I put in a lot of work and go to great lengths to write, edit and produce original, in-depth content here on Evening Sends. Stories that don’t just rehash the news you’ve already seen on Facebook and Instagram. Posts that go beyond trite content aggregation, and try to articulate some aspect of climbing in a new and creative way. The internet is full of rehashing and #rehashtagging what’s already been said and done, all in the name of clicks and hits. I hate that shit. I believe that climbing is such a worthy endeavor that it deserves our best effort to define what it is about this sport that makes it so meaningful.
My friend Justin Roth, who recently wrote a great post about the aftermath of a powerful climbing travel experience, lamented the fact that his hard work was languishing in terms of its traffic and shares.
— Justin Roth (@thestonemind) October 29, 2014
No, shareability is not the new measure of writing … but, sadly, it is one measure. The Internet is in many ways a Warholian beast. It’s an apotheosis in some sense of Andy Warhol’s ideas of unlimited content, instant gratification and obsession with celebrity, which he portrayed in his pop art. “In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes,” Warhol proclaimed prophetically. Today on the Internet, 15 minutes seems like a long time. Fifteen seconds is more like it: the length of a Vine.
There remains part of me that senses that however “shareable” some post might be, the real measure for success will be what you remember when you look back on your life at 75. I doubt any BuzzFeed “writer” will be able to recall 99 percent of what they wrote. But I am sure Russ Clune will be proud of his friendship to Wolfgang Gullich, and the day that he stepped up to the sharp end of a horrifyingly run-out lead in East Germany in the mid 1980s. This country no longer exists. Wolfgang is dead. But Clune brought this memorable day back to life, through the power of words, for so many of us. I hope that when Clune turns 75, he feels proud both to have survived all those heinous run-outs, and to have shared those belays with such a luminary climber as Wolfgang. And I hope he feels equally proud for finding the words to bring that story to life and give back to the community through this inspiration.
There’s another part of me, though, that is constantly telling me to get over myself. Everything’s been said, written, and done before. Originality went extinct long ago. Today it’s just a farce. Don’t take it so seriously. This is just a website about climbing.
And so in that spirit, I am surrendering my stuffy high-minded ideals, and rehashing some pop art that I found on my friend Tim Whittaker’s blog. These pieces are very Warholian, coincidentally. “Some of my proudest contributions to the Internet,” Tim said, laughing.
I think they’re really funny. I might even say they’re original. And they fit the motif of today’s date, Halloween.
And I even wrote a catchy, clickbait title for this post. And you can be sure that I’ll checking back in throughout the day, to see how many shares and clicks this gets, and feel affirmed about that success. So without further ado, here are four pro climbers dressing up for Halloween.
Thanks to MtnBlog for these contributions, and Happy Halloween, y’all.