbs before day 1, being lean and fit is a great way to quickly fall to pieces in that environment as your body starts to cannibalize itself for energy.
Good summary, thank you. Also, I have been racking my brain to figure out your quote in your signature line. I was like, “Hendrix”? I thought so, but then it came to me! BLT’s “No Island Lost”! Great song.
That’s alright, I’m cool now.
No Island Lost, yep.
I knew that one guy, Joe, was not going to last. He would work halfheartedly on his shelter then lay down in it and stare at nothing. It's 20 degrees out. I think he mentally tapped out a week or so before he actually made the call.
The other guy, Mark, wasn't feeling well and it's a good thing he left when he did. He had some kind of parasite and was definitely going to be in a crisis if he had stayed much longer.
The one woman, Keilynn or something like that, is barely hanging on. Callie seems to be doing alright, in good spirits, eating. Amos is alright so far, the next episode should be interesting for him. Wolves.
It's still Roland's to win. I think he can do it.
Keilynn - the loneliness and lack of human contact is getting to her, when she said something to the effect of "the only time I have contact with something that's alive is when I'm about to kill it" - wow!
Her 10 items
1. Snare wire
2. Fishing line and hooks
3. Gill net
6. Sleeping bag
8. Ferro rod
9. Bow and arrows
Amos: they haven't spent too much time covering him so far, it looks like he is running very low on food.
Here are the ten items Amós selected to bring on his survival journey to the Arctic:
2. Gill net
3. Fishing line and hooks
6. Emergency ration
7. Ferro rod
10. Sleeping bag
Callie - good attitude, needs a big score to keep her going
Here are the ten items Callie selected to bring on her survival journey to the Arctic:
5. Ferro rod
6. Sleeping bag
7. Snare wire
8. Fishing line and hooks
9. Bow and arrows
Roland - odds on favourite by far, rock house is just that, solid and his cache can withstand practically any type of attack.
Here are the ten items Roland selected to bring on his survival journey to the Arctic:
1. Ferro rod
2. Gill net
4. Trapping wire
8. Belt knife
9. Bow and arrows
10. Sleeping bag
Separate names with a comma.