I watch every survival show that comes on TV. Some of the guys in the shows have bought stuff from me, so I’ll use the excuse that I am doing market research.

Lately, I have been watching all of the Beyond Survival episodes. I was a huge fan of Survivorman and even liked the show Les Stroud did on Cartoon Network, but I am having trouble getting into BS (coincidence?!?). I don’t know what it is, but Les’s commie hat (I know they are in fashion, but I still hate them) and Ed Hardy looking shirts bother me. Not exactly a valid complaint, I know.

The skills shown are interesting, especially the complex methods that they go through to make poisons for hunting and fishing. I can’t imagine how many hundreds or thousands of years the tribes took to refine those recipes, considering how intricate the poison creation is and how seemingly rare the ingredients are. The trial and error process that they surely went through would make an interesting show all by itself, if only there were a way to tell that story.

I do think Les is coming across as overly preachy though. Why do we need to save these ways of life? Has anyone asked these tribes living in abject poverty if they would rather have a house with running water and central air? I have noticed in each episode that the people seem to want a better life, but do not have a way of achieving one. The Gypsies mentioned wanting to live on land and have houses where they were not swimming in their own fesces (literally). I agree that preserving knowledge is extremely important, but given the choice, do the people even want that? I suppose that if they ever are given the choice, we will find the answer to that question. Judging from their dwindling numbers, maybe we already have.

Discuss in the comments or on the forum.