The Velocity of Feces

I'm tired of rock climbing: It's another chance for people to participate in a hierarchical structure. I'm tired of these structures. The only reliable thing about them is that they are inherently unreliable. They are simply (and insultingly) reductionist in their interpretation and categorization of humans. Climbing caters to the same egotism that infects all potentially competitive activities (which is all activities), from sex to corporate management. Corporate hierarchy is internally condescending towards perceived 'inferior' employees, as is climbing. Note the attitude of elite boulderers towards anyone else. From a marketing standpoint, this is perfect. Climbing has therefore been christened as an economic enterprise. Note the cameras at popular bouldering areas. Note the bright-colored photo-friendly clothing and the sycophantic entourages of the performers.

I apologize. How mundane this has already become.

I notice the inherent discrepancies in many things, including my own most favorite activities. How immature it is to look beneath the surface: that is such a product of the idealism of the young, which must be tempered by the forge of reality. How counterproductive it is to question the benefits of the status quo order. Gag. Cliche as purgative.

I apologize again, for I am a true hypocrite: I lay claim to a vast number of transgressions against my own doctrine. How unique.

Cynicism, indifference: they are the solvent into which all of us dissociate. I too am guilty of providing those reagents in this ongoing reaction, the product of which is nihilism.

But climbing is about 'The Psyche'. It's about 'The Send'. It's about 'Rising Above' everything else and 'Accomplishing' something unique. And all these qualifiers, do they not serve to belittle any real knowledge gained through the experience? For every pair of climbing shoes sent as collateral for every (marketable) perceived high-level accomplishment, a mote of dust flies in the eye of the human experience.

Yawn. I bore even myself with such redundant observation. I'm sure that everyone involved is equipped with such a critical sense as to render these questions obsolete. All the swagger must be mere theatre for the rest of us to enjoy. And my own ego palls at the thought of these hypocritical ululations.


  1. I feel your pain;
    but I also think that the hallmark of today's hipster, whom seems to be ambushing "our" sport, is the hypocrisy of simultaneously criticizing hierarchies based on performance and ego while behaving in a manner so as to establish and stabilize that self-same hierarchy!?
    Is it too ambitious to enlist ourselves in the efforts of the former activity without getting caught up in the latter, or are we just being naive?
    It seems you are on the right track with a piece of writing like this, but sometimes the koan blog feels a little less than guilt-free...
    Is this what Dave was thinking when he put up "101 Ways to Fling Poo"?

  2. Super true. Almost everyone wants to be famous or thought of as famous. The truth is people don't become famous by accident. Very recognizable people in any discipline have put themselves there by playing the right games, knowing the right people, by working very hard and being very lucky (which can be a very tricky thing to do). Our culture currently makes people think some very strange things about what climbing means, (i.e reality t.v, climbing magazines/movies etc.) Become what you do and the security of your ego is moot.
    Ask yourself why you climb and if you find the answer to be "For me" that's probably a sign that you are not a climbing prima donna or dilettante which is arguably a good place to reside.
    I posted this somewhere else but thought it was applicable to what you just said.

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  4. The Flying Hobbit said...
    Transplant to "Boulder" bros! And you too can rub shoulders with fame, get a little social/material swag, and proselytize that chic Frontrange contingency to a deeper and quintessentially more organic climbing paradigm. It IS drier there. Yes, you too can climb all year round. Well, that is, if your bodies will allow, and that illimitable optimism remain untarnished by our "sports" aristocracy.

    But above all, remember that climbing is really all about "FUN". With that said Drew, let's drag some quasi heavy vinyl up el cap, poop in a tube, and crazy glue our fingertips while blaring Bon jovi's "living on a prayer" from the pulpit of El Cap Tower. Via con El crapetano!