Episode 83: #instafacetweetmygram with Hayden Kennedy, Brendan Leonard, and Andrew Bisharat.

IMG_6419On Episode 83 of the Enormocast, I sit down in front of a live audience at Bonfire Coffee in Carbondale, CO during the 5Point Film Festival with Hayden Kennedy, Andrew Bisharat, and Brenden Leonard. We discuss the mainstream media’s sudden love affair with rock climbing, social media, the internet and whether climbing has lost its soul. Turns out that cappuccino driven spray is just as frothy as the booze driven kind.

Andrew’s website Evening Sends.

Brendan Leonard’s website Semi-rad.

Hayden Kennedy trying to get a call out in Red Rocks on his flip-phone.

2 Replies to “Episode 83: #instafacetweetmygram with Hayden Kennedy, Brendan Leonard, and Andrew Bisharat.”

  1. Love the show, but I think you sorta dropped the ball on this episode. I guess I would have wanted you to challenge your guests a bit more.

    People who stand to benefit from expansion of climbing in mainstream media:
    Shareholders, employees of gear companies
    Pro climbers who are paid by those companies
    Climbing media producers
    Regular Joe climbers who feel more validated by mainstream culture
    Regular Joe climbers who could maybe gain access to superior gear (because the gear companies have more money to invest in R&D)
    Regular Joe climbers who are inspired by media that otherwise wouldn’t have been produced or noticed
    New climbers who discover the sport owing to mainstream media

    People who lose out from expansion of climbing in mainstream media:
    Regular Joe climbers who value solitude and don’t want to deal with crowds
    Regular Joe climbers attracted by the counterculture ethos of climbing
    Regular Joe climbers worried about LNT and climbing’s impacts

    So you, a climbing media producer, invite two climbing media producers and a professional climber on the show. You could have guessed what answers you would get. The two media producers talked about what opportunitie$ came up for them in the wake of the Dawn Wall climb. Interestingly, Mr. Kennedy seemed the most ambivalent.

    If I heard correctly, one of the media producers argued that overcrowding is not a problem because when he was in Utah there were long waiting lines on the classics, but the pro climber guided him up hard scary climbs that were empty. Really!?! If the peons would just start climbing chossy runout 5.14s, they would stop bitching about the crowds.

    Economic interests long ago (before I started climbing) transformed climbing from counterculture past-time into an “industry.” Those interests will continue shape climbing henceforth.

    The section about social media turned into a bit of an aside, as it’s really a commentary about our entire society rather than climbing-specific. Perhaps I would have liked to hear more about the Dawn Wall social media blitz specifically. Mr. Bisharat, I think, seems to justify the (social) media climate generally with the “a man’s gotta make a buck” attitude. He might as well make his buck doing something he loves, right? Or, maybe that’s a sign that climbing has indeed lost its soul.

    I sensed some ambivalence about these issues in your own words and presentation, but I was disappointed that that ambivalence scarcely came through during most of the episode.

    1. Yeah. I’ll admit that that show was a bit scattered and light on content. The live ones usually are, actually. If they do have an appeal, its not in the down and dirty.

      The promotion and blossoming of climbing in the mainstream is certainly something I’ve always struggled with despite this project, which could certainly be seen as some how adding to the mess. Crowding is annoying in the end no matter how you cut it. I think the community really does live in danger if being watered down with folks that see it as just another thing vs the sacred thing that we aspire to.

      But its also one of those things where you have to decide if you are going to accept it positively or negatively, and maybe let it push you out of the pursuit. I get over my fears and annoyance most days and keep coming back for more.

      Its still more crowded in Europe!

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