Aug 27, 2012

on fear and entertainment

I 'd never think it possible: I jumped from a plane at 4500 m without an own parachute, without fear. I was not afraid. I'm not bragging, I'm worried. There was in fact no "real" reason to be afraid, I was hooked to an instructor, who of course had a chute, and if accidents happens, they're really rare. But all the same, as I sat at the plane's door, legs dangling over an incredible distance of nothing, I was not afraid. It doesn't seem human, let alone reasonable. How come, then? Infantilization born from the necessity to trust, and distance through spectacle-ization of the experience are the gimmicks, I ended up believing.
The trust part is easy to explain.If you're going to jump, you have no other solution.The instructor knows for you,  the buckles, the altimeter, everything, and doesn't explain anything else then how to bend your knees, when to open your arms. Your life in literally in his hands. The last time you were in such a situation, you were maybe 4 years old. Back to baby, basically.
The second part isn't so obvious. There were 5 first-time jumpers and 5 instructors in the plane. The flight up took some 10 minutes. The instructors talked incessantly, cracking jokes abour deficient material and horrendous crashes. And they were good at it,  everybody laughed the whole time. The jump, and the possible fear of it, were not things to take seriously. Just fun. You weren't left one second to yourself.  No time, no fear.
The other thing the instructors were doing non-stop was filming their charge. ( I had told mine I wouldn't be buying the ( overpriced) pictures, he did it all the same. ) They would ask people to cut faces and take "cool" poses for the objective. You don't think about death when you're playing a part, the part of yourself being somewhat of a hero...
The incessant fabrication of pictures of an experience ( a great experience actually)  for later perusal makes it impossible to live that experience when it happens. People call pictures memories.  Pictures are actually what takes the place of memory. (Not that I don't love them) 

last year, i wrote something in the same vein

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