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How Dare You

Runnerbear shares his experience and intent behind his new book “How Dare You”.

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Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Much of the world is in the throes of despair… but not me! I’m fired up and ready to crush, how about you? For many of us, Big Bear’s influence has been what’s made the difference. Looking back, Owen’s livestream has been a blessing. Ferocious rhetoric, turbulent humor, and restorative insights? Best stream on the internet. And it’s been the best for a while. Years ago, when I first felt compelled to start writing down quotes from the great bard of a bear, it certainly wasn’t rooted in anything so ambitious as publishing a book. Something just resonated with me, so I wrote it down. Though meager in its origin, the quote document that I started didn’t stay small for long; like Owen, I’m a man of amplitude. Once upon a time I went to a track and field practice. I liked it, so obviously I dropped everything else I was doing and spent the next ten years obsessively trying to get to the Olympics. I didn’t want to party, I didn’t want to make money, and I didn’t want to study. I just wanted to run fast. Like most things, it didn’t work out exactly the way I had planned, but somewhere along this obsessive, goal-oriented path, I begrudgingly learned to appreciate the process for its own sake. Man makes plans and God laughs; the trick is learning to laugh along, letting the good path, rather than the ego, dictate where to go. Several months after I first began mining quotes, still a blood-hound, clattering away on my keyboard, I noticed that the unassuming little indicator of my quote document was suddenly boasting 10,000 words. I finally felt the abrupt weight of it. An idea that had been steadily concentrating in my mind became cemented: I should write a book about Big Bear. 

Artwork By HandDrawnBear

So goes the origin story of How Dare You. It took about a year of diligent work to go from raw quotes and a rough concept to a refined physical paperback. Today, with the delay in data from my publishing company, I’m not sure what the sales look like exactly. I don’t know who’s buying, how many are buying, or any of that. Interestingly enough, the obligation of patience has proved insightful; I’ve realized that sales aren’t my top priority. If cash was my main concern, I would have quit running, and I definitely would have quit writing, a long time ago. Ultimately, whether this metric of money leads to rags or riches doesn’t change a different, more blissful kind of dividend that I’ve had the honor of receiving since publishing How Dare You: the bright, lively response from the bears who have read it. To hear that I’ve provided a good service brings me joy. With living legends like Rachel Fulton Brown, Jean Troy-Smith, and Owen Benjamin offering such staggering high praise as calling How Dare You a “brilliant … handbook in virtue”, comparing it to the great work of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, or an enthusiastic affirmation of “excellent, excellent writing”, I can’t help but be a little bewildered.  I mean, I’ve never been great at accepting compliments to begin with, so to put such self-congratulatory things down in written words makes me a tad fidgety. 

    Whether brilliant or not, How Dare You owes much of its layout to the combination of my upbringing and Owen’s streams. Growing up, honor culture was foreign to me. Since I started from a place of ignorance, only learning about the values of honor culture as an adult (through the Big Bear), I was able to turn around and explain it with clarity and logic. It’s like the old saying goes, “those who can’t do, teach”. It’s the most brilliant savants that make the worst teachers, because they operate on instinct, not explicit understanding. Ask the very best artist, mathematician, or soccer player how they manage such brilliant feats, and there’s a good chance they’ll give you advice that’s about as unhelpful as three cheap words under one overpriced swoosh. Stepping away from the half-truths of forced corporate resonance, the act of effective teaching, requires real understanding. The act of doing, however, requires only doing. For me, upholding the paradigm of honor culture did not begin as an obvious instinct, it had to be learned. Looking back, what a valuable lesson it has been. 

Artwork By HandDrawnBear

Of course, there are always savants that take the time to excel at both doing and understanding. These are the people that you want on your team. When Owen got booted out of Hollywood and his whole world was turned upside down, suddenly, the doing part wasn’t enough by itself. He needed to take the time to get an explicit understanding of his instincts. He needed to revisit why choosing truth over money was the right decision despite popular Hollywood opinion. Thus, the Why Didn’t They Laugh (WDTL) podcast pivoted, and the course of its new insightful direction was set. Instead of focusing on the niche of differentiating between a joke that roars and a joke that flops, WDTL began focusing on values. As much for himself as it was for the audience, Big Bear needed to explain the importance of maintaining his core mantra: “I might be wrong but I’m not lying”. What followed was a long, drawn out articulation of honor culture fundamentals, paired with the dramatization of what happens when such a brash ethic is forthrightly upheld in the modern dainty public square. 

