mikey going down

Summer at the South Pole by Mikey Kampmann

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Grey Glacier

All these pics were taken around 10:30 at night.

Grey Glacier

Grey Glacier

Once again, Joshua Tree always knows how to kick me in the nuts… in a good way!

Once again, Joshua Tree always knows how to kick me in the nuts… in a good way!

Nature was doing James Turrell exhibits way before he was.

Nature was doing James Turrell exhibits way before he was.

Joshua Tree - This is my favorite backcountry spot to camp cause these rocks look a giant alien lying on its back looking up at the stars.

Joshua Tree - This is my favorite backcountry spot to camp cause these rocks look a giant alien lying on its back looking up at the stars.

Cerro Paranal - In the morning a zorrito (fox) came to visit. Victor the security guard enjoyed setting up food to lure it in to snap pics. I liked how he half-hid behind the doorway. The zorrito, which I had heard calling in the night - turned out to be pretty cute and then just layed down in the sun watching us for a long time.

Looking back on the road up to Cerro Paranal. I love the way it looks like it’s floating off the ground.

Looking back on the road up to Cerro Paranal. I love the way it looks like it’s floating off the ground.

Desert light! Hard to beat.

Desert light! Hard to beat.

More pics from sundown camping at Cerro Paranal. It kind of really felt like being close to the top of the world. Maybe it was just knowing where I was.

Keeping up foregin relations. I owe a lot of gratitude to the wonderful security guards at Cerro Paranal who gave me all the coffee I could drink.

Keeping up foregin relations. I owe a lot of gratitude to the wonderful security guards at Cerro Paranal who gave me all the coffee I could drink.

Cerro Paranal Observatory at sundown.

Cerro Paranal Observatory at sundown.

Camping at Cerro Paranal Observatory

More from this night.

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet—
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space …
You must grieve for this right now
—you have to feel this sorrow now—
for the world must be loved this much
if you’re going to say “I lived”…

Nazim Hikmet

An excerpt from ‘On Living.’

Friedrich Nietzsche in “Beyond Good and Evil” holds that only a few people have the fortitude to look in times of distress into what he calls the molten pit of human reality. Most studiously ignore the pit. Artists and philosophers, for Nietzsche, are consumed, however, by an insatiable curiosity, a quest for truth and desire for meaning. They venture down into the bowels of the molten pit. They get as close as they can before the flames and heat drive them back. This intellectual and moral honesty, Nietzsche wrote, comes with a cost. Those singed by the fire of reality become “burnt children,” he wrote, eternal orphans in empires of illusion.

Decayed civilizations always make war on independent intellectual inquiry, art and culture for this reason. They do not want the masses to look into the pit. They condemn and vilify the “burnt people”—Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Cornel West. They feed the human addiction for illusion, happiness and hope. They peddle the fantasy of eternal material progress. They urge us to build images of ourselves to worship. They insist—and this is the argument of globalization ¬¬—that our voyage is, after all, decreed by natural law. We have surrendered our lives to corporate forces that ultimately serve systems of death. We ignore and belittle the cries of the burnt people. And, if we do not swiftly and radically reconfigure our relationship to each other and the ecosystem, microbes look set to inherit the earth.

Chris Hedges

An excerpt from ‘The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies’

http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/chris_hedges_jan_27_column_transcript_collapse_of_complex_societies_2014012