You can't enjoy the view unless you climb the mountain

A few days ago, HBO in Spain accidentally broadcast the next episode of Game of Thrones: s07e06. Ever one to act on a whim, I watched it. The thing is even more packed with HOLY SHIT!! moments than the Dothraki attack on the supply train, and it struck me that if Martin hadn't introduced jeopardy early with the willingness to kill beloved characters, none of this would be exciting at all. The scale and spectacle would be engaging, sure, and the depth of character and plot admirable, but without jeopardy, all we have is boring, predicable frippery.
All cultures are driven by stories; they're the most important thing we do. People who don't like Game of Thrones must therefore prefer boring, predicable stories, encouraging boring, predicable lives. They like things safe, contrary to the perennial human motivations of novelty and exploration. But when you remove risk, you no longer have a benchmark for your usefulness. I think it's this current cultural aversion to adventure that leads to the listless depression, manifesting as spite, so characteristic of modern life.
So hike somewhere beautiful. Paddle a river. Climb a mountain or two. Lie under the stars and contemplate the Cosmos. Watch Game of Thrones. It's okay to be uneasy at first, to be resistant: it takes effort to move from shit to awesome. But it's more than worth your time; it's worth the rest of your life.


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