    This turn of events took place in the days of double-digit streams. I was lucky enough to get on-board early, when I began listening around number 95. Today, we’re well past 1000 and I haven’t missed one since. Between then and now, much has been unlearned, many have been banned, and more has been built. Infrastructure like Unauthorized.tv, Unbearables Media, and The Beartaria Times, did not exist back when I first wrote down a quick jab of rhetoric from a roaring comedian named Owen Benjamin. And that’s the beauty of this whole story. The Beartarian ethic is about pursuing honor culture: we build, rather than complain, we’re defined by our light, rather than our shadows, and we aim for the good, the true, and the beautiful, rather than the wicked, the false, and the ugly. We make every effort to do our best, in pursuit of God’s moral law. 

Artwork By HandDrawnBear

One of Big Bear’s great assets has been his dismissal of prioritizing a secular authority, the primary driver behind the mainstream ethic: civility culture. This opened up the authentic freedom to travel down any conceptual road, regardless of any ruffled feathers in the secular space. As a consequence, a whole world of insights has been brought forward. Encountering an enormous conceptual mass, I made the choice to break up my writing project about Owen into three sensible parts. With that decision, one book became a trilogy, with a narrative that follows the same logical arc that Owen worked through live. How Dare You is focused on the first phase of the journey: upholding the values of honor culture.

Altogether, writing How Dare You has been a wonderful project to put together. I was able to take the scattered lessons in my mind about Honor culture and distill them down into one cohesive bundle. Every part of this process has been a joy. My hope is to build a career as a professional author, spending my mornings writing from a little office in a homestead, but I’ve realized that if I had to, I’d do this for free. For the bears yet to read How Dare You, I hope it resonates with you just as much as it did with me, and just as much as it did with those who have already closed the back cover and offered such generous and rewarding feedback. It’s been my honor to make something that good people enjoy. First and foremost, this novel was always meant to be a cathartic revisit to where this whole process started. It was written by a bear, for the bears. In terms of tone, How Dare You is stern and masculine. Like Owen, I was tough with some of my words, because I know you can handle it. Bears aren’t snowflakes; we’re comfortable with the thermal kinetics that often comes when wrestling with ideas. Think of it like a coach at half-time, whose crassness and intensity are rooted in love, knowing that we can do better. But How Dare You isn’t an exercise in brow-beating either. In addition to a deliberately stern take on the hedonic side of modernity, How Dare You also bounces around between high ground abstractions and low ground goofiness, just like Owen is apt to do. Stylistically, How Dare You is for the bears.

Artwork By HandDrawnBear

Finally, I just want to take a step back and offer a sincere thank you to everyone here. Since the start, this has been a wonderful grass roots movement to be a part of. Seeds have been sown and much has been grown. We will all be known by our fruits. With what has already developed, I’m convinced that the bears are the best people on earth. Looking forward to whatever comes next.
   

Much love everybody, 

Jacob 

Runnerbear

Website: JacobTelling.com

Beartaria Times handle: @Runnerbear

Events

The Béara Clann – Irish Bears July Camp Trip

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Our Story Begins

The following is an account of twenty-three legends that assembled at a campground in the Beara Peninsula of County Kerry, Ireland, in the first weekend of July 2021.  This is the story of the first Béara Clann camp trip.

Our story begins on Thursday, the first of July.  Kingdom Bear and his wife, Kerry Moma Bear, arrived at the campground to claim our corner of the camp.  Kingdom Bear, an avid camper, is also a veteran of the printing industry.  He brought with him a few surprises he’d made for the group, including a Béara Clann banner and flag.  With banner and flag in place, Kingdom Bear was ready to welcome the other members they arrived.

 

Béara Clann Assemble

Friday morning, members of the Béara Clann, the Irish Unbearables, began their journey from all corners of Ireland to the campground in County Kerry.  By the afternoon, most of the group had made their appearance.

