Andrew (and anyone else who hadn’t seen this video), here is the viral video that I mentioned in class this week that brought groans from several people!
We are going to be talking about the sublime very soon and, as I was watching this again, I was struck by how Yosemitebear’s reaction to seeing this admittedly magnificent rainbow is a good example of a sublime experience, an awesome (in the truest sense of the word, not leftover 80’s slang), overwhelming, emotional experience in nature.
I noticed that there was a follow-up video, which you can watch by clicking here. Yosemite Bear explains that he had been doing some spiritual exercises involving projecting energy into crystals and he and his son were leaving their house to complete the ritual (burying the crystals underneath an apple tree so the good thoughts could flower and fruit, a west-coast new-age kind of thing, but a nice idea regardless) and they saw the rainbow and he saw it as a kind of sign, was overwhelmed, and wondered what it meant. As he talks he refers to the rainbow as a manifestation of God and describes the video as having captured a magnificent image of God. If that’s not a sublime experience, I’m not sure what is!
And then, of course, I couldn’t help but notice that he had also posted a video of a trip to Yosemite and Inspiration Point. This is the view of the valley and of the monolithic rock face known as Halfdome that many artists have potrayed and photographers have captured. Its not a great video as videos go, but it does show you how crowded Yosemite is with visitors. The images of traffic jams in the park and of all those people standing there taking pictures that will look like they were solitary visitors standing on a mountaintop really struck me. When we talk about consuming national parks, this is one of the things we are talking about.
Here’s the video: