Finally, a movie on a plane that I could watch. I'm talking about Into the Wild. I had a friend who read the book back when it came out in the late Nineties. He told me then that the story reminded him of himself at nineteen, when he acted the grandiose, uncompromising adventurer intent on drinking in the Purity of Life, from whatever cold, clear source he could find. I told him, yes, I remember when we were both that way. Except it was only for a little while, and the realities of adventuring (after our fair share) humbled us as we moved into our twenties. The movie did a good job telling the story of a guy, full of that love for the Truth of Life, who just couldn't or wouldn't be humbled, at least not until it was too late.
What I liked most about the movie was the way it delivered a picture of the late Eighties and very early Nineties as belonging to a different era. It made me nostalgiac for that time, when it still seemed possible to get away by choice, to take your turn doing the Thoreau project, when we didn't leave data trails everywhere we go. When we didn't. . . um, blog. Alright, so maybe the communications revolution did away with that particular drop-out fantasy. But nineteen and twenty year-olds are (I hope) almost by nature grandiose and uncompromising. So what are the particulars of the younger generation's analogous fantasies now?