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Generation X as risk-takers
#1
[Image: quote_icon.png] Originally Posted by HopefulCynic68 [Image: viewpost-right.png]
I remember a radio commentator saying a couple of years ago (in context of a discussion of evaluating risks) that the Crocodile Hunter would eventually lose if he kept gambling. Ironically, this doesn't even appear to have been a high risk sort of thing, or at least no more than most diving.

[Image: irwinfamily_wideweb__470x379,0.jpg]

When I look at this picture, part of me finds myself wondering if he himself fully grasped the risks he was taking in his life.
Belated but I think germane:

He understood the risks. He knew how to tease a crocodile and get away with it; he knew that once on land he could outrun them. He would never have teased a bear, big cat, wolf, or even a dog (including the Australian dingo) in the same way. Anyone who teases even a well-behaved golden retriever as Steve Irwin teased crocodiles had better have good medical coverage -- including psychiatric care. You can't outrun a dog.

That wasn't a particularly big crocodile (it may have been the less dangerous freshwater crocodile), and surely nobody better knew croc behavior than did Steve Irwin. That said, he was as much an athlete as a showman and a biologist, and he would have had to have retired from his more daring deeds as his athleticism began to fail him. Reflexes and foot speed typically slow drastically in one's forties, which explains why one sees few major-league athletes in their mid-forties. Irwin was close to having to retire from his way of doing things because of the natural and predictable decline of his athleticism.

Crocodiles and alligators are ambush hunters that capture unwary prey typically at the water's edge, where the lurking reptile has all the advantages
against a mammal in the awkward position of drinking water, taking an unwise excursion into the water, or flying low (bats; this also applies to birds).

Like most Reactive adventurers, Steve Irwin was approaching the age at which he had to give up measured daring for caution. Reactives typically leave the adventures for those that they have groomed -- or get killed.
Quote:Last edited by pbrower2a; 12-08-2007 at 05:28 PM. Reason: addition
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#2
This thread is awesome, I have been looking into the risk-taking of the new Hero generation, to compare to my own and view changes. Even while I was a child, I wondered at the complete bombast of my childhood concerning RISK. I saw countless people smoking, doing drugs, sexually exploring, stealing and robbing just for fun, violence on whomever for whatever reason, I found my childhood to be quite terrifying and aware of it while it was happening.

The shift into young people who were not taking risks, who respected community, who were properly cared for, who did not want ink, for whom it is cool to chill inside chatting all day with their friends and it was OK or not a question to be a "virgin".

It was unfathomable to me UNTIL I read The Fourth Turning, and it all started to make sense. It is so weird for another human to put into perspective something you have wondered over that way. How things can shift, why they shift, why the shift must happen. It elevated my consciousness for sure.
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#3
The risky exploits of Generation X on skateboards and other extreme sports and stunts, which I could witness first hand being in California, went far beyond what boomers attempted. Quite impressive and talented.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
(07-21-2018, 11:05 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: The risky exploits of Generation X on skateboards and other extreme sports and stunts, which I could witness first hand being in California, went far beyond what boomers attempted. Quite impressive and talented.

But the reflexes and physical strength are beginning to slow. There just aren't many professional athletes (golfers perhaps excepted, but that is more a question of staying fit -- think of Tiger Woods) than reflexes, speed, or power.

What applies to baseball players (peak performance is usually in the late 20s, with a drop-off typically around 29 or 30) so that the mediocre ones at their peak are typically gone by age 32, the simply good by 35, with only the stars and superstars staying in the game as players past about 35) applies even more to football players and about as well to basketball and hockey players. Athleticism, the near-preserve of GIs in the 1930s and early 1940s, became nearly a Silent preserve from about 1950 to about 1965, a Boom preserve from about 1970 to 1985, an X preserve from about 1990 to about 2005. To be sure, there might be late-wave members of a generation who force their personality upon the sport (Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, Pete Rose, Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken Jr.) after their generation is largely spent in that sport just as there are early members of the generation who compel attention (Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Mark McGwire, Justin Verlander) at the start of their generations' sojourns in their sport. I speak of baseball because I know of more of the personalities.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#5
Excellent Gen-X exemplar: skater survivalist, Bay Area commune child, absurdist filmmaker Harmony Korine. Made 3 funny appearances on Letterman and was banned backstage before a 4th because he was rifling through Meryl Streep's purse. Makes movies of streaming random evocative and dark images without fixed narratives about subcultures. I have only heard of him today, but he's fascinating. Mainstream critics pillory him but he wins film festival awards and is lauded as a brilliant avant garde original artist. The video thumbnail shows a mashed up picture of him of his 3 appearances on Letterman.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmony_Korine
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
What about previous cycles? Were there Lost adventurers as well? I mean, Lost flappers pursued sexual adventures, but I don't think it qualified before the age of AIDS.
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#7
(07-17-2019, 09:27 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote: What about previous cycles? Were there Lost adventurers as well? I mean, Lost flappers pursued sexual adventures, but I don't think it qualified before the age of AIDS.

What about those guys who barnstormed on airplanes and stood up on the wings? Harold Lloyd who climbed buildings and hung on clocks? Stuff like that in the 1920s. Those who went to Paris for the Jazz Age, and wrote about it and contributed to it. The ones who violated prohibition laws and hung out at speakeasies, and some others who made money as gangsters?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#8
(07-17-2019, 10:30 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(07-17-2019, 09:27 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote: What about previous cycles? Were there Lost adventurers as well? I mean, Lost flappers pursued sexual adventures, but I don't think it qualified before the age of AIDS.

What about those guys who barnstormed on airplanes and stood up on the wings? Harold Lloyd who climbed buildings and hung on clocks? Stuff like that in the 1920s. Those who went to Paris for the Jazz Age, and wrote about it and contributed to it. The ones who violated prohibition laws and hung out at speakeasies, and some others who made money as gangsters?

  Yes the 1920s look like an adventurous decade Smile  Two cycles ago, the Gilded mostly colonized the Wild West, and the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly was in the same age bracket. But David Livingstone, who mapped the interior of Africa, was a Transcendental.
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#9
Daniel Boone was well known in his time.

For a fictional example, who could top Indiana Jones? Sure, he was slowing down in his early 40'sbut he was also much more cautions than Lost adventurers whose bodies are to be discovered.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#10
The Lost would have become adventurers - if there had been some place on Earth that wasn't discovered yet. But around 1900, even darkest Africa and the Poles had been discovered by the West. What does an explorer do if everything is explored? He's terribly bored.
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#11
(08-14-2019, 07:38 AM)Hintergrund Wrote: The Lost would have become adventurers - if there had been some place on Earth that wasn't discovered yet. But around 1900, even darkest Africa and the Poles had been discovered by the West. What does an explorer do if everything is explored? He's terribly bored.

The skies. There were many aerial adventurers among the Lost, especially in the ultimate expression of aerial derring-do, the Great War (as it was then known). Frank Luke, Manfred von Richthofen, Eddie Rickenbacker? The most infamous of the lot was Hermann Goering, Luftwaffe ace of the First World War and major war criminal of the Second. (Goering was a nasty piece of work, a classic sociopath devoid of empathy and conscience, and his fellow pilots of WWI could not stand him). If you remember The Great Waldo Pepper, you will notice such pointless stunts as wing-walking by Lost characters.

Think also of early auto racing, when it was incredibly dangerous.

Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" seems like a predecessor of  Steve Irwin in dealing with dangerous animals.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#12
The skies... good point.
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#13
(08-19-2019, 07:54 PM)Hintergrund Wrote: The skies... good point.

Don't forget the oceans.  We aren't even a 10th of the way through fully investigating them.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#14
Amelia Earhart was lost... and the fellow who "brought 'em back alive" was Frank Buck.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#15
(08-20-2019, 02:28 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(08-19-2019, 07:54 PM)Hintergrund Wrote: The skies... good point.

Don't forget the oceans.  We aren't even a 10th of the way through fully investigating them.

We have proven long ago though that we can go to their deepest point, if we want to.
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