Thursday, October 09, 2003

How Stupid is Stupid?

I gotta ask this question.

Here's the set-up: there's this guy who feels a connection to bears. He's an amateur, but he's had a modicum of success in marketing his connection. I don't imagine he's a bad guy, just a little obsessed to the point of lacking a certain ability to stay rooted in reality. I mean the potential has always been there. It always is when someone successfully markets an avocation.

Okay, this guy's name is Timothy Treadwell, and according the L.A. Times. I'm going to link to the Times story, but you have to register with them in order to read it, so don't be afraid. Anyway, this dude has a reputation with the Park Service up there as not having a realistic attitude about the bears, and in their opinion, he takes too many chances. Make that took too many chances, cause, he's daid now. He was eat by a bear.

But that's not why I'm writing about stupid. By cruel irony and coincidence, we have an audio recording of his last moments. ("Chomp, chomp, chomp.") I apologize to anyone who's sensibilities I offend with this.

"...the tape begins with sounds of Treadwell screaming that he is being attacked and calling for help to Huguenard [Treadwell's companion whom we are given to believe was his girlfriend], who was apparently still inside a tent.

"It's obvious that the attack was going on before the tape was turned on," said Wilkinson, who then repeated quotes from the tapes.

"Come out here; I'm being killed out here," Treadwell said.

"Play dead!" Huguenard yelled in reply.

"That strategy is commonly used to pacify angry bears in an attack. But Treadwell told Huguenard the strategy wasn't working and she then urged him to "fight back."

"Treadwell, who never carried weapons [emphasis mine], then asked her to get a pan and to hit the bear, police said.

"At that point, the tape stops. Much of it is fuzzy or inaudible . . . .

We are left assuming that she grabbed a frying pan and went after a thousand pound grizzily. More probably? I don't know. Did she try playing dead in the tent only to have the bear rip it apart to get to her? What do you think she did? What would you have done?

But do you understand my question? How stupid is stupid?