Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dumpster Date

Could you travel across the globe with a stranger?  What about with no baggage or plans?

Professor Jeff "Dumpster" Wilson has been on my radar for a few days now.  He teaches Environmental Science at Huston Tillotston University and is probably best known for, well, living in a dumpster. The recently divorced Dean has moved in a 33-square foot home outside the school to make a point.  We don't really need all that much space, water, or energy, among other things, insinuates the professor.

His article on XOJane was enlightening, and proof of a crazy idea blossoming into a pretty neat experiment.  Personally, I wouldn't do anything like this, at least not without a big sum of money as an incentive, but I'm impressed, and interested in seeing how this pans out.  The plot thickens when he meets his new girlfriend, on OkCupid no less, and she not only accepts him, she agrees to go on a three week long first date with him...in Eastern Europe.

She details her side of the story here, where things get really interesting.  They decide to bring nothing with them, except passports, credit cards, iPhones...and the clothes on their backs.  What in the world would compel someone in this day and age to do such an experiment, let alone with a stranger?  I think if I were to do this, I would start small.  Stay in the US.  Do an overnight trip, a weekend camping in the woods, anything but fly to a country where I don't speak the language or know anyone.  I just don't think I could be that brave.

The comments after the articles were the most surprising, however.  "Tramping" used to be all the rage in Kerouac's era, why are these people being denounced now, over 50 years later, for giving up luxuries that Gen Xers are constantly being berated for having?  Hipster is used as a derogatory term in the forum, but why?  Two people, eager to get to know one another and themselves, are doing something most people would never dare.  Is it jealousy that fuels the rage?  Not sure.  I feel like the majority of the reactions are based on these writers "doing it for attention."  But why should they be keeping it a secret?  This is their 15 minutes of fame, and they could have earned it by doing much, much more deplorable things, in my opinion.


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