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Maine hermit returns to the world after 27 years in the woods, and this is what he thinks

Bangor Daily News:

The months in jail, and the prospect of trying to fit back into a society that he had abandoned was troublesome to Knight.

“I don’t know your world,” he told Finkel shortly before he was released from jail in November. “Only my world, and memories of the world before I went into the woods. What life is today? What is proper? I have to figure out how to live.” ....

“Sitting here in jail, I don’t like what I see in the society I’m about to enter,” Knight told Finkel. “I don’t think I’m going to fit in. It’s too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia.

And eventually, Knight — who said he was never ill during the 27 years spent in the woods — shared his secret for survival in the Maine woods.

“Get enough sleep,” he told Finkel.

He's not the only one....

And then, of course, there's the massive looting by elite criminals and an brutal paramilitary force of armed and armored cops. And some wars.

But Knight's up in Maine, so he's missing out on some things.

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albrt's picture
Submitted by albrt on

I don't think too highly of American culture, but I'm not quite ready to start taking moral guidance from a Lynyrd Skynyrd fan who's been stealing groceries from his neighbors for 27 years.

How many neighbor kids do you think wrongfully went to jail for those break ins? I've lived in small rural towns. I bet the number is not zero.

Submitted by lambert on

... of the state of culture is invalidated by whatever moral judgments one might make about him.

I take your point about kids going to jail, but I did follow the story when it broke in Maine, and I don't think the case was ever treated as kids, because the break-ins didn't look like that. And ultimately people had made up their minds there was a guy out in the woods... as turned out to be the case.

albrt's picture
Submitted by albrt on

Sorry, I don't mean to be snippy, but I do think cultural perceptions and moral values are (or should be) linked. This guy is a parasite. He had the luxury of 27 years of sitting and thinking about the relative value of Lynyrd Skynyrd versus brightness and trivia because he was eating other peoples' groceries, and this is the best commentary he can come up with?

Kind of an interesting variation on the conspicuous consumption of leisure, but basically an article about him is just more trivia added to the pile.

I will give him credit for the "get enough sleep" observation, though. He is probably an expert on that.

Submitted by lambert on

... trapped in amber for 27 years who wants to share their views of the difference between then and now, do feel free to let us know.

Your comment strikes me as a variation of "You're making them a hero!" by commenting on whoever or reporting on whatever whoever says. Not buying it. There's also the "Why didn't you write the real story?" which if your case is that the guy was a "parasite." Go on! Nobody's stopping you from posting that!

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Good thing he had a radio in the amber along with him, especially a radio that lasted 27 years. And of course overcoming his scruples helped keep the amber clear.

The real story is the totality, not just the characteristic interesting to one person, even when the person is the one who selected the story. It's legitimate for others to realize what was left out. I admit I'm always bothered by people who live their healthy years only unto themselves and then emerge innocently as they reach a time when they need the community for the help that they never shared. I think it's some resistance to the excessive emphasis on rugged individualism in American culture. It makes caregivers invisible and devalues their existence..

albrt's picture
Submitted by albrt on

You think I don't remember the 1980's, back when we all lived in the woods and ate stolen tuna fish three meals a day? What I really remember about the 1980s is how much less bright and less trivial everything seemed.

Oh, wait a minute... here are some guys trapped in amber, what do they have to say about 1986?

Lambert, the reason I come here is because you do good, detailed analysis about actual things that are happening. This hermit guy is just spouting the same crap that simple-minded curmudgeons have been saying in every generation since at least the reign of Augustus and probably much longer.

This guy merits less attention than Willie Loman by an order of magnitude. He is being used as a shiny object. Look away.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

It sounds to me as though he has some mental issues.
If some kids went *wrongfully* to jail; that's a law enforcement issue and not *his* fault.
I have always striven to live in small towns; I do not see the correlation.
Shit law enforcement is shit law enforcement which is no justice at all and I for one will not defend "it".

Submitted by lambert on

This is The Bangor Daily News (pop. 32,817). While they are no paragon of journalistic integrity, they aren't in the bright shiny object manufacture business; they don't have the staff for it. Murdoch they aren't. And we've got plenty of guys in the woods.

I dunno. The other argument seems to be that by living in the woods in Maine listening to the radio, you can get perfectly reasonable sense of how off the rails society has gone.