FIRST STEP TO ADVENTURE

First step to Adventure

The purpose of NOOSE foremost always was to be a Fascist Lifestyle zine, where Fascists can share about their passions, boast of their accomplishments and provide insight into how this or that activity helped them shape themselves in one regard or another. However, for the most part so far it has been just another commentary blog, something we’re working to fix (with some art and activity articles on the way) and perhaps this article will help with that.

My goal for this article is to provide you with an idea of how to start going on adventures – if you were to look at the people who had essentially helped inspire Italian Fascism and a lot of its aesthetics, you would find larger-than-life personalities. For these men, life was all one grand adventure that had to be embraced to the fullest.

Gabriele D’Annunzio was a poet and dandy who became a pilot when he was already over 50, which he did in order to fight in the First World War. Later still, he and a grand army of adventurers took over an entire city, which they ruled as their own domain for a little over a year, sustaining it with piracy and turning the whole endeavor into a theatrical performance. With him were other figures like Guido Keller, the dashing pilot-corsair who never flew without his tea service and once had to land his plane on a pig! The father of Futurism, Tommaso Marinetti, had likewise partaken in this endeavor and also contributed to a very Fascist attitude towards life:

Today we preach a methodical and everyday heroism; a taste for despair that encourages the heart to give up all it’s fruits, a habit for enthusiasm; intoxicating madness… We preach a leap into gloomy death under the watchful and clear gaze of the Ideal! We preach by example, giving ourselves to the fierce dressmaker that is War, who carved out for us a fitting scarlet uniform. Brand new beneath the sun, it will put light in our hair, which was combed by bombs.

Thus the heat of the summer evening paints the fields with the flickering lights of fireflies. It is necessary that people electrify their nerves with insane pride every day!.. It is necessary that people be ready to bet their own lives in an instant, not paying attention to the roguish dealer, nor controlling the balance of the roulette that had sprawled over the vast green carpets of war, so cherished by the dubious lamp that is the sun… It is necessary – understand this! – for the soul to cast the body into the fire, like a fire-ship is cast against the foe… an eternal foe, one that ought to have been invented, had he not already existed!

“Let’s kill the moonlight”

Of course, these people come from the Golden Age of Heroes, adventurers, travelers and explorers, who lived to see that crucial “changing of ages” period of history. When the First World War signaled the coming of monumental things, and these figures we mentioned above rode the wave of history and the last adventures it had to offer them, the War itself became an adventure. However, this spirit was still alive and well in the 70s, in what became known as the Years of Led, where one Fascist Terrorist, Pierluigi Concutelli, led his own life of adventure in the struggle against the System.

All of this is to say that the Fascist Lifestyle is one that also treats life as an adventure, a challenge, a game to be embraced and played, courting Danger and flirting with Death – “For us an accident would be to die in bed.” By all accounts “YOLO” should have always been a Fascist slogan that would call on people to become bold and daring, instead of being a rationalization for engaging in degeneracy. A lot of that adventurous romanticism is gone nowadays, however the spirit of adventure is always alive, one only has to embrace it, and it will resurface in forms that will befit the circumstances we find ourselves in today. So how does one take his first step to adventure?

You just do it. The lifeblood of adventuring in spontaneity, you can’t overthink it, you just have to do it. This seems both an overly simplistic answer and at the same time a huge demand, but there is no other trick to this other than diving in head first without much time spent contemplating what you are about to do. Yet it is true that most people are too used to their routines and comforts to just drop everything at a moments notice and go off galloping towards adventure, which is why this kind of spontaneity has to be cultivated. That is the real essence of the advice we’re offering here.

Your first adventures don’t have to be big. They can be very minor and simple things. But, if you learn to just engage in them, to just say “Yes” to the offer when it comes around, you can develop that spontaneous readiness for adventure that will help you transition to bigger and more exciting activities. An initial adventure can be something as simple as going out on the town with friends, just do it at a moment’s notice and drop everything else. Next time you can travel to a different city, perhaps a hike or a train ride away. After that you can go exploring into the woods, explore abandoned locations, go rafting, travel to a neighboring country, a far away country, and on it goes…

Most adventures begin with the words: "No time to explain, let's go!"
Most adventures begin with the words: “No time to explain, let’s go!”

Yes, of course the latter examples demand respective levels of planning, however, once you’ve developed a spontaneous nature with smaller activities (and better still maintain in with such small activities in between large ones) you’ll be more open to these bigger prospects and the minimal necessary preparations will become an issue to solve, rather than an excuse not to do them at all. With smaller things the excuses are likewise small and take less to overcome.

The other key aspect to this is the initial push towards an activity. If you have a friend who always calls you out to do something of this nature your answer should always be “Yes” – if you don’t have such a friend then you yourself must become that person to your own friends.

