Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bomb Snow pulls the plug


Every now and then, a small group of people of similar perspectives, interests, affinities and frustrations combine their talents, intelligence, insights and energy to see if they can use those attributes to make this a more truthful world. All the better if they are young, artistic, educated, lovers of the outdoors and outdoor activities, and tired of the staleness and deception that permeates mainstream media, including outdoor media. They might become inspired to create their own media outlet and see if they can do it better and with a higher standard of decency, freedom and regard for the substance of truth and the spirit of the outdoors.

It has happened before and will again. (More than 30 years ago it happened and the Idaho Mountain Express was the result.) The public mainstream—media included but certainly not just the media—gets compromised and even polluted by private economics and bogged down in status quo. Alternatives are then required for unclogging the arteries of art and communication and for celebrating the living reality that not everyone is bogged down. Those who are in the bog need not stay there, though, for all the usual mainstream compromised reasons, all too many do.

Though it has been around awhile, I have just recently become aware of an alternative publication called Bomb Snow magazine, a mountain culture quarterly, with headquarters in Bozeman, Mont. Bomb Snow is an in-your-face publication that describes itself as "dedicated to documenting the life and times of our active counter-culture."

"We are not a corporation, we are a co-operation. Our magazine is a collaboration of free-thinking individuals set on destroying the confines of the mainstream media machine. Our words are not lies, and our spirits are not fake. ... The future is now, so get involved before some other chump takes the stage and your tears are left in a bucket below the pedestal.

"Let us know your thoughts, and help us pull the plug on Corporate Media Malarkey. We are here to be heard."

It is followed by an artist's rendition of six fists in a circle, each showing the peace sign.

Hardly the words of mature, polished sophistication, but definitely exuding the positive, free spirit that honors and knows the difference between Malarkey and Truth. How could you resist an invitation to involvement in order to not leave your tears in a bucket below the pedestal?

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The confines of the mainstream media machine include outdoor publications with content that more resembles catalogues for outdoor gear and clothing and travel magazines that are more brochures for destination resorts than forums for outdoor enthusiasts to explore their concerns, endeavors, dreams, fears, hopes and adventures through art and writing. Bomb Snow, as mentioned, wants to pull the plug, destroy the confines of the machine.

Though it is more than likely that I am more than a couple of decades older than anyone actively involved in Bomb Snow, it seems to me that any publication dedicating itself to "documenting the life and times of our active counter-culture" is worth checking out. As a veteran of a different time of counter-culture activity and lifestyle, I am glad to see the beat goes on. I am not alone in this perspective, sentiment or thought.

I checked out Bomb Snow and was not disappointed to see personal adventure and love of the outdoors portrayed as part of a larger contract of political/social/environmental/spiritual commitment to a better world than is possible with the contracts made with Mr. Malarkey.

Neither will you be disappointed.

In just one recent issue are photos, artwork, stories and rants of backcountry skiing, extreme snowboarding and skiing, big air on mountain bikes, a remembrance of a friend killed in an avalanche, big-water couch potatoes, big-waterfall kayaking, all-boy dancing, partying, tales of ordinary madness, a brief review of the film "Food, Inc.," musical album reviews and all the things that young, smart, artistic, athletic, outdoor enthusiasts who want to hear and be heard might put into pulling the plug.

There is a well-told story of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating community of discarded plastic remnants located in the North Pacific Gyre. If you haven't heard of the Patch and wonder why it's important and connected to the snows of Montana and Idaho, then a reading of Bomb Snow is suggested. If you don't know about the GPGP and its significance, then your environmental knowledge is incomplete, and that it is featured in Bomb Snow and not in one of the glossier, mainstream outdoor publications is worth more than a passing thought.

I don't relate to inverted aerials off cliffs in the backcountry, kayaking off waterfalls or being 10 feet in the air on a mountain bike, but, like most people reading this, I love the outdoors and recognize and honor free thinking and spirited counter-culture outdoor enthusiasts who can write and photograph, paint and think, and who mean what they say and say what they mean. Check them out.

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