today i went and worked hard on doing things with my free money. by free i mean negative money. did you ever see that episode of goof troop where they discover a buried treasure but it a chest full of PISTOOZAS which turn out to be NEGATIVE money? that episode was clearly written about financial aid.
anyway, i got a new bank account and some folders and a vest with a dolphin on the back of it. and lunch. and then i used this amc gift certificate i got for christmas to see into the wild finally. mikey saw this movie ages ago and so did my cousin amy and both of their comments have made me really want to see it. plus emile hirsch is hot and i heard the music was sweet and i loved the book and john krakauer went to my high school (along with brad bird, meredith brooks and harold reynolds, but i assume at different times)(all geniuses went there).
anyway, i have to say the movie definitely affected me. it is gorgeous and the music is perfect and it is for some reason an insanely interesting story. i agree with my brother though that sean penn might have maybe missed the point just a little bit when he decided to fictionalize it so much. there are certain things like the sister’s obnoxious voice over and the insinuation that chris mccandless was abused and his outrageously impossible kayaking down the colorado river that are completely beside the point. for example: it is so wrong to even pretend chris mccandless kayaked down the colorado when he didn’t. i hope sean penn realizes he is now responsible for a ton of soon-to-be-dead, stupid teenage boys thinking kayaking down one of the most dangerous rivers in the country is like, no big thing if you are brave and stoic enough. also mccandless had NICE parents. his ennui was completely middle class, completely normal. in fact, if he came from a fucked up family he probably would have had some inkling of real struggle and would have appreciated his life a little more. i mean, the story of chris mccandless is a story of a pretty well-off white boy who is so privileged he thinks the world is disney land. and it is disney land for him! he barely ever struggles, even after he gets rid of his money, even in alaska. people feed him and give him things he needs and he doesn’t get raped or lynched or ignored. he’s white! he’s a guy! why he dies is because he takes this fantasy too far. at a certain point his actual lack of knowledge kills him. it is a point when no one is around to save him because he believes the lie the world has been telling him. the lie: he can do whatever he wants, inherently; he deserves everything.
here’s the thing: i think it is a mistake to think of this kid as a hero. after all it was hero worship that got him into the wilderness in the first place. as my brother said, “there is a big difference between christopher mccandless and henry david thoreau.”
there is a big difference between a backyard in maine and the alaskan wilderness.
however, i still liked the movie. sorry chris mccandless: