And a long week, but I've found ways to squander my time. First choice - Alone - a reality TV show, in which 10 contestants are dropped on the remote NW shores of Vancouver Island to fend for themselves. The last man standing wins half a million dollars (US Funds). They are alone (not together) and film their own struggles. It's brilliant. I mean, there are an awful lot of layers to this, and the survivors - by several orders of magnitude - demonstrate less skills (although these are admirable) but as much, or more, the qualities of integrity and character. You'll either get it or you won't...no spoilers here...

Alone - Watch Here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2uqwvv

The next, can't believe I haven't seen it before, a YouTube recommendation based on my propensity for watching prospecting porn, standard "reality tv", in short, complete and utter bollocks, over dramatized and imaginary conflicts, complaints about weather, overvaluing of finds....for all the things that interest me it could be condensed to about 3 minutes per episode. The rest is added to bulk it up and "add drama". And is that her kid acting as the "claimjumper" in the same episode? The Weather Network? Really?

Prospectors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPw84n0KuMQ

And finally, another YouTube recommendation, I haven't watched yet, but I will, I will...

Meteorite Men: Yeah, you can find this I'm sure, if you're interested.

Still there? Follow the read-more if you want, but there are definitely spoilers ahead...

OK. If you're reading this I'm hoping you've watched "Alone". If you haven't, stop now. 

What I found most intriguing about it was the not only the gross difference in "skills" of the competitors - I mean, over half the people tapped out within a week - but the psychology of those who made it to the end. There is in this a world of life experience, emotional maturity, and the consolation of philosophy. Of the 4, 2 I especially related to - Lucas, who built the canoe, the Yurt, and Alan, both very different people, yet somehow bonded by their awe and respect of nature, and the consolation of philosophy. Alone, espousing to the Camera that the real battle lies not with nature, the cougars, bears, wolves, but within oneself, that life out here merely objectifies the metaphorical struggles that exist with in us all.  Lucas, who seemed capable of anything, with his spiritual epiphanies and survivalist training, long term goals, yet somehow tapped out "early". And Alan, with his day to day approach, amazing, really, both for different reasons my favorites, both articulate, intelligent, educated, both I would have thought would be there until the end. And the others, most notably Sam, who survived upon unlucky mice, no great epiphanies there, more an absence of higher thought, yet surviving all the same. The fittest, in my view, was Lucas, but after his epiphany he left. And Alan, no dummy, but with a more short-sighted vision, survive day to day, and he did it, would have, you understood, have survived until the end, whenever that would be, even further, had Lucas the same resolve, purpose, it would have been a very long stay in the woods indeed... 

This is great, whether I need to credit the participants (and I do, this was by far the most difficult reality TV series going, for a paltry fiscal reward, although the rest of the rewards were more substantial by far), for their character, integrity, and where these weren't present for the contrast they provided to those who possessed them. And to the editors, who pieced together the footage to create a truly great 21st century morality tale...