Ok guys time for a ramble!
Well a mental rabble anyway - the subject?? Common man, the term and its relevance.
I was surfing You tube looking at various videos about bits of kit and such and again and again I heard the term common man, even some of my friends are now using the term in blogs etc - which I like. I know the origin of the term comes via Mr Dave Canterbury and thats just fine with me but its "who" the term or "what" the term reflects that interests me.
And for two reason, firstly for a long time bushcraft was popular with a group who I will term the MIDDLE CLASS MIDDLE AGED MALES, of course there are others into bushcraft but in my experience teaching both for Woodlore and then for myself as well as attending various meets and gatherings, this was the majority and most common type .......... secondly because time has taught me that the, "until recently," trend in bushcraft to have the most expensive this and that isnt necessarily the correct path and a common man or more "independant" approach is.
What am I waffling on about??
OK, so what does/is the common man?? Is it the BBC presenter from the public school with his perfect grammar or is it the guy who has had to work hard at his 9 to 5 while using every second of his spare time reading up and getting dirty to learn a subject he loves? Is it someone who went to uni and realised bushcraft was better than working or is it the guy who spent his teens in a baggy green skin with a gun and learnt to love nature inbetween fire fights?
In my book, using the english class system I would equate the common man to the working classes as oppossed to those with more money than sense ......... ") ( i generalise of course as most of the wealthy people I know are tight arses compared to most of the poorer people I know who would give you their all without a second thought - hence why they arent wealthy I guess) but is this correct after all like it or not we all work for a living these days whether we're the Prince of Wales or humble gary wale, so arent we all working class now?? Isnt the difference only what we earn not which type of spoon we were born with in our mouth? If so we must all be common men, but then that remders the term useless?
I realise its a American term but thats my interpretation - COMMON MAN = THE HARD WORKING, SALT OF THE EARTH TYPE OF GUY. Or to put it another way "The terms common people, the masses, or commoners denote a broad social division referring to regular people who are members of neither the nobility (the wealthy upper middle classes) or the priesthood.
Following the rise of the middle class in the 19th century, this
division is now of mainly historical interest. Since the 20th century
the term "common people" has been used in a more general sense to refer
to typical members of society in contrast to highly privileged (in
either wealth or influence)." (I'm still not sure I'd include upper echealon bankers in this or any other grouping though)
So using that term to denote who we are - what then is the common mans approach to bushcraft?? Is it, as became the fashion all shiny knives, 4 x 4's and everything Ray Mears sells in his shop but without the dirt under the nails or the skills to ID the ten most common edible plants?? Or is it something else?
I hope, and interpret it as something else!
I like to believe that the common man for starters has more sense than to waste his hard earned cash on the brand named, trendy stuff so often seen at various gatherings of people whose whole bushcraft experience is their annual trip to said meeting. (Now I'm not judging you if you meet that criteria infact if that is you I feel sorry for you as your missing out on so much) I like to think the common man is/was a bushcrafter before it got trendy and will continue to be long after the tv guru's and the sheeple have moved on to nature watching or bothering sheep.
BUT MORE THAN THIS - I LIKE TO THINK OF THE COMMON MAN AS THE GUY OR GAL WHO BUYS SENSIBLE GEAR BUT DOESNT RELY ON IT - WHO KNOWS HOW TO FIND IN NATURE A REPLACEMENT FOR ALL THEIR GEAR SHOULD THEY NEED TO - WHO CARRIES AND NEEDS ONLY THE BEAREST MINIMUM OF KIT AND IS PROUD OF THE FACT THATS ALL THEY NEED. (and doesnt need to justify it if they want to carry a little more)
I like to think of myself in that group, and if I am not then I ASPIRE to be. MORE so I like to imagine that the common man approach will become more popular and people will go back to learning skills and carrying knowledge rather than over priced or rated kit. (its been a dream of mine for many years)
The public school boy bushcraft king is dead - Long live the common man king!
Waffle over WAKE UP!!