Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Nature still draws a crowd.
When the boom in "survivalism" took off in the 1980s I started to take an interest. This was seen in some quarters as further evidence of my becoming none too tightly wrapped and possibly several sandwiches short of the proverbial picnic. My critics had a point. Survivalism never had a very good press. The associations with the extreme right, the obsession with para-military paraphernalia and the image of sexually unfulfilled youths making deadfall traps in their mums back gardens didn't help. But for all the unfortunate connotations there was, and there remains in my view, a kernel of something valuable in survivalism. It's roots are in Henry David Thoreau, the anarchist back to the land movement and the Kibo Kift. The simple desire to be a little more self-reliant and a little closer to nature has been a constant theme since the Enclosures and the birth of the Industrial Revolution. I like to think of myself as a Modernist and a Rationalist but that old romantic notion of nature and freedom rings a bell for me; and I suspect that it always will.