Upon arriving, the Clansfolk were warmly greeted by the Béara banner and flag marking our little settlement.  There, we found a fire pit surrounded by tents on all sides.  Next to that, a small building for shelter from rain.

Kingdom Bear and Óbéara Bear welcomed the Friday arrivals with smiles and open arms.  Everyone joined in to help each other build their tents.  After setting up and a quick trip to a nearby village to stock up on food and supplies, everyone was settled in for the evening.

It was like old friends having a reunion, though this was the first time many of us were meeting in the real physical world that exists beyond the borders of the digital realm.  Handshakes, hugs, smiles and stories being shared were in abundance.

It was time to build a fire before nightfall.  A few bears spotted a huge broken tree limb and with teamwork, removed it from the tree with bare hands.  Then they began to break it down to smaller pieces using various saws and axes.  Everyone participated in a group effort.  As one got tired, another bear stepped up and continued the sawing.  This was also a great opportunity to teach the younger generation how to chop wood.  The Paddy Glassman Bear instructed Green Bear’s sons, Strummer Bear and Pickle Bear, how to chop up some firewood.

The positive vibes continued into the evening hours, as members gathered round the fire to tell stories, crack jokes and share their various interesting theories about this realm we call Earth.

 

The Fellowship of the Clann

Saturday morning saw the arrival of several more members, completing our gathering of these Irish Beartarians.

That afternoon, several members embarked on a journey to hike to a hilltop where an ancient stone circle stands.  The group admired the elevated view while contemplating what the ancient people of this land had known to construct such a site.  After visiting this ancient place, some of the braver ones took a dip in the chilly waters of a nearby lake.

Once everyone was back at camp, the Béara Clann’s Minister of Enthusiasm, Brayvy Bear, presented each of the children in the group with a gift bag.  The amazing Kingdom Bear and Kerry Moma Bear put together these lovely gift bags that included things like crayons, coloring book, bubbles and toys.  The Béara Clann children were most pleased.

It was steadily raining that evening, so we all gathered under that nearby shelter for a dinnertime BBQ.  Spirits were high as we shared stories and crafted jokes.  There was an abundance of good cheer.

After dinner, Brayvy Bear presented all of the adults with a souvenir Béara Clann mug that he and Kingdom Bear had made for the group members.  To mark the occasion, Brayvy Bear also presented to the group a bottle of locally crafted Beara Irish Whiskey, pouring a little into each mug and proposing a toast to the Clann.

The “craic”, as the Irish call it (stories, jokes and laughs), continued into the late night hours.

 

Making Our Own

Sunday morning, the group screen printed t-shirts with the Béara Clann logo.  Each member had brought with them the shirts they wanted printed.  Kingdom Bear set up a station in the shelter area to do the printing.  As mentioned earlier, he’s a veteran of the printing industry, so he volunteered to man the screen printing station.  Brayvy Bear, always eager to help, stepped up to assist him.  The end result was beautiful, each member going home with a freshly printed Béara souvenir t-shirt.

After printing t-shirts, Poppa J Bear hosted a livestream for Instagram.  The stream included a tour of the camp site and short interviews with several of the folk.  It was a great way to capture and showcase the energy of the trip.

Next, everyone gathered in front of the shelter for a group photo.  ConspiraBee Bear, an avid photographer who had been photographing the entire weekend of events captured the group photo of us.

 

Further Exploration

Some members packed up to head home after the group photo.  The remaining members embarked on an expedition to see a famous secluded waterfall and lake not far from where we were situated.

The scenery at this location was epic, like something you would see on a postcard.  Passing through fields of sheep, you encounter the waterfall.  After a few photos were taken there, we proceeded to trek up the steep trail towards the lake.  At the lake, several in the party decided to again take a dip in the water.  The Buzz Wrecker Bear, Rua Bear, The Paddy Glassman Bear, Eire Bear and Defender Bear’s girlfriend all went for a swim, those brave souls.

Once back at camp, the men set up a friendly axe throwing competition.  Logs were stacked for a target and the each man took turns throwing the axe.  Much fun was had, so much so that axe throwing will be a featured event at all future camp trips.

