Leggevo questo articolo: Going Where A Lot of Other Dudes With Really Great Equipment Have Gone Before, di John Tierney (New York Times, 26 luglio 1998), e trovo questo passaggio che da’ praticamente una giustificazione antropologica al desiderio che noi abbiamo di comprarci chiodi, martelli, piccozze, abbigliamento in tactel, etc etc:
It can’t be just a coincidence that the sex most interested in exploration is the sex most obsessed with acquiring gear. When Homo habilis fabricated stone tools 2.5 million years ago, his immediate impulse was probably to lead an expedition across the savanna looking for an excuse to use them — and then sell the gear to the rest of the clan.
The grail for glory-seeking explorers has always been the excruciatingly bad trip — Ulysses would be unknown if he had taken the easy way home — but it is becoming more and more elusive. How can anyone go to Ellesmere today and compete with the old stories? Modern explorers are often dismissed as puny imitations of yesterday’s titans, but watching Schurke, I could see that their problem is just the opposite. They’re too good — too well equipped, too experienced, too skilled and fit. They’re like the best of the old explorers, the Norwegians like Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen (the winner of the race to the South Pole), whose books didn’t sell because the authors lacked the British and American flair for blundering into trouble and exaggerating their accomplishments.
Most of the famous old polar explorers could never keep up with Schurke and other modern professionals, like the skiers in recent years who have made astonishing trips across the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica man-hauling all their supplies. Robert Scott was an inept skier; Shackleton was a heavy smoker with a heart condition; Peary couldn’t ski and had a hard enough time walking. They often showed appalling ignorance in their equipment and plans, like Scott’s decision to use ponies instead of dogs. Shackleton actually tried to drive a car on a South Pole expedition. (It didn’t move an inch.)
Quindi essere dei montanari incapaci e’ un vantaggio dal punto di vista letterario.