John Sherman: The Love Blog (March 2010)
Wow, who knew that poking fun at a soulless Wall Mart (always the steep price!) would generate such diverse reaction? Got to admit it’s been a learning experience for me - after climbing the uberclassic Naked Edge with Hans Christian Doseth and sharing the lower pitches of the Eigerwand with Trym Sæland and Morten “Grisen” (the pig) Diesen. I thought the Norwegian climbing community was composed entirely of hardcore climber’s climbers. The kind that would be too busy planning their next attack on Trollveggen to waste time anonymously whining about somebody’s blog. Hmmm, times have changed. But to show there are no hard feelings I will take my anonymous Nordic detractor’s suggestion and fill my blog with nothing but positive thoughts
So yesterday a wonderful warm sun bathed the desert mountains making the yellow-orange and cream-red-tan quartzite even more lovely to gaze at. And not only was it gorgeous looking, but the solidity and well-featured nature of the rock made it ideal for climbing. The texture of the holds was grippy, not abrasive and I flowed up the rock as a hawk rode a thermal above. A whitetail buck scampered across the slope -- would he eat the first flowers of the season? Tiny purple petals arranged in a bell...
I’d better stop before we all hurl. Face it, Deadpoint didn’t hire me to spread love - that shit don’t sell. So despite how bursting with love my heart is I need to scrape the dark depths of the hate bucket or I won’t get published and my pup won’t get Milk Bones this month. What can I say? People be loving me hating.
So in no particular order here’s a few random things I feel like hating on today.
Item 1 I hate hypocrites who have nothing better to do than bash on “haters.” Labeling somebody a hater by definition makes you a hater. Would a loving positive person slap a Mean People Suck bumper sticker on their car? Gee, you could have said something nice -- like “excellent spelling Verm.”
Item 2 I hate how the climbing media tries to make every accomplishment sound better than it is. How many times must we read in the climbing media that the Hubris Brothers freeclimbed North America Wall? Back when they climbed El Nino I found it refreshing that they admitted they couldn’t free a short stretch which instead they rappel/pendulumed across. Hey 99% free up that chunk of wall is pretty badass but apparently not badass enough for the media who decided to give them 100% credit. Now even the brothers advertise it as a free route. So what happens when a better climber manages to free the entire route? Will the media give them credit for the First Freer Ascent?
Item 3 I hate it when I see a boulderer walk up to a problem they’ve never even tried and immediately start ticking holds. I needn’t explain how retarded this is so instead let me give those souls some fresh ideas. Fresh idea 1 -- next time you go bouldering bring a toothbrush, walk up to a problem you’ve never tried, and brush the tickmarks off. Fresh idea 2 -- learn how to frickin’ climb.
Item 4 I hate how when I was bashing through the desert looking for virgin boulders today the soles on my hiking boots were coming further unglued. Whatever happened to the replacement pair the Sportiva rep said he’d send six months ago? What? I’m not the first person ever stiffed on a trade show promise? Damn, for a moment I thought I was special.
Item 5 I hate how the sun setting behind the saguaros makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and I can’t think of anything else to hate on right now. Well, I guess there’s always tomorrow.