Your Children Will Participate In My Psychodrama
Friday Ephemera

Walking While Outdoors: A New Frontier For Fearless Homosexuals

You may wish to brace yourselves for some intersectional ruggedness, care of Patrick Kelleher, writing in Pink News:

Meet the queer hikers proving the great outdoors isn’t just for cis, straight, middle class folk.

I fear a question may have been begged there, one on which the entire article rests, but hey, let’s push on. There’s oppression to invoke and needless drama to manufacture.

On the last Queer Out Here walk, there was a welcome circle where everyone was asked to introduce themselves, state their pronouns, and tell the group what the outdoors means to them. 

Because even simple fun – say, an outdoors walk - has to be organised, you see, and made “quite political,” with lots of declarations and public speaking to keep you in the moment and at one with nature. And a walk just isn’t a walk unless you can make it, like everything else, all about your identity, i.e., all about you. The organiser in question is one Ailish Breen, a being with pronouns, and who offers “queer-only spaces” to those in search of sky and scenery. If you’re “queer, trans, non-binary, genderqueer, gay, lesbian, bi, asexual, intersex, pansexual,” or any sexual-identity niche not yet recognised or invented, this is The Fun Time For You:

Our community is wonderful because of its breadth and diversity. By coming on a hike with us you’re committing to embracing everyone’s uniqueness and welcoming everybody. We don’t tolerate any form of discrimination at our events.

“Straight/cis allies” are, of course, not welcome.

Inevitably, “a lack of equality around access” is invoked, but as so often, particulars remain unmentioned or unobvious. Setting aside the advantages of suitable footwear and something waterproof, the nearest we get to crushing issues of unfairness are,

 Ailish says, “People think it’s for middle class, white, heteronormative families.”

A claim that hangs in the air with no obvious support.

And,

“People often talk about bagging a mountain or a hill and it’s very much about conquering the outdoors,” Ailish says. “I can totally see that that would not be super welcoming for a lot of people.”

And,

“It always baffles me that outdoor clothing is still so gendered in stores. The shop doesn’t need to be split into two sides. I always find that super weird that we’re still doing that, so maybe people should think about that.”

Devastating stuff, I think you’ll agree.

Presumably, hiking gear retailers should disregard their contentedly male and female customers, the overwhelming majority, who may not wish to be regarded as androgynous and wholly interchangeable, in favour of a tiny minority who aren’t entirely sure what they are, and who may possibly feel irritated by reminders of the customary, and all but universal, male-female distinction. Likewise, it seems we’re supposed to believe that Ms Breen’s merry band are somehow rendered tearful and distraught by any mention of the outdoors being conquered – even though the term means overcoming one’s own limitations, or imagined limitations - which, among those less pretentious and neurotic, might be regarded as a good thing.

And these, remember, are the harrowing obstacles to hiking faced by “queer” people.

As one person tweets in reply,

How to make a thing out of something that’s not a thing, and not anything that anyone was even talking about. Imagine having to invent your own oppression.

Those in search of more niche hardship are directed to the hallucinatory forces keeping brown people indoors. As conjured by the Guardian’s Nazia Parveen, who was troubled by the thought of rock-climbing instructors often being white, and for whom walking up and down hills - among white people - is very nearly traumatic. Readers may also recall Everyday Feminism’s Emily Zak, who wishes us to know that an afternoon of fresh air and countryside is terribly oppressive, because of “capitalism, colonialism” and the fact, or alleged fact, that outdoor activities are “painfully heteronormative.”

Ooh, a button. I wonder what it does.

Comments

Mags

By coming on a hike with us you’re committing to embracing everyone’s uniqueness

That's not why I go for walks.

Sean

Because even simple fun – say, an outdoors walk - has to be organised, you see, and made “quite political,” with lots of declarations and public speaking to keep you in the moment and at one with nature.

Is there anything the wokies can't spoil?

TimT

Because even simple fun – say, an outdoors walk - has to be organised, you see, and made “quite political,” with lots of declarations and public speaking to keep you in the moment and at one with nature.

But why would you do that when you could have all the fun of narcissistic self-declarations and passive aggressive political speeches in, say, the comfort of a local library meeting room without the trouble of going on a strenuous hike? Once again, nature ruins everything.

David

Is there anything the wokies can’t spoil?

They do seem determined to encourage precisely the kind of self-absorption and practised victimhood that, in the real world, tends to irritate and repel. More so than whether a person is gay or whatever. And so, they make identity more important, even all-consuming, rather than immaterial.

