Sunday, October 7, 2018

Inexperienced Criticism

I've noticed a strange and annoying trend as of late, when it comes to my interactions and opening up to other people:

Those who are most inclined to critique they way I participate in a hobby of mine are also those who are least likely to participate in it. I would even go so far as to say there is an inverted correlation; which is to say, the more critical they are of my methodology, the less likely they are to participate in in, and the contra, the less critical they are, the more likely they are to either participate in the activity or be likely to enjoy it if they haven't tried it before.

For example, camping. This is relevant because as you read this, I am at or en route to a campsite in the Shawnee National Park, my first vacation (unemployment doesn't count as vacation) in a very long time. Too long, one might say.

I spoke with someone last month (in the past few days as I'm writing this, but last month to you, my dear readers) who was asking about my camping.

They asked about what I eat. Well, I usually either bring pre-packed meals or I have a small stove that I can cook on. They implied that's it's not "real camping" if I don't hunt, fish, or build a campfire. All three of those activities can be destructive to the environment if done wrong, and especially for the last one, are easier to get wrong than right.

I asked when the last time they went camping was, and the reply I got was, "oh, I don't camp. I'm a city boy."

I had other critiques about "how far I park from my campsite" (though that was probably mostly do to my conversation recipient misunderstanding when I said that I usually camp about 200 feet from a trail or water source (100 to 150 feet is the rule in most of the places I have dispersed-camped). "Two hundred feet from your car? That's not real camping."

It's not terribly different from the people who hound me about the carbon footprint of my car (all gas, 45mpg), when they drive a hybrid or electric, conveniently ignoring the pollutive manufacturing cost of a partially- or fully-electric vehicle can well exceed the pollution generated by an all-gas vehicle, including both manufacturing process and the lifetime of driving the vehicle.

I'd say you shouldn't present an argument in a topic you know nothing about, though even still there are circumstances where you can still tell that something's not right. But minutea about how I participate in my hoppy (especially if you imagine in your head a range when I say "stove"), no. If it's not your thing, don't judge me on how I go about it.

Might as well say I'm doing it wrong because I don't sleep on the ground!