Anyone who has visited a National Park has seen their share of moronic behavior. People going over barriers to shoot straight down thousand foot cliffs, parents sending their toddlers off with the video camera to get a close up of bison or one of the stupidest ones recently – the French Canadan who put a baby bison in his car because he thought it looked cold. Yellowstone officials euthanized the bison calf after the human interaction caused the animal to be rejected by its herd. Good deed gone bad from stupidity.
Whereas there are other tourist to our national parks whose planned mission is stupidity.
High On Life – Poster Children for an Increasingly Narcissist Society
“Narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.”
High On Life or SundayFundayz is a group of guys from Vancouver British Columbia, Canada who started out on a tour of the United States to promote their clothing line that started with Frat Boyz on Spring Break antics and ended with a warrant for their arrest.
Previously this band of merry makers toured Europe with resulted in disrespectful selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Self-described on their FAQ as having grown up in middle class Canada and ingesting a lot of “Jackass” movies, the group is seeking a life based on being professional jackasses by traveling around doing stunts, breaking rules and disrespecting memorials.
Their tour of the United States included flying drones in National Parks where they have been banned, filming on roller-coaster rides at an amusement parks in Ohio where for safety reasons its is against the law, “water skiing” with their tour bus at the Bonneville Salt Flats, swinging from the Corona Arch near Moab, Utah where the practice has been banned after a death, hoping the fences at geyser basins through out Yellowstone and trampling on the bacteria mats at the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC. – This shot from the High On Life feed shows how the group visits another country’s sacred memorials. Dressed up in their buffoonish clothing, including on guy dressed up like Abraham Lincoln and other one holding the US flag like its his penis, the group ignores the signs for “QUIET – respect please” and blows party horns.
At Mount Rushmore the group sees fit to insert the American Presidents into the crotch of their pants as a stunt to sell t-shirts. No commercial permit to film was filed with the park.
If you’ve never been to the Grand Prismatic Geyser in Yellowstone, the above photograph should give you an idea of the layout. This shot was taken from one of the allowed “social trails” unofficial trails basically but allowed because they are away from sensitive areas. Looking down you can see the boardwalk the protects visitors from being scolded by the hot water and they protect the fragile geysers. The colors are created by various bacteria that grow in various heat zones around the geyser. The High On Life ruler breakers filmed the signs at the area basically saying “Stay on the boardwalk” and then trampled up to the edge of the geyser for their selfies and filming. As usual, they did not have a commercial filming permit.
If you want to read a good blog post on this from a photographer’s view point I suggest this one from David duChemin:
“We can do better. We can create images that create new understanding, that open our eyes to beauty, that stir in us the desire for change and ignite in us the motivation to act on that desire. Photography as a storytelling medium can be so much more than trite, novel, or mere eye-candy. Eye-candy, as a metaphor is a terrible one. Even real candy is crap for anyone that eats it more than very occasionally. And that’s what we’re doing more and more – devoid of substance and anything the human mind and soul can take nourishment from, we’re pumping out saccharine images. We’re trading impact for likes and it’s a foolish trade that will hurt us all in the eyes of a public that values photography less and less every day.” – David du Chemin