And despite the implied innovation, it’s not a particularly new phenomenon. Even if you’re the kind of person who is only prepared to go yomping among people very much like yourself, politically and sexually, nationwide outdoors-activity groups for gay people, etc., have been around for at least half a century.

David

Another tweeted reply:

Jen

“Straight/cis allies” are, of course, not welcome.

Segregation is *so* progressive.

David

Segregation is *so* progressive.

Ah, but it’s all about “inclusion” and “diversity” and “welcoming everybody.” You see, they “don’t tolerate any form of discrimination.” That’s why they pointedly exclude anyone not sufficiently like themselves.

It’s “wonderful.”

I mean, you don’t want to go hiking with people who don’t mind that clothing stores tend to have sections for male and female items, thereby making things easier to find.

Stephanie Richer

Oh, FFS.

I live near and do a lot of my work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the most visited of American national parks due to its proximity to about half the population of the US; that many people have only a day's drive to get there.

And guess who I see on its trails? People. White people. Black people. Brown people. People with accents. Gay people. Fat people. Svelte people. Old. Young. Middle-aged. With kids. Without kids. I photograph a lot of marriage proposals (my 83rd is coming up on Monday). The couples have been mostly young, White, and Southern. But I have had my share of biracial couples, gay couples, and older couples.

When you're out and about in nature . . . nobody cares who you are. And, more importantly, Nature doesn't care, either - that bear will kill you regardless of your pronoun and hypothermia can get you regardless of where you choose to be on your gender spectrum. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and underwater hazards in mountain streams to trap you exist for all, as do springtime wildflowers.

Be whomever you want to be in nature. Just don't be a touron.

(Touron = tourist + moron. "Look at that baby bear! Becky, let's go get a selfie with it!")

David

Touron = tourist + moron

I learned something today.

Mike D

And a walk just isn’t a walk unless you can make it, like everything else, all about your identity, i.e., all about you.

That.

David

When you’re out and about in nature . . . nobody cares who you are.

I’ve mentioned before that the Other Half and I have often roamed through the nearby Peak District National Park, where we routinely see people of all colours and types, and none of whom appear to be oppressed by the alleged whiteness and heteronormativity of the place. Setting aside the, er, charms of British weather, and the fact that walkers are often buried under a half-ton of hiking gear, making any subtleties of identity difficult to fathom, it’s not generally why people are there.

I’ve often gawped at the scenery, and I have on one occasion had to look up what a particular kind of rock formation is called (while grumbling about the fact that it’s hard to get a 5G signal in the middle of nowhere). But I don’t recall being gripped by the issue of whether a passer-by was “non-binary” or “pansexual.”

decnine

“It always baffles me that outdoor clothing is still so gendered in stores. The shop doesn’t need to be split into two sides. I always find that super weird that we’re still doing that, so maybe people should think about that.”

I think there's a business opportunity going begging there - for any alphabetti that cares to embrace action over posing.

Maynard G. Krebs

I know how they feel. I had the same exact feeling in a bathhouse in the '70s.

anon a mouse

Touron = tourist + moron. "Look at that baby bear! Becky, let's go get a selfie with it!"

Always wondered - why, if it's called "tourist season", we can't hunt them?

APL

Nature doesn't care, either

That

Em

Presumably, hiking gear retailers should disregard their contentedly male and female customers, the overwhelming majority, who may not wish to be regarded as androgynous and wholly interchangeable,

Men and women (usually) want different fits. Due to HAVING DIFFERENTLY SHAPED BODIES.

David

Men and women (usually) want different fits. Due to HAVING DIFFERENTLY SHAPED BODIES.

Well, quite. And yet it seems this has to be said. Admittedly, there’s perhaps not a great deal you can do to make hiking boots or a windcheater more feminine or stylish, but in other items there is, I should think, scope for some fashion and flattery.

[ Browses women’s hiking gear. ]

Gosh, some of it is quite... trendy. Stylish, even.

[ Added: ]

But again, as so often, you have to marvel at the casual arrogance. Because Ms Breen has issues with gendered clothing – whether as a result of dysmorphia or just political monomania – everyone else should have their options taken away. Erased, as they say.

Not at all selfish, then.

ComputerLabRat

...there was a welcome circle where everyone was asked to introduce themselves, state their pronouns, and tell the group what the outdoors means to them.

They sound fun. Fun like a root canal.