Allow me to provide some examples from personal experience: I have such a comrade who is big on the Italian adventurous side of Fascism. Sometimes, his enthusiasm and desire for such adventures really pushes him towards some funny proposals of mimicry, for example the idea of the Fiume City-State conquered by a band of adventurous rebels was enough for him to tell me “let’s take over a building, hoist a flag on it and call it our building-state!” Sure, the idea is absurd, at least here. In Italy, Casa Pound does exactly that – take over buildings that is, not pronounce building-states. Out of the two, however, it is the former that presents the real challenge.

In my experience it has been this guy who would call me out of the blue and say “Hey let’s go to X right now! These guys are already coming too!” This would sometimes come at inopportune times, but this guy did this fairly often. Although for the first few times I would decline, I’d later start agreeing more and more, until a call from him was enough to start thinking that I need to get dressed and run out or change my plans for the day. Inevitably, I started calling with proposals of getting together myself.

We’d go to pubs and then walk around the city, nothing fancy but it was a time spent in company of friends and comrades which always resulted in fun times, even if nothing of note happened. Later this would transform into calls of “let’s go to another city for the weekend”. No planning other than to buy the train tickets there, or bus tickets as it so happened one time. Mind you, these weren’t short trips as such if you’re not used to traveling, 12 hours in a bus can be tiresome, though if you’re in a big company of comrades it is hardly an issue. Why did we go to another city? We only had a concrete reason to go there once, every other time was justified with “just because”. We made no plans about where we would be staying, what we would actually be doing, though a big part of it was of course that we simply know people in the other city, so if nothing else it was about meeting some comrades in person and doing the same thing that our group did back home: go around town and spend some time in a pub. But it was fun, and it was spontaneous.

There were people willing to put us up for the night, and if not, well, sleep is for the weak, anyway. It’s an adventure – let’s pull an all-nighter! There will be time to sleep on the bus or train ride home, provided that is an option.

One time we went to a town much closer just for the day, but didn’t have the money for the full trip there, so we only bought tickets till the first stop and after that proceeded to hop train compartments once we saw the conductors coming. The trip there and back with the constant train hopping in order to avoid the conductors was more fun than the actual time we spent in the town, but that is what made the trip memorable and fun, and insert generic quote here about journeys and destinations here.

-Did you check?
-Yeah two coming from that side!
-Okay let’s move to the back junction with the other compartment.
-Fuck! There’s another one from that side!
-Don’t panic we’re close to a stop!
-The hell, she’s checking tickets faster on this side!
-RUN TO THE OTHER END!
-Aaah those guys are almost on us from this side too!
-We’re stopping! OKAY, RUN TWO  COMPARTMENTS FORWARD!

Sure we might get some scars along the way - but think of the stories they'll tell!
Sure we might get some scars along the way – but think of the stories they’ll tell!

I honestly wish I had turned on the camera in my phone and just recorded those kinds of exchanges and how we ran through the snow on the platform two compartments back to get behind one of the conductors. On our way back we had actually been caught and cornered in the junction between compartments by one conductor who was ready to write us up a big fine, which we avoided by the negotiating skills of another train-hopper who had joined our mad dashes between compartments through the snow, when he offered the conductor a bribe. Giving a glance around him he agreed and we got off with a much cheaper fiscal penalty and a free pass for the rest of the way, which a few of my comrades spent in drunken sleep.

Perhaps some of you will have objections to our train hopping and the unexpected bribe, but daring and roguish behavior often does by necessity demand flaunting the law (for instance if you don’t have the money). Now, I’m not saying if I was part of the following stories or if these happened to people I know, but they serve as nice examples of spontaneous mischief that can happen on a trip:

A group of friends walk into a grocery store to get some produce, but don’t have the money for it. Two of the friends and a girlfriend walk off to one end of the store while the rest “browse”. One friend accidentally bumps into the other friend’s girlfriend and they start a rather loud conflict, pretending not to know each other in the first place. The verbal confrontation attracts the attention of everyone in the store as the it gets heated and the two friends almost engage in a brawl but the store staff and security try to interfere, when suddenly the one friend grabs an eggplant and tosses it at the other one – what followed was a mad food fight with shouting and cursing as the guards and staff try to stop it, while the bunch who were “browsing” start stuffing their pockets with goods and run out, soon to be followed by the trio that staged the fight.

Say what you will, but this is a bonding experience that creates memories, a minor exploit to laugh about for people who only commit to such mischief when they are together, in a company of trusted friends, but individually see neither reason nor fun in doing stuff like this. And not all stories go that way and yet still manage to create a memorable experience:

A small group of friends walk at night and have fun banter when they pass a gas station and one of the guys bombastically announces to the rest that he will go in and rob the place. The others call his bluff and tell him to go ahead. He walks in, boldly, head up high, shameless of his intentions. Some time passes as his friends wait. He walks out with a small paper cup of instant coffee, and a somewhat awkward facial expression, equivalent of a shrug. Turns out that the moment he stood in front of the cashier he lost all his willingness and instead asked how much did their coffee cost before proceeding to play up how he doesn’t have enough and what a bummer it is. The cashier takes pity on him and offers him some of her own instant coffee, to which he reacts with a Shakespearean delivery of how she is a noble and kind soul that shared with him in his time of need, saying God will bless her for her generosity. The friends all crack up together at the failure of the endeavor and the marvelous juxtaposition of ill intent and repentance for that intent in how much he praised the cashier for sharing a tiny cup of instant coffee.

