Sunday, January 6, 2013

Why explore Abandoned Buildings?

Ha, while aimlessly googling for Urban Exploration sites in Cleveland, I came across this nugget.
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 02:05:34 AM »
I don't get why so many people are into "exploring" old, rundown, dangerous buildings.  To each his own I guess...but it does provide some nice vantage points for viewing the skyline!
eh, ih, ouh, Whaaaat? I have to admit, in all my travels, never has anyone really questioned the awesome of exploring abandoned buildings. People have questioned the safety (Brit), the scare factor (Patsy), whether it was personally for them (Jen), but everyone seems to get why *I* and my compatriots enjoy doing it. But setting that aside for a second, let's address this fair question.

The question isn't so much "Why explore abandoned buildings?" as "Why is exploring abandoned buildings fun?" Because "Fun" is the answer to the first question, but pretentiousness implies the second question. In no particular order:

Reason #1: Video Games. The other day I mentioned I think on Twitter that if I were to make a video game of my life, it would be all about exploring abandoned buildings! Panda replied something akin to "Aren't all video games about exploring abandoned buildings?" Which at first I was like "well mneeeh" :P but then I gave it some thought -- and it's pretty entirely true. Half the video games I own are really just plots that encourage exploration of abandoned buildings (most of which have supernatural figures hiding behind the next, poorly lit corner.)

Indeed: Google "Silent Hill" and abandoned, and more REAL LIFE images referencing Silent Hill come up than screenshots from the game! BTW: I highly recommend doing that.
 Silent Hill (every game is filled with whole abandoned cities! Hospitals, Churches, Houses you have to search.) Uncharted (abandoned submarines, chateaus, and of course Mayan temples.) My new game F.E.A.R. -- the first two levels they even blatently describe it "We last saw the target going into this abandoned warehouse..." level two? Abandoned Hospital. So maybe people just want that experience of being a video game character, exploring abandoned buildings like levels of their life, confident... perhaps, that there aren't any supernatural creeps around the next corner. I know I personally enjoy that sensation that an exploration is like a video game! That's why I always try to collect, or at least photograph maps like the characters in games always seem able to do.

Uncharted 3: Abandoned Chateau
Reason #2: That boyish sense of adventure! I don't know how else to describe it, girls have it to, but that 1980s movie little kid that wants to go on adventures with his toy telescope so gets into trouble with his buddies. We've explored most of the world, there isn't much room for a modern day Christopher Columbus of Francis Drake... so to fill that void for exploration in a young boys heart you have to explore the "Ancient Ruins" of modern day society, abandoned buildings right in your own backyard. At least that's what I feel exploring abandoned buildings, haha.


Reason #3: Ghosts. This is not really why I do it, but many others seem obsessed with the supernatural spirits they try to find at these places. I am not really a believer in the supernatural, so I am more there for the first two reasons, but if a ghost was going to show itself, being alone in an abandoned building with boyish imagination seems to work for the Ghost Adventurers.


Reason #4: Timeless photography. Something about being forgotten by society, left alone for decades produces fantastic shots! I don't really take pictures of abandoned buildings with the intention of producing masterpieces, more to document the coolest things I can find, but some people's main purpose is to take really cool pictures, and post them on the internet. So more power to those people, cause they typically serve as the inspiration for me to keep going. "Look how cool this well lit abandoned factory in Russia is!"

The Ruins of Detroit.
Reason #5: Camaraderie? This one I'm kind of making up. But look at movies like the 2013 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or The Blaire Witch Project, or Scooby Doo. You get a gang, you explore something just a little scary, and it's like a ritual to bond ya together. Of course in the first two examples of this people Die. But the fact that they die so quickly is highlighted emotionally because we feel how close they were to the other characters, because they're exploring!

Song of the Day: "Want it, Need it" by Plies ft. Ashanti. This song is awful. Like, awfully bad. It's more "sing-talk" than rap. I don't think this song ever played on the radio that I listen to, but it was part of a mix CD a former education friend of mine made, he was a part-time DJ or something. He moved to California that semester, and the rest of our car pool never heard from him again. But as for the song, first of all, Plies looks gross and creepy. Is that a grill in his teeth? He looks like a troll. The song itself is about a booty call. Some girl "only thinks of him on two occasions (That's: When she 'wants it', and 'when she needs it.')" Is there anyone left thinking our education system doesn't need more funding? Didn't think so.



My favorite line:
"I'm asleep but I feel your hand in my boxers...
Baby, it's 5 in the morning, you rubbing on Oscar?"
Bahahahaaha, ooooooh man.  Imagine my shock that this song never went anywhere. Unfortunately, I realized today the CD this is on is scratched and doesn't go past the 44 second mark, so I guess I'll never hear this song again. Tragedy.

[Update] Let me display my shock that this song had it's own Wikipedia page. Shock displayed.

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