That's what I like about nature and the laws of physics - they don't care what you look like on the outside, or what you think you are in the inside. They apply the same way to all, and they make no exceptions for your unique specialness. This is probably why people like this creature of pronouns thinks the great outdoors is just for straight white middle class humans.

ccscientist

I have known plenty of poor rural whites and blacks (ie not comfortably middle class) and "outdoors" was for hunting, fishing, dirt-biking, swimming in the pond, gathering wild plants, making wreaths to sell, etc.

Hiking is the most egalitarian sport that ever existed. All you need is feet. You don't need all the fancy gear. You can spruce it up by calling it bird-watching by buying cheap binoculars (or not). You can find a second-hand canoe for cheap. I used to hike locally in college and sleep on the ground with no tent (obviously not on a rainy day), just army surplus sleeping bag and thinsulite pad. If you want to organize a gay hiking club, go for it, but don't insist you need it because of oppression.

Clothes: as David mentioned, the fit is indeed different. If you are a guy and women's jeans fit you, then more hiking is probably in order. Likewise, some guys have massive upper bodies--wide shoulders, big biceps. Do you want his shirts mixed in with ladies size shirts? It defies common sense.

WTP

My wife an I go for a walk every morning and almost every evening. Just the two of us. No one else. We're pretty fascist that way.

Rafi

But again, as so often, you have to marvel at the casual arrogance. Because Ms Breen has issues with gendered clothing – whether as a result of dysmorphia or just political monomania – everyone else should have their options taken away. Erased, as they say.

Not at all selfish, then.

That.

David

My wife and I go for a walk every morning and almost every evening. Just the two of us. No one else. We’re pretty fascist that way.

Heh. But yes, I think that’s generally a large part of the appeal. The fewer people, the better. Just you and Mother Nature doing her thing. The few people I’ve had any kind of exchange with have usually been friendly – more so than strangers are likely to be in a busy city – but the socialising, such as it was, wasn’t the reason for going. For many, it’s an escape from social interaction, or from the news, or politics or whatever.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

“I think a lot of people do feel that the outdoors is only for certain types of people,” Ailish says.

I think the reason these people think that is because growing up they didn't get to experience the outdoors at kid's camps.

Steve E

...there was a welcome circle

Everything is circular with these people, including their logic.

Welcome circles, healing circles, talking circles...it's all just one big circle jerk.

Sort Of Mad Max

"Welcome circles, healing circles, talking circles...it's all just one big circle jerk."

I LOL'd.

aelfheld
By coming on a hike with us you’re committing to embracing everyone’s uniqueness and welcoming everybody.

If you were looking for a reason not to associate with obsessive cranks, this seems a pretty good one.

aelfheld
[...] for any alphabetti that cares to embrace action over posing.

Are there such?

Sam Duncan

“'Straight/cis allies' are, of course, not welcome.”

Thus, yet again, proving Duncan's Law*: The more an organisation uses the words “inclusivity” and “welcoming”, the more hostile it's likely to be towards outsiders and/or dissent.

*Hey, why the hell not? I can have a Law, can't I?

Fred the Fourth

My experience is that, the larger the hiking group, the less time anyone spends actually paying attention to nature. Now, I enjoy socializing with folks, while hiking or whatever. But my ideal getaway is to be 10 miles from the nearest group of people. Sitting on a giant boulder, overlooking lots of not-people. Sitting with one friend. Anyway, you want to "share" and have "necessary conversations"? Reserve a library room. Stay out of my neck of the woods.

ccscientist

"embracing everyone's uniqueness" except of course different points of view.
And really, how special are these people anyway? What is really unique is my friend whose wife really looks after anyone who is sick or injured--brings food, checks on them. That is being special. Whining and berating people about pronouns? Insisting that you are oppressed in spite of all evidence to the contrary? Unique but not in a good way.

Joe Ego

My experience is that, the larger the hiking group, the less time anyone spends actually paying attention to nature.

Anyone who's seen a group of younger kids on a hike can tell you more of them means more noise and paying attention to themselves and each other than the scenery.

Given the obvious selfishness and immaturity displayed by the writer, it is unsurprising that this group of people are actively seeking to maintain a particular social setting on a hiking trip. Most people understand hiking is not a social occasion and there's little point to doing it if you're not actively avoiding most other people. You can't not politicize every random activity, comrade - especially the ones that are anti-social by definition!

Joe Ego

Unique but not in a good way.

Less and less unique every day. And, if they have their way it would standard and accepted behavior.

They're unique and special snowflakes. Just like everyone else.

WTP

I think that’s generally a large part of the appeal. The fewer people, the better.

