Tag Archives: hero or idiot

Reflections on Aron Ralston and the Culture of Heroism

“Is Aron Ralston a hero or an idiot?” Since his story emerged in 2003, I feel like this question has been beaten black and blue and purple. But given our culture’s appetite for the story, it doesn’t look like it’s most popular philosophical question will die anytime soon. In his 10/21 piece for London’s The Independent, writer Peter Stanford engages the “hero or idiot” question relative not only to Aron Ralston’s upcoming adventure drama”127 Hours,” but also to the continuing litany of “adventure heros” who gain the limelight in our culture, contrasting them to the every-day folk who “should” be respected and revered, but never really gain acclaim. Should we admire those who “rescue” themselves from predicaments they should have never gotten into? Should a parent who needlessly risks their life in outdoor adventure be celebrated or condemned? And why do these crazies who explore canyons and climb mountains enjoy more celebrity than the average cancer survivor or crime-stopper? Thankfully, Stanford’s opinion is more thoughtful and well-balanced than its title suggests, and perhaps asks more questions than it answers. Have a look at the article, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Should we bestow sainthood on reckless adventurers? Danny Boyle’s … Continue reading

Posted in Accidents, Books & Articles, Canyoneering, In the News, Outdoor Leadership, Safety | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments