Hope – the strongest drug known to Man

This post originated from the Hongfire forums, a forum that I frequent. You can find it on my hot link tab on the right.

In particular this post is a direct result of a post made in the General Forums, under the thread “Powerful Photography“.

It started as a discussion of powerful photographs, you know, the pictures that move you. It started off on an innocent enough note: war, desecrated bodies, devastation, the usual stuff. It appears that the more a person suffers, the better the photo turns out. Then someone linked a video (who would have guessed) that blew my mind away. No, it’s not Schindler’s List. It’s a 4 and a half min video clip that features a slightly plumpish guy dancing in the middle of the street, at the beach, in front of buildings…. at 42 different countries. The music piece is “Praan”, composed by Garry Schyman. You can find the song on Amazon here. Without further ado, the video.

Someone mentioned that it was Nasa’s Astronomical Photo of the Day, though sadly a subsequent net search turned out nothing. The video btw, is courtesy of Where the Hell is Matt website, which is the travel log of Matt (the plumpish guy). I highly recommend reading it, his tongue in cheek perspective on anything and everything is a fresh perspective that even Lonely Planet cannot match. Take this excerpt from his trip to Antaractica (yes that’s right, Antaractica, where the South Pole is).

Next stop, Danco Island, with a short, steep hike up to 500 feet for an incredible panorama view of the region. It doesn’t sound like much of an ascent, but when every third step sends you plummeting waist-deep in snow, it’s quite a workout. Only a dozen or so passengers met the challenge.

At the top, exhausted, the thought of hauling our asses back down was too much to bare, so most of us just sat down, pushed off, and slid on our asses instead.

Impromptu sledding down a hill in Anarctica. It’s one of those moments that crystallizes in your memory. This world is not all bad. It’s worth getting up each day, cause sometimes things like this will happen.

This is the list of countries he has been to with links to his articles on them (in alphabetical order):

Yes, it’s a lot of places. I should quote another of his articles, this time from Singapore:

We’ve all heard about Singapore’s cleanliness; the stuff about chewing gum. You don’t go to jail for it, by the way; you get a fine. You also get fined for spitting, littering, vandalizing, smoking indoors, feeding the birds, and urinating in the elevators. None of this upsets me at all, as none of those are things I’m likely to do — except maybe that last one.

Yes, it’s a very ordered place. But the fascist, Orwellian images one might conjure are entirely inaccurate. Totalitarian governments function on the backs of the people. These folks aren’t exploited, they’re molly-coddled. If anything, the state is guilty of being overly paternal. It’s clear that Lee Kuan Yew, a Cambridge-educated lawyer, the first prime minister of independent Singapore, and the guy who rebuilt this city from scratch, genuinely wants the best for his people. He wants them to be safe, happy, and morally pure. He runs a tight ship with lots of rules. And in a very real, visible sense, his methods worked.

The designers of this city knew exactly what they were doing. It’s freakishly safe and efficient. It’s what Guliani (note: Rudy Giuliani was the New York Mayor from 1994-2001. Most people remember him for being Mayor when 9-11 occurred and what he did in the aftermath) would’ve done with New York if he could’ve gotten rid of all the New Yorkers. The crosswalks have timer displays showing how long you have left to reach the other side of the street.

Anyway what does this have to do with the big 4 letter H-word? Let me bring your attention back to his Antaractica article: “This world is not all bad. It’s worth getting up each day, cause sometimes (good) things like this will happen.”

Nothing in this world you smoke can make you go in front of a camera with a crowd of strangers and dancing your heart out, over and over again.

One Comment to “Hope – the strongest drug known to Man”

  1. Bravo, your idea it is magnificent

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