Mad versus Wild


There is a TV program called “Man versus Wild” were one or two guys run around frantically in remote places to “survive” in the wild, with a TV crew around them to ensure the show goes according to schedule. I wonder how imaginative the producers must be, to find such fantastic (fake) stories to tell, because tribals in India live or used to live in the wild and don’t have half the problems this show seems to unearth in the face of a decidedly adverse nature.

I live in the jungle (with moderate comfort) but share some of the experience of the natives. Most of my life is quiet, peaceful, with animals who know me, interspersed with a few rare moments of tragedy when a prey is caught. I frankly see no opposition between man and nature, on the contrary, deep, beautiful bonds that reach some of our wild friends, a few mongooses, elephants, babblers, one or two wild boar.…

Now I just come from my second home, Pondicherry, with a trip to Chennai. There, I find noise, terror on the road, constant anger, absurd competition, and struggle in an ugly, polluted world. Then TV displays unbridled violence with virtual killing of millions, interspersed with reminders from the industry that it is okay to be greedy, jealous, unnaturally muscular, permanently “beautiful”, but that we can stuff ourselves with junk. And as if we needed to be even more insane, we have at your disposal many channels where superstition and money are worshipped together.

The reason we have to make and watch programs such as “Man versus Wild” is because our perception of reality is so altered that we can’t even accept nature as it is. We have to make is as bad as we are with our fabricated banal sensationalism. We are losing our marbles and we should call this particular program “Mad versus Wild” to regain some senses.

Jean-Philippe Puyravaud.