Tuesday, January 24, 2017

death of a walker

My buddy Mike points me to the story of Mark Baumer, a walker attempting his second crossing of the mainland United States—this time barefoot—as a way to raise consciousness about climate change and, apparently, to protest the presidency of Donald Trump. This article, which Mike linked to, describes how Baumer was struck by an SUV in Florida on the 100th day of his walk. Baumer's two major websites were (and are, I suppose, despite his death) Barefoot Across America and the more sinister-sounding NotGoingToMakeIt. That final blog post of his is creepy in how it seems to anticipate his death not long after. Then, of course, there's the creepiness of naming your walk blog "Not Going To Make It"....

Baumer's writings strike me as more than a little nutty and misguided. I think the walk itself was a brave endeavor on his part, and I tip my hat to him for trying a second time, but his take on the state of the nation is/was more than a little paranoid. RIP, Mr. Baumer.


TheBigHenry said...

His death sparked a tribute from The FANG Collective, a Rhode Island-based environmental group that opposes the natural gas industry and on whose behalf he had already marched hundreds of miles and raised more than $3,000 dollars.

"Mark was an amazingly compassionate, empathic, humble, joyful, generous, mindful and caring person," the group said in a statement. "He was a talented poet and artist with an ability to tap into the human experience with his work."

“I am crossing America barefoot to save the earth. Climate change is the greatest threat we’ve ever faced as a civilization.”

I don't doubt that Mr. Baumer was a decent and well-meaning person. But I am appalled that a group, which "opposes the natural gas industry and on whose behalf he had already ... raised more than $3,000(!)" would unblushingly praise a 33-year-young man for sacrificing his life for such a dubious cause.

Kevin Kim said...

No disagreement here. But before we get too serious, I should provide more context: Mike sent me the link to the Baumer article somewhat jokingly, as a cheerful warning about what might befall me on the trail toward Busan if I'm not careful. While it may be naughty to use a person's recent death as fodder for gallows humor (but what, if not death, constitutes gallows humor?), Baumer's misguided leanings and passions make me feel somewhat less guilty. Heh.

TheBigHenry said...

Thanks for the clarification, Kevin.

I think his death is lamentable, but I also believe that his devotion to Leftist propaganda was also lamentable. Moreover, every day and in every way, I think the Left itself is lamentable, not to mention deplorable.