Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bro-Media and Climbing

The other day I watched a video which is about a giant rope swing somewhere in the desert southwest (a "secret spot" dude!) and which culminates, if that's the right  word, with a young woman being pushed off the edge of the cliff after hesitating for  a while about jumping herself. Adventure Journal commented, a bit callously IMO, in a post called, "How to Lose Your Girlfriend in One Easy Push." In another response, from Expand Outdoors, the author  stated, regarding this kind of pressure, that NO means NO and I think the implied comparison to sexual assault is not out of line. I have seen this kind of pressure put on women by their partners before and it's ugly and stupid.

But setting aside the incredible callousness of the individual who pushed the woman off the edge, I was struck by the unbelievably stupid and callous nature of the whole production. The disregard for the environment was everywhere. No mention was made of whether this was public or private property, whether they had permission to place fixed anchors, whether they were going to clean up the site, whether they had trampled on desert ecosystems to get there, and so on. Throughout the video, repeated plugs for commercial interests involved popped up, narrated by an oblivious yet gregarious "host" who was hyping the whole production. Ignorance and fakery permeated the whole thing.

If the term doesn't already exist, let call it "bro-media" and be grateful that for the most part it doesn't exist in climbing. Though the internet seems ready-made for jackassery like the video described above, climbing has resisted the siren call of mass publicity (Bear Grylls are you ready for your close-up?) and avoided making silly videos like this. Way way back in the dawn of sport-climbing history in the US, we met the Rock Warriors but, bless their hearts, we never heard from them again.

3 comments:

Crux Crush said...

Agreed - this video is disgusting enough, but the bro-media coverage really iced the already crappy cake. Thanks for bringing some attention to this issue and for representing as a respectful male voice!

Peter Beal said...

Thanks for the comment!

bpayst said...

These guys are idiots and I agree the whole trend lately seems to be in the wrong direction. If you can stomach watching the whole thing, it really becomes clear that these guys are just out for YouTube views and couldn't give a crap about their impacts, the people, etc. It's sad that such a beautiful place has to be host to such a bunch of tools.