conquest of memory

I just got an email from my father complaining about human “hawk chauvinism” on documentary TV:

I bitch about BBC “science” documentaries talking about T Rex ruling the earth or lions being king of the savanna comes back afresh as I see The Red Tent: Finch as an explorer who “conquered” the north pole. Gee, then he turned around and conquered the south pole!

Did he make it bow? pay taxes? wash his socks?

I was reminded of the time, about a 25 years ago, my high-school wilderness program spent a chunk of Christmas vacation trying and failing to reach the summit of Mount Washington in high winds and well-below-zero temperatures. My friend Scott yelled his frustration:

“I WANT TO CONQUER THIS MOUNTAIN!”

The wilderness-program teachers were very disapproving. They said that that attitude was the problem with Western Civ, etc.:

“We’re here to become one with the mountain…”

“Fine,” said Scott. “I want to become one with the TOP of this mountain!”

Oh dear. It seems I’ve told this story before. I’m barely in my forties and I’m starting to have senior moments. Last night, when Black Bloke left a comment about the Book of Daniel and the Jewish concept of national guardian angels, I thought, “Oh, I should blog that passage from Asimov!”

I had transcribed about half of it when I realized I’d already blogged that passage.

Don’t think of it as senility, folks. Think of it as reruns.

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2 Responses to conquest of memory

  1. Black Bloke says:

    “Don’t call it a comeback, it’s been there for years…”

  2. vulcanhammer says:

    That sign brings back some great memories. I was a competitive cyclist in my early 20’s and there was a road race up Mt Washington that was sheer torture since it ran all the way up a very unrelenting grade to the top. I believe that the last bit of road was over 20 degrees in grade. Of course, by the time anyone made it to the top, the freezing temps would have made some get off their bikes and walked. Great picture.

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