Ok so I rewatched Totoro for the first time since 2007. It was the last movie I watched before the release of In Rainbows, so it already has a Radiohead association... and this time I noticed a resemblance between one music cue (the end of the track labeled as Not Afraid in the US soundtrack release that’s currently on streaming services) with the piano part of Daydreaming, and also with Defeatist Anthem. I think both artists were copying from Joe Hisaishi. The plot of the mom in the hospital resonates with what was going on in Thom and his kids’ life at the time too, so they may have been intentionally referencing that music. Then again, Hisaishi is also quoting from plenty of pre-existing music in his soundtracks. Basically copyright is stupid and Radiohead would’ve been fine if they just stopped suing other artists.
I understand why someone might have that perspective. I have hiked without my iPod. But I must be honest . . . . . 99% of the time, it is completely silent on my hikes. For me, the silence is extremely boring. Listening to music is a big part of my adventurous hikes. It enhances my enjoyment of Mother Nature. For comparison . . . . . when I'm at home or when I'm driving or when I'm at the grocery store or when I'm at work . . . . . instead of music, I listen to podcasts (news, sports, movie reviews, etc.) most of the time. When it's time to hike, I cherish the opportunity to listen to a playlist full of different songs.
In the wilderness, it's very easy to hear airplanes because it's so fucking quiet. In the wilderness, if I hike without my iPod . . . . . I only hear the rushing water if I am near a river or creek. I rarely hear birds. I sometimes hear squirrels or chipmunks making little noises, warning the forest community that someone has entered the area. But those natural sounds just aren't a big deal to me. Like I said, most of the time it's silent and I find it very boring.
Most of my hikes are off-trail . . . . . . I'm constantly stepping over fallen trees and branches. They're everywhere when you hike off-trail in the Rocky Mountains (depending on where you are, of course). I'm bush-whacking through thick under-brush. I'm climbing up and down hills and rocky terrain. It's hard work. I need music to balance out the challenging physical efforts that I'm making. If I'm hiking to a waterfall . . . . . . yes, I remove my earpods when I know I'm getting close to the waterfall. And I keep my earpods off while I am at the waterfall so I can enjoy it. But when I leave the waterfall, it's back to the music as I struggle through long arduous terrain.
As far as bears are concerned . . . . . most of the time, animals hear us, see us or smell us . . . . . before we see them. And since most animals see us as a potential threat to their safety . . . . . or they just feel uncomfortable if we get too close . . . . . most of the time, they move out of the area before we arrive . . . . . . and we don't even know that the animals were there. I've been on long hikes and didn't see one animal . . . . . except for some ravens flying or squirrels/chipmunks. And those hikes are very disappointing because my greatest passion is seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. I especially love seeing wildlife when they are unaware of my presence but that is rare.
It is possible that I could surprise a bear and that the bear could charge me and kill me. For example, if I'm hiking near a creek . . . . . and the rushing water is loud enough that a bear doesn't hear the sound of my boots stepping on twigs and branches that are on the ground. And maybe the bear can't smell me because the wind is not blowing the right direction. And maybe the bear can't see me because of the terrain, the trees or the thick bushes. All of those things could happen. But regardless of whatever the situation is . . . . . if a bear charges me, I will use my bear spray (pepper spray). It is clipped to the front of my backpack strap on my chest area . . . . . it's easy and ready to use. In 20 years of hiking . . . . . I have rarely seen bears. And when I have seen a bear, it was usually at a safe distance.
In Yellowstone National Park, there are 3 animals that you need to keep a safe distance from: 1. bears (Black Bears and Grizzly Bears) 2. bison 3. moose
Bears could kill you and eat you. But remember, less than 10 people have been killed by bears during the entire history of Yellowstone National Park (which was established in 1872). Bison and moose could charge you if you get too close to them and they could kill you because they are so big and heavy . . . . . but they will not eat you.
Wolves are not a threat to us because they see us as a threat. They might be curious about us but they don't see us a source of food. As far as mountain lions are concerned, there are very few of them because their territories are extremely large. Like wolves, mountain lions don't see us as a source of food. Wolves and mountain lions know what their food looks like, it has 4 legs, has a specific body shape and it behaves/moves a certain way. As far as rattlesnakes are concerned, Yellowstone has a very small population of them in a specific area of the park. But the area is kind of out-of-the-way. Only 2 people have been bitten by rattlesnakes during the entire history of Yellowstone National Park and neither of those people died.
I don’t understand the idea of going to a remote trail in a place like Yellowstone and wanting to hear the sounds of birds and waterfalls covered up by Thom Yorke’s familiar moaning. I love listening to music (including TKOL) on suburban and urban trails where the main thing I’d hear if I took out the headphones is the conversations of other people on the trail, in those cases music actually makes me feel more deeply appreciative of nature than if my soundtrack was the Joneses comparing the models of their Teslas or debating politics (to be fair I long since stopped taking the headphones out, so maybe these are not the current topics of discussion), but even in these trails I do feel I’m betraying the place a little by having headphones on because I’d also hear some interesting sounds that I don’t hear due to music. So I draw the line with trails not in cities, and it’s dangerous to have headphones on in those situations too. Aren’t there bears in Yellowstone? Or maybe this is just music you listened to while relaxing at the end of your hikes? Not that I care what Thom Yorke thinks particularly, but I could imagine him not being happy if he learned that his nature inspired song was being listened to as a substitute for the sounds of nature.