Saturday, April 1, 2017

The RV Boondocking Blabbermouth Syndrome

No doubt, over the years, many ex-readers noticed that this blog just wasn't what they hoped for. It wasn't helpful to beginners. It wouldn't wallow in practical details. It didn't even give google map screenshots or GPS coordinates of boondocking sites.

The disappointed reader probably thought, "What a selfish fellow! He wants to suppress information that would benefit his fellow RVers. To hell with him then, I'll just read a nicer person's blog.  They have more pretty pictures anyway, and I won't have to keep looking up words..."

The disappointed reader is certainly right about one thing: there are other blogs to go to that will give them want they are asking for. But what if they eventually decide that the easy and popular approach is destructive in a subtle way?

Wouldn't it be more constructive to look at the philosophical significance of the Boondocking Blabbermouth Syndrome? Romanticism and escapism motivate most people to travel. There is nothing wrong that, as a beginning. But it should move on to something more solid.

For instance, RVing is besotted with hackneyed phrases, 'living the Dream', 'starting our new adventure', etc. And yet, virtually everything on the RV blogosphere is aimed at taking adventure away from it! How can anybody see this as the "positive" approach of a "nice", helpful blogger? Hell, it's the approach of a blogger serving Mammon, not their fellow RVers.

Adventure? Do they mean being spoon-fed the answer, as an overly indulgent teacher does with lazy and timid students? Does a parent who loves their child want to keep that child weak and dependent on the parent?

When a newbie or wannabee thinks they need to be told where to camp, it is probably because their rig is too big and awkward. In other words they want their cake and to eat it too. Is it really such a nice thing for a blogger to pander to phony readers of that type?

But there is another reason for the Blabbermouth Syndrome -- a sociological reason. RVers are bourgeois couples, for the most part. That is good and bad, of course. It affects everything they do when they travel. They don't really want adventure; they want comfort, security, and bourgeois respectability. That comes from consuming travel, rather than experiencing it. 

Therefore they want to remove risk, effort, or spontaneity from RV boondocking. They want a campsite to be domesticated into a bar-coded product that they can consume. Despite their hypocritical posturing as adventurers, they don't want any adventure in going out there and finding it.

A blogger should try to be a good mentor: helping others get started in approximately the right place; teaching them to fish instead of just giving them fish; and giving them encouragement to become stronger and more knowledgeable. And when they do, finding that campsite will be half the fun. 

In summary then, I hope this has been constructive because I have convinced some people to allow their RV adventure to actually be an adventure.

4 comments:

  1. How did the thought happen to come to you? I'm referring to the subject of this essay?

    IMHO, one can never call your blog an "RV blog" for the exact reasons you have specified. You HAPPEN to live in a RV of sorts and travel around a bit for various good and solid reasons and the apparent reason is frugality. Obviously living in a home and owning land is more expensive. It is only a detail, an unimportant one at that, as to which a person chooses.

    People can suffer from a desire to escape and wrap themselves around romantic notions of life regardless if they live in an RV, a tent, are homeless, or live in a mansion. It makes no difference. The crucial word is "adventure." Many people really do not want an adventure....why else do they sit and watch movie after movie about someone else's adventure? They want the thrill only and can get it vicariously. All the while sitting in their comfortable and secure, cushy chairs.

    "Adventure", though, is a frame of mind. It really applies to being willing to head into untested waters with all the necessary risks, as you pointed out. We tend to think of adventures as being physical but, personally, I'm rather fond of psychological adventures.....putting myself in challenging positions, uncomfortable positions, I may add, because I realize it is the only the pathway to psychological growth. I challenge myself in this way, challenge my prejudices, my preconceived notions, my irrationality.....something we are all prone to but would rather forget. And, for me, this happens through very active involvement with a volunteer position, taking on board responsibility, etc. and working with other people with very different ideas.....a challenge indeed. (I should point out, since I've brought in this personal information, that I am very dedicated to the mission first and that is the real payoff to engage in the psychological adventure aspect.)

    So, just to point out that adventures take many forms. Physical, mental, emotional. But the beauty of this posting is pointing out that no one can do it for you. The road cannot by its very nature be easy. But the rewards are great. Very great, indeed.

    Let me point out one more thing. We will all lose our ability to engage in physical adventures but hopefully we have not neglected psychological adventures for old age is truly an adventure in itself and is characterized by the loss of physical abilities but, if one is lucky enough to keep their mind, this part of one's life holds perhaps the greatest adventure of all....a summation and refinement of an entire lifetime and a psychological preparation for what is to come, what we all must face someday. And it is a whole lot more challenging than a mountain road or where one might camp for the night.

    Rally on, KB. Good job. This is much more than a RV blog. And don't you forget it.

    George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The subject of this essay came up after I heard a little gossip off the grapevine, about an RV blogger. Admittedly, I was enjoying a bit of "schadenfreude" at their expense.

      My goodness, I need to think some more about your post before I respond.

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    2. George, I certainly agree with the idea that one could turn old age into a psychological adventure, assuming the mind hasn't decayed along with the body. Perhaps a person could do some of that even when their body is still cooperating.

      I think you might be positing a dualism between the physical and psychological in youner folks. I like seeing a person well balanced, and fully integrated.

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    3. I think a person has to do a lot of psychological work while their physical body is still capable. It takes COURAGE to physically push oneself beyond what appears to be one's limits or to go into the unknown. I think it will be too late if one waits till late in life to find this kind of courage. I've seen too many old people go out kicking and screaming in the most embarrassing sort of way because they lacked this essential kind of courage.
      Brutal reality is crucial. Your post is about that very thing, as your posts are so often.

      Delete

Comments are appreciated. Feel free to disagree as much as you want with any idea in the post or other comments, but resist the ad hominem approach. Please don't be discouraged if I don't respond to every one of them.