Things worked out for the best but they also came with a hilarious story that would not have come about if everyone walked on without even noticing the gas station. Now, this isn’t a call to actually go rob places, but rather displays of spontaneity which help create such situations and stories. Depending on the character of your whole group your stories will differ, as they should if they are to be authentic adventures that were exclusively your own. Nevertheless, adventures demand that daring first step that throws at least some caution to the wind, inasmuch as needs to be thrown in order to make that first step – after that, you become cautious not of engaging in something in the first place, but of how the situation can play itself out.

These initial trips to a pub or another city, with some mischief along the way, build up the spontaneity and courage to engage in more daring things. In my own experience, these trips led to my saying “Yes” to a sudden phone call from the same comrade who asked me “want to go exploring an abandoned mine with us?” This was the first time that there was need for preparation, but it was barely more than what we normally did – travel to a different town and from there hike to the mine, put on appropriate clothes and equipment and get in there (informing people we know about where we had gone to and at what time to expect us to call them that we’re out)!

This was the first dangerous adventure as the mine is old and the “roof” had been setting for years, what used to be carved out stone tunnels where a man could stand at full height in most areas became so small that you can barely fit standing on your knees while also bending your head down – in some spots even tighter than that. In some spots having enough space to bear crawl was a luxury as in others you need to literally crawl on your belly. The mines had several cave-ins that killed people, it is perfectly pitch black without a flashlight, shouting is absolutely out of the question and the nature of the bending and twisting tunnels meant that should somebody turn a corner and you are not following them closely behind you may very well lose sight of them and thus become separated. Which is what happened to me.

One of the guys wanted to splinter off and take a different route, going on his own but to ultimately meet up with the rest at another juncture. I figured that could be a bad idea and decided to go with him, which apparently he didn’t hear as he steamed ahead at some point and I lost sight of him.

I kept following the tunnel until I came to  a fork and thus was presented with a dilemma: I had to either wait for them to find me or make my way back out on my own and wait for them to come out as well. I did not like the first option as it relied on the main group to find the other guy and then them all finding me. Moreover, by then we were already running out of time before we had to call in that we are out. Thus I figured that I need to make my way out on my own, as even if they were to go looking for me they would be pressed for time to get out and call their own contacts to say that they were alright but possibly lost me in the mines.

I had a paper copy of the map for the mine and a digital one in my phone, and to everyone’s surprise I had actually made my way out of the mine successfully a full 5 minutes before the rest of the gang made their way out. At that point we began loudly exchanging our respective experiences and reactions to how I became separated from the group. To date this is one of our best stories from the adventures we partook in together.

There are always dangers in every adventure, as should be well realized by anyone who wants to actually take part in them. Consequences can be anything ranging from getting caught, arrested, getting lost and all the way to dying. That is the nature of adventure, it has to be a challenge.

The first step to adventure is the challenge of just accepting it. When an opportunity comes along you say “Yes“. It’s great to have a friend in the group who is there to make that offer and drag you out into the unknown “just because.” If you don’t have such a friend, then you must take on that role. Once you start and keep at it with small escapades they will progress by necessity to bigger things. And whatever dangers you’ll face will be a challenge at the time, and a great story in passing should you come out alive – maybe not unscathed, but alive.

By now it should have also become apparent that traveling is the ultimate source of adventures as all these stories involve leaving home, even if it is just to go to a pub with friends. Spontaneity is the lifeblood of adventure as it breaks the comfort of routine, traveling is likewise the lifeblood of adventures as it pulls you out of the comfort of home. I had the opportunity to travel quite a bit and been lost in the woods on a snowmobile, capsized a mini catamaran, got stuck on a mountain on skis after the slope was already closed, once almost drowned on New Year’s night in a military vehicle. Fun things happen if you just leave the comforts of home and routine.

And why aren't YOU out adventuring?
And why aren’t YOU out adventuring?

Adventure is literally just waiting for you, all you have to do is start building up to it with small escapades. Get a crew of friends and comrades who live in the same area as you and just start pushing them with random proposals for doing something, anything, just because, straight out of the blue. Perhaps you’ll meet new friends along the way, not necessarily fascists, nor does your initial crew need to be made up of fellow fascists, just friends – point is that such activities will naturally exclude those who are incapable of being Fascists, and your activities may be what helps them go down that path. All it takes to start, is that first step.

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