A tad OT but kinda funny...well to me...hopefully I relate this as amusing as I found it...Maybe 20 years ago we were in the UK to do some hiking in the Lake District but as we drove up that way we decided to stop a bit early near Windemere and get a room there. As there was still plenty of time before dinner we took a short (for us at the time) hike up the nearby hill/mountain that was a recommended overlook. This being October it was out of season for the sort of sailing and such that generally attracts people to the lake there. Even most of the restaurants were closed. The weather was kinda meh. Visibility was ok but not stunning. We start on the hike and we see absolutely nobody. Maybe 20 minutes over rather easy terrain and what seemed like a fairly well worn path but, as I said, out of season so not a soul on the trail going either way. As we get to the top of the rather broad hilltop/summit we do see one lone man there. But he's waaay over there and we're waaay over here so...no need to speak. And yet after dawdling there for probably 15 minutes or more (we were just killing time before dinner) it got more awkward. He obviously wasn't leaving soon either. We exchanged kinda "how you doing" glances. Judging by the coat he had on I presumed him to be German or possibly British. I figured he probably didn't speak English. At some point I started to guess Scottsman if even British for some reason I can't remember. After a little bit longer a fighter jet roared by out of nowhere so, amongst all the serenity at this point it would have been awkward to not say something. He was an American. From the other side of Orlando from us. It wasn't so much the coincidence but the whole middle-of-nowhere, awkward say-something-or-not, bah probably-doesn't-even-speak-English oddity. If not for the jet we probably would never have said anything.

Daniel Ream

Welcome circles, healing circles, talking circles

A circle is a grand way of making your group look non-hierarchal while still getting to be the center of attention.

the larger the hiking group, the less time anyone spends actually paying attention to nature
more of them means more noise and paying attention to themselves and each other

And that's the reason for all the hand-wringing about the cisheteropatriarchal-ness of the great outdoors: if there isn't anyone else around, there's no one to slake the incessant need for attention and validation.

One thing I found quite disturbing in my work with people with CPTSD is that they literally cannot simply be alone with their thoughts. If they're not being constantly stimulated - by which I mean distracted - the disordered mentation starts taking over. If they're sat alone in a quiet room with nothing to distract them they'll start having an anxiety attack.

I would not be surprised to learn that any environment where solitude, inner and outer, is the primary purpose evokes the same anxiety, and the attendant excuse-making.

ccscientist

Ream: interesting observation about CPTSD. A sign of maturity is if you are comfortable by yourself. Can you spend a few hours doing yard work or painting a room or refinishing an old car with contentment? I think social media encourages people to never learn to be alone. You can constantly check your phone and get the news, latest gossip, photos from your friends, and funny vids. Constantly. That is, it encourages immaturity. Maturity is not automatic. You can hide from it, evade it. The bad things that happen as a result can be blamed on others.

Darleen

Uh oh, my comment was there, now it's gone.

Darleen

cha-ching I've hit the tipjar in hopes of rattling out my comment from typepad purgatory.

David

cha-ching I’ve hit the tipjar in hopes of rattling out my comment from typepad purgatory.

As you know, I’m open to bribes, but there’s nothing in the spam filter. Are you sure you hit ‘post’ and didn’t just refresh the page? (I ask because I’ve done it more than once.) Either way, bless you, madam. May you never be short of those plastic clippy things for resealing large bags of snack treats, biscuits, bread, etc.

Daniel Ream

Can you spend a few hours doing yard work or painting a room or refinishing an old car with contentment?

Oh, those are distractions. I know of a few CPTSD patients who were quite antisocial. But they had to be doing something constantly, or have music playing or the TV on or something. Sit them in their apartment when it's been cleaned top to bottom, no laundry to be done, and the TV and stereo off and they'd start going bonkers.

I don't think every one of these Terribly Oppressed Gay Hikers is that damaged, but I think, as pointed out above, a milder version of the phenomenon is at play: they need constant social validation from their peers and you can't get that if you're the only human being for miles in any direction. That childish need can't possibly be a fault of our Terribly Brave cohort; it must, therefore, be the fault of Emmanuel Goldste- er, straight white men.

Squires

This is just how it starts. Before you know it there'll be homosexuals patrolling the oceans!

Joan

I don't think every one of these Terribly Oppressed Gay Hikers is that damaged, but I think, as pointed out above, a milder version of the phenomenon is at play

For an article about hiking it mentions alcoholism, mental health and substance abuse a lot.

a different james

It always baffles me that outdoor clothing is still so gendered in stores. The shop doesn’t need to be split into two sides. I always find that super weird that we’re still doing that, so maybe people should think about that.”

