Live Free or Die star says all the things he couldn’t say on TV in a YouTube manifesto on civilization and its discontents.
The National Geographic reality TV show Live Free or Die portrayed two of its main characters, Tony and Amelia, as heroic rugged individualists, who’ve learned to live off the land like our pioneer ancestors.
While the producers of Live Free or Die and other “reality” shows, like Mountain Men, capitalize on 9-to-5ers’ fascination with back-to-the-landers bucking the system, they conveniently neglect to mention, for seasons on end, the very reason why people like Tony and Amelia were living the way they lived — because civilization, as we know it, sucks.
“Tony and Amelia, as portrayed on Live Free or Die are watery, bastardized versions of who we really are,” Tony Troia says in the video below.
“Most folks who are free-thinking and interesting enough to find themselves on a TV screen must compromise who they are” in order to be “marketable.”
“I wound up on the lens side of a camera because I refused to play by society’s rules,” he said.
“Ironically, this is the case for many reality TV stars. Shows like Moonshiners, Appalachian Outlaws, Mountain Men and Live Free or Die portray rugged individuals living life on their terms, sometimes lawlessly.”
“No one wants to watch a show following a dude in rush hour traffic on his way to the office.”
“The ironic thing is, these shows, that follow hardened outcasts, are made, consumed, and supported by folks who wear suits, sit in rush hour traffic and spent countless hours in offices.”
“The system that cultivates shows like Live Free or Die is the precise system I actively distance myself from.”
“The underlying socio-spiritual reasons that often drive people off grid are not to be discussed in mainstream media.”
“Why I live the way I do cannot be so much as whispered on television.”
“My outlook on civilization’s history is dismal at best. We have suffered unspeakable horrors under the burden of agriculture, imperialism and industry.”
“The cons grossly outweigh the pros when it comes to the so-called civilized world.”
“Every man, woman and child alive today was born slave to a system they took no part in creating.”
“This system, this machine, we were born into is a joke to me, but unfortunately it is not a joke. Global warming is not a joke. Genocidal eradication of indigenous people is not a joke. Wage slavery is not a joke. Our war on biodiversity is not a joke.”
“You can’t say that on TV.”
“We live in a troubled world and to pretend otherwise is inexcusable. It is an undeniable fact that industries pampered and propped up by media and advertising feed on injustice. It is not commercially viable to produce a TV show whose characters vocalize such injustices.”
For more of Tony’s thoughts on agriculture and civilization read his article: Agriculture Ruined Our Relationship with the Earth, Forest Gardening Can Fix It