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When I lay in the hollow at the top of Skirrid Fawr, three young men walked past me.

“There’s a right badger hole here,” said one, with contempt, with reference to me, and then they put on ‘America’ by Razorlight (“all my life, watching America”).

Because this is the point of climbing a holy mountain, to play loud music through your speakerphone.

At 3:30 in the morning, a couple appeared with torches on their heads—the first morning walkers, there to catch the view, though, for a moment, I thought they were some supernatural entities.

I said “good morning” to them, but they barely acknowledged me—because the agenda was to get up the mountain by so and so time, see the view before anyone else, and so on.

People spend time in nature—but they spend time in nature like they spend time at work.

You know, you get up at 6:30 and your objective is to see the view by 11:00 and then be down at the pub by 12:30, and then have a second brief walked at 14:30—and then beat the traffic back.

That is your “recreation”—it’s like a job, planned to the minute (so efficient).

Perhaps you also have an app to measure how quickly you walk up the mountain (shaved a 3/4 second off)—and you can watch that (efficient).

People do not just spend time in nature—they do not just lie in hollows and listen to their breath, when it is so silent you can only hear your heartbeat and your breath.

They arrive like they arrive at work—with an agenda, the recreation agenda—and then they work through it, with grim determination, to cultivate those “units of fun”.

It is why as a child I never thought holidays were fun—because it as always an agenda, like school itself, we must go away this year, we must go here.

“Aren’t you having fun? Isn’t this fun?”

It’s not fun—it’s mandatory recreation, you don’t see anything, you’re in a rush to get in the car to “get there”, and then in a rush to to see the sights, and then in a rush to get back.

It’s a job.

Why climb a mountain just to play loud music through speakers at the top? Why not just stay at home?

Because you’re “watching America”—Satan, the AntiChrist.

So people go into nature to mountain climb, to hike, to walk—but they do not just spend time there, very few just spend time.

They “do things” to nature, extract units of pleasure from it (Heidegger).

“What’s the point? What do you get out of it? You can’t waste your life lying in hollows on the top of mountains!”.


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