When I hear that term I tend to picture two extremes; Ted Kaczynski and Christopher McCandless on one end of the spectrum and well-funded hipsters who build forty thousand dollar cabins where they spend the weekend when it’s not too cold.
For the past week I’ve been watching a series of videos produced by a chap who goes by the pseudonym of Max Ironthumper. Max made a couple dozen videos showing how he restored an old Land Rover (11a). I’ve been addicted to Land Rover porn for the last six months and was immediately hooked by Max’s laid back style and can-do attitude. (Two attributes I admire and covet)
While poking around on Max’s YouTube channel I came across this video (above) in which he talks about how and why he lives off the grid. There’s nothing evangelical about Max’s reasons for how he lives, just an honest account of how he does it. I don’t know if Max lives alone. In one of the restoration videos he mentioned a partner and we get a few glimpses of his dog, his cat, and his chickens.
From a technical perspective, this video is especially effective. For 20 minutes Max speaks extemporaneously with only a few notes. That’s really hard to do but Max has the gift. He’s not afraid to let you see him pause, to think and reflect on something he said or is about to say. I’m making Max sound more philosophical than he probably is. And there’s plenty of technical stuff in this video for the DIY crowd.
I’d be willing to fly across an ocean for the chance to hang out with Max in his shop for a day (and ride in one of his Land Rovers).
PS: If you liked this video, I recommend Project Awesome.