The hiking/ outdoors shops that I occasionally go into tend to be staffed with a large cohort of sleeve-tattooed, man-bun wearing, whiteys-with-dreadlocks types, and tend to have the trappings of wokeness about the premises.

I suspect that if the clothing is "gendered" it is because otherwise these shops might do less business.

Darleen

Are you sure you hit ‘post’ and didn’t just refresh the page?

Um...not sure. So I will try again. :)

The recruitment of 10 year olds continues apace.

Joe Ego

For an article about hiking it mentions alcoholism, mental health and substance abuse a lot.

In more urban and suburban areas the "outdoors" types tend to have significant alcoholism, mental health, and substance abuse issues. They also tend not to have a regular relationship with the "indoors" types. What I'm saying is a large portion of this alphabet crowd seem behaviorally similar in some ways to the homeless.

Kara

I get it that non-whites might feel out of place in the British countryside, because (1) they have no roots in the British countryside, and (2) wandering with no destination and nature appreciation for its own sake is something that white people do because of the influence of Edmund Burke, William Wordsworth, and so on, cultural influences that are foreign to non-whites who've only been in Britain for 1-3 generations.

The reasoning is that if non-whites feel excluded from the British countryside, then gays would feel excluded for the same reason, the only theme worth talking about being exclusion, and cishet whites always being the baddies. They've started from who the baddies are and invented the history, instead of paying attention to what the actual history is.

If anything gays are overrepresented in the origins of nature appreciation and sublimity seeking and countryside rambling among white people. Walt Whitman, the Wandervogel movement, George Mallory and his public school chums sharing Alpine cabins.

In an early Anthony Powell novel, A View to a Death from 1933, a country squire comes across a party of hikers for the first time, and can't make out what's going on: what are these longhairs and beards and corduroy wearers and women in trousers doing here, and why do they have cups and plates hanging out of their bags, and if they're in such a hurry why don't they take the bus.

Jeff Guinn

“ Ailish had personal reasons for setting up Queer Out Here. They grew up in the Yorkshire countryside where a love for the outdoors was practically mandatory ...”

What the heck is the matter with “It”?

Bec

And so, they make identity more important, even all-consuming, rather than immaterial.

They're doing nature wrong.

David

They’re doing nature wrong.

Heh. Yes. As Daniel said upthread, the preoccupation with victimhood and somewhat contrived identity, aired incongruously, even during a simple walk in the countryside, does suggest both self-preoccupation and a craving for continual in-group validation. Which isn’t exactly healthy, or appealing, or the basis for a happy life.

Fred the Fourth

Anybody who can get as far from the trailhead as I happen to be is welcome to be there with me. Unless I happen to be in a particularly anti-social mood. In which case I either growl, or move along.
I may be part bear, apparently.
In practice, this almost never happens. (5%?)
It's just another example of "I don't care what you are, I care what you can do."

ACTOldFart

Always wondered - why, if it's called "tourist season", we can't hunt them?

We can't, but the bears can

asiaseen

What the heck is the matter with “It”?

Maybe we normal-ish people should give up bothering about pronouns for the woke and simply use nouns - idiot, tosser, dickhead, dumbo etc...

pst314

What the heck is the matter with “It”?

"It" has customarily been used in a derogatory way, at least ever since my youth in the sixties. It was not used frequently, but when used denoted someone who was cognitively damaged in way which was particularly annoying or reprehensible.

Joe Ego

"It" was seen as rude and derogatory because the word seems to explicitly objectify or dehumanize a person.

Now, for the more autistic(?) and/or educated among us, "it" is the obvious conclusion if someone foregoes biologically relevant pronouns. "It" is also useful for implying dislike and disrespect for the current pronoun game, a simple way of implying there are males, females, and people who actively whine about being mentally ill.

Adam

Eye opener: Now I know what the adults meant when they went into the woods from camp to "collect faggots for the fire". That explains the queer smell of the smoke.

Squires

Coming next in this cavalcade of madness: Pay 4 Gay.

Jeff Guinn

I know I’m not telling anyone here anything new, but: “It” is the single, third person neuter pronoun. “They” is the exact same thing, but plural. How plurality removes some sort of sting is a real mystery, but the mangling of language to the point of rubbishing the point of language—conveying meaning—isn’t.

