I think the secret to doing things is just doing things
March 21, 2017 10:47 AM   Subscribe

Day 87 of Mark Baumer's vlog and blog of walking across the country barefoot is laugh out loud funny. Two months ago, on day 101 of his walk to raise awareness about climate change, the day after the presidential inauguration, he was struck by an SUV and killed. "We would have been better off electing a barrel of burning tires," read the inscription on the photo he had posted to his website the previous day, the last photo he would ever publish.

Mark Baumer led an inspiring and inspired life. The sheer quantity of material he produced is impressive and intimidating. There are hundreds of uploaded videos on his youtube channel. He wrote fifty books in a year.

The about page on his website gives a detailed account of his life, from playing in the Division III collegiate baseball championship, to previous times crossing the country, both hitchhiking (previously) and shod, to getting an MFA from Brown, to being a union steward, to his many creative outlets in prose, poetry, video, and others.

Mark Baumer prophetically named his blog detailing his most recent crossing:

notgoingtomakeit--Barefoot Across America--I probably won’t even make it out of Rhode Island.

He made it out of Rhode Island.

The Tragic Death of Mark Baumer, a Prolific Poet and Environmental Activist for the Social-Media Age, New Yorker profile by Anna Heyward. His obituary.

The woman who drove the SUV into Mark Baumer has been charged. Not for hitting him, but because she shouldn't have been driving at all at the time. One of his friends at Transport Providence investigated the equity issues involved in impounding vehicles from drivers who aren't properly licensed, and how that affects pedestrian and traffic safety in the USA. He also investigated roadway design priorities and how that affected Mark and how it affects the United States in general.

His father's blog
posted by GregorWill (20 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know that this post does justice to his life. I've spent the past several weeks reading his writing and watching his videos filled with humor and despair at the way that we have been treating this country. As someone involved in bicycle advocacy and considering driving across the country because I'm scared if I were to bicycle across I would be hit by a distracted driver, learning about his death hit home for me. Personally I have been inspired by his activism and want to make this country a better place for everyone. There are many issues that he brought up in his writing and videos: our throw away culture, our desire to fit in, climate change, eating priories, and more. I encourage you to make your way through his writing and videos and enjoy and be inspired. I needed to take his advice and do instead of continuing to ruminate on all of these thoughts my brain, so I pushed "Post".
posted by GregorWill at 10:57 AM on March 21, 2017 [11 favorites]

Also, an article in the Brown student paper about his teaching methods. The facebook page of the group he was walking to promote, The FANG Collective.
posted by GregorWill at 11:03 AM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you for posting this! I had never heard of Mark before, and what I've read about him in the past 10 minutes has been inspiring.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 11:10 AM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by dinty_moore at 11:48 AM on March 21, 2017

A friend of mine knew him; I'm sorry I never got the chance.

posted by GenjiandProust at 12:11 PM on March 21, 2017

I'm enjoying reading this. Here's a phrase that transported me into his being a lot more with than I'd expect it to: "I think I’m going to stop buying cashews at gas stations because they also give me the feeling they’ve been rubbed in engine oil."
posted by ambrosen at 12:48 PM on March 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Wow, his dad's blog is great. And of COURSE a trumpkin killed his son - thats the universe we live in.
posted by yonation at 1:04 PM on March 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Rest in power
posted by nixon's meatloaf at 2:27 PM on March 21, 2017


posted by allthinky at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2017

one day, perhaps in an enlightened future (or more likely, a better timeline) we are going to build a magnificent memorial on the national mall in memory of the millions needlessly slaughtered on our roads that will bring future generations to tears

until then:

posted by entropicamericana at 3:43 PM on March 21, 2017

posted by mostly vowels at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2017

posted by kozad at 5:15 PM on March 21, 2017

posted by domo at 7:13 PM on March 21, 2017

posted by dealing away at 9:09 PM on March 21, 2017

Why is it so often the case that we learn on here about such wonderful people only after they've gone?

I'll be digging deep into his materials for some time to come.

posted by brokeaspoke at 10:23 PM on March 21, 2017

posted by Scram at 12:09 AM on March 22, 2017

posted by but no cigar at 12:14 AM on March 22, 2017

posted by obloquy at 1:15 AM on March 23, 2017

Oh no.

posted by banterboy at 3:53 PM on March 27, 2017

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