 

Onward to Béara!

That night, as the rain had ended, we all gathered round the fire again.  Future plans were discussed, including another camping trip, as well as the proposed formation of the Beartarian Horticultural Society.

The common thread that tied this weekend camp trip together was teamwork and community building.  Each member of the Clann lending a hand to help another.

It was so good to see everyone get along so well, to see our children playing together in nature.  To watch the initially hesitant and wary wives and girlfriends go from polite conversation to genuine warmth and good natured joking, now eager to be a part of this wonderful group.  This is what community building is all about.

The friendships formed, friendships reinforced and memories made at this July camp trip will last a lifetime.  We, the Béara Clann of Irish Unbearables, are a young group, still growing and learning as we go, yet we show much promise of big things to come in the future!

On Monday morning, it was decided that we would all meet here again for the second weekend of August.

To be continued…

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Children Stories

In Search of Sacha: Review

Book review by Van Allen Bear on the book In Search of Sacha, by Manuel Guzman from Lolo’s art.

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Recently I had read a book by a member of the community that was quite an enjoyable read. Many of you may know the book already, but for those like me who have read it for the first time: here is my first impressions and review.

For what I have come to understand, the author made a point to write the story in such a way that the reader is encouraged to take one, two, or three times to read through and each time draw new connections between the characters and their quest. If you haven’t made it through the book already then I won’t reveal too much information about the story as to do you a disservice. The summary is as follows:

“A fully painted 80 page fantasy storybook about loving parents searching for their son in a dark forest. They are Elysia and Amar, guardians of the mountains and of Sacha. They contain a pure light within them which they have passed on to their son and can only hope it will protect him during his coming of age trials. In Search of Sacha is written and designed for all ages. Young adults as well as children and parents will find something to love from this ethereal fairy tale.” – Manuel Guzman

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Word From The North

Beetle in the Oakwood

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Little Bear Woodshop and I had reached an agreement, of sorts, where I send him proper currency accompanied with materials and he would use his facility to craft a pair of knives. What materials, you ask? I asked myself the same thing… If there was a knife you were going to carry with you all the time, what materials would you use? Naturally I am inclined to choose wood blanks, so I decided to take a saw to a few types of wood that were available nearby, which ended up being: mesquite, Spanish oak, cedar, and a local contact provided me with a few planks of Texan Pecan.

A fine blank, no less

So, this was going to be quite easy, I merely send the wood to the craftsman and bark some orders. Once the materials are in his hands, then he’s charged with making my cutlery. However, once showing pictures of my loot to the woodworker, I was informed that the bark had to be removed prior to both shipping and crafting. Naturally, I realized that I only had a few hours to de-bark the wood with a rotary table saw on hand. I set to it with my glasses on and table saw whirring in the garage.

The wood had been dry for quite a while, and I ran it sideways to grind off all the bark, strip by strip by strip. Curious, were these markings on the exposed hardwood beneath… what were they? Ovular and they seemed to be made of softer wood, they didn’t look to me as being natural. I began cutting the wood across the diameter of the trunk when out popped a beetle the size of my thumbnail. I was fooled, thinking this wood was in tip-top shape!

“Good Heavens, what on earth is this beetle doing in my oakwood?! What corruption is this?”

surprised man, sawing wood, circa 2020

Confused and surprised, I made more and more cuts for coasters. Lo’ and behold, there was another beetle that felt the sting of my rotary saw, and unfortunately had to take a very very long nap in the trashcan. The rest of the wood was untouched, for there were different cuts from different trees. Only some interesting ant-made markings marred the surfaces or the interiors of the other hardwoods.

As they were shipped out to and received by the man whom fabricates knives and things made from wood for a living, they were met with acclaim. The mesquite shall be turned into ladles, Spanish oak into spatulas, cedar into spoons, and a few planks of Texan Pecan shaped into Idaho State cutting boards. There are things to learn from this endeavor: never judge a cut of wood by it’s bark. It’s not that you shouldn’t trust things unseen, but be prepared to slice up a couple beetles or so through your endeavors for there very well could be all sorts of insects lurking just beneath the surface.

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