Monday, May 29, 2006

Everest, the ego of it all

How irritating for the deal-brokers are diligent journalists and the network of bloggers. According to the Australian public relations "guru", Max Markson, swift and efficient news reportage of human dramas is death to dollars deals. So the mountaineer who was left for dead and then was rescued on Everest won't make a killing out of the experience because it has been well reported. It's not going to be a million dollar deal like the trapped miners in Tasmania who could have the deals all hooked up while they were muzzled from the media "safely" underground. "Safe" for the deal-brokers, you see. A position of perfect control. The miners were happy to co-operate. Their darkness was lit up by dollar signs.
Unfortunately, Everest is something of a superhighway these days. If you have no arms, no legs, if you are blind, deaf, had transplants, degenerative just have to climb Mr Everest looking for a record of being the first of your ilk to do it. Everest has had more first than I've had hot dinners. And if you can't be the first, you can be the first most...the first amputee to climb Everest ten times. This stupid quest for glory goes on and on.
I am not a fan of mountain climbers. I am not mad on mountains, either. They are better to look at than from, in my opinion. However, these rich obsessives seem to love to squander vast amounts of money and resources on the personal satisfaction of climbing Everest - and, worst of all, expecting other people to care about it.
I don't care if they all perish up there. I think they are boring and egocentric.

Now we have the huge scandal of the legless climber who charged on past a dying mountaineer because, well, he had to get to the top - and this other climber was going to die anyway. No time to stop, no time to stop. Me to the top. That's how it is up there. Compassionless cripples looking for glory. A pretty picture.

Sir Edmund Hillary was right to come out with his criticism of the way things have turned out at the so-called Top of the World. It's become a jam of driven egos in the snow. You see fewer ruthless, extravagant bastards on Wall Street than you see on Everest. And, so far as achievements go, having climbed Everest is just so ho hum. Everyone's already done it. It is now dreary old adventure tourism.

And to think the Tibetans once thought the mountain was a spiritual place.

I am rather pleased that the media has been quick off the mark with the assorted stories of dying or dead men that Everest mountaineers have ignored in their quest for glory. I am glad that Aussie Lincoln Hall is not in the running for a million dollars just because he nearly died on Everest. I think he should be paying others for the trouble he has caused. They all should. Instead, somewhere along the line, we are going to be further bored and insulted by "exclusive" chequebook journalism accounts of his altitude sickness delerium. Do they take such notice of drunks and their DTs? They should. One self-inflicted wound is much like another.

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