We can settle the pronoun wars in a heartbeat: if you appear to others as masculine, expect He/Him. Feminine, she/her.

Otherwise, It it is.

Princess Cutekitten

A fine fisk. I believe you are the best fisker on the Internet. Larry Correia could be one of the greats except his otherwise excellent fisks always look like they should be written on a bathroom wall.

When I was a kid, “white” strawberries, produced by depriving the berries of sunlight, were a fad, but I had never heard of strawberries with naturally white fruits, either.

Steve E

Before you know it there'll be homosexuals patrolling the oceans!

I've got news for you.

Steve E

He was an American. From the other side of Orlando from us.

Once met my Member of Parliament on a mountaintop in Jasper, Alberta 2,300 miles from home.

Daniel Ream

I've got news for you.

I remember when commercials were allowed to be fun.

WTP

Pay 4 Gay.

How the hell do they expect to test this? References?

Once met my Member of Parliament on a mountaintop in Jasper, Alberta 2,300 miles from home.

Ah, but did you have that long moment of....hey, I think I know that guy? Or was it an immediate thing? MP probably more outgoing types, might not be so edgy. A similar thing...Back in the late 1980's wife and I were wandering around Rockefeller Plaza in NYC around 6:00 or so, after most of the stores there had closed, looking for the bathrooms. We pop into an optician shop to ask and talking to the optician is American TV sports guy, who had a popular late night TV interview show at the time, Bob Costas. My wife didn't recognize him but he looked at me and by the look on his face I think it was quite clear to him that I recognized him. He then got this, "Oh shit" look. I simply asked the optician where the bathrooms were and we left without saying anything to Costas but once we got down the hall out of sight I couldn't help laughing at the look on Costas's face. He will always have that deer-in-the-headlights expression in my mind whenever someone mentions him.

navern

“People often talk about bagging a mountain or a hill...

Do they? Do they really? "I bagged Snowdon last weekend", said Lord Figment in his club. "Jolly good show", said Mr Strawman. "Was just about to bag Ben Nevis myself, until a troupe of homosexuals turned up".

... and it’s very much about conquering the outdoors,” Ailish says.

Perhaps, but only metaphorically. Apart from your marginal wear and tear on the paths, the mountains are indifferent to your conquest, and don't undergo regime change. It's your own limitations you've conquered.

“I can totally see that that would not be super welcoming for a lot of people.”

Such sensitive souls who shrink from even metaphorically hurting a fly, never mind literally. Us ordinary folk aren't worthy of sharing a mountain with them. When they climb a mountain, it's without strife or ambition in their hearts, without divisive preconceptions of what is high and what is low, what is the starting point and what is the destination. Their hiking boots cause no wear and tear on the paths.

Princess Cutekitten

I tried to bag a mountain once, but the zip-lock wouldn’t close.

David

It’s your own limitations you’ve conquered.

Absolutely. One might say obviously. But Ms Breen and her gaggle of poseurs and misfits seem determined to ignore the obvious and thereby frame themselves as forever put-upon. All delicate and sensitive, and aghast at the brutishness of anyone who isn’t neurotic and just gets on with it. It’s pretentious and contemptible.

WTP

Do they? Do they really? "I bagged Snowdon last weekend", said Lord Figment in his club.
...
Perhaps, but only metaphorically. Apart from your marginal wear and tear on the paths, the mountains are indifferent to your conquest, and don't undergo regime change.

But isn't this precisely the sort of language/thinking that one gets praised for in school essays and such? I don't think I ever heard a English/language arts teacher criticize it. History teachers did, though. Yet that didn't seem to have the necessary effect on some of my classmates.

Watcher In The Dark

I like the idea of conquering the countryside, because it's pretty damn obvious that once one has resolutely conquered it, the countryside just sits there, exactly the same as it always was.

'Conquer away, humans, I will outlast you.'

In another observation, what is it with being 'super' this or 'super' that, these days? I would have thought, for example, 'super welcoming' can't be very different from 'welcoming.' Surely it is binary: you are either welcoming or not, though of course this may directly relate to the amount of gushing the welcomer does.

Normally, gushing while out on a walk in nature should be done behind a bush. Reminds me of the old adage: 'Take nothing but pictures, break nothing but wind.'

Mr. Saturn

When I accepted that I was gay and came out a couple years ago, these people were the biggest hurdle for me. Not family or friends not accepting but these narcissistic, self-important twits who make everything about them. Last thing I wanted was anyone I know thinking I'd suddenly stop being me or change myself to fit in with some ass backwards mentality like this.

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