About Naked Man in the Tree

Do you see him up there?

No?

Me neither. That’s because there is no naked man up in that tree, so you should stop looking. In fact, I don’t even know who took this picture, so if this is your picture, and you’re really pissed off because it’s being used on a website that promotes the word naked, contact me and I’ll find a new tree. If it helps any, I think it’s a really great picture and a terrific tree. I actually borrow a lot of pictures, if they’re yours and I didn’t give you credit, let me know. I try to be sincere.

If you’re interested in the shorter version on what this site is about skip to the UNbolded print at the bottom of this page.

The Naked Man in the Tree is actually taken from the historic American novel: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Joseph Heller is a mastermind of perspective as well as humor which is the way I want this site to come across. There is a point in the book where the main character, Yossarian, had just witnessed a brutal death of a flying mate (as he is a bombardier during the closing months of WWII) and gets the flying mates blood all over his body. Yossarian takes off his clothes and refused to get dressed for more than a couple days. When people asked him why he wasn’t he wearing his Uniform he claimed he didn’t want to anymore. That statement alone shows how disgraced Yossarian is to be a part of a war that he does not feel is necessary and that it kills good people. However most other characters find this stark naked truth socially awkward. A few days after the death of his flying mate, Yossarian, still naked, climbs a tree to watch the burial.

Yossarian ponders very much and is very spiritual at this time, however that is completely ignored by another character, Milo Minderbinder, who is in a fix. Milo is in the middle of creating an economic empire, virtually personifying capitalism. Milo absentmindedly bought the whole market of Egyptain cotton but later found out it was impossible to sell. He decided the best way to solve this was by feeding it to the soldiers in the mess hall (as he also was the head mess officer) covering it in chocolate. Milo trusts Yossarian’s judgment and climbs the tree to ask his advice and to try some of the cotton. After he finally gets to the limb Yossarian is on Milo sincerely says:

“This is a pretty good tree.” he observed admiringly with proprietary gratitude.

“It’s the tree of life,” Yossarian answered, waggling his toes, “and of knowledge of good and evil, too.”

Milo squinted closely at the branches. “No it isn’t,” he replied. “It’s a chestnut tree. I ought to know. I sell chestnuts.”

“Have it your way.”

Milo then notices the burial going on off in the distance in the cemetery. Momentarily he feels sorry for the kid and quickly dissolves back in to his own problems making it a stark contrast to the reader:

The four men in fatigues lifted the coffin on slings and lowered it into the grave. Milo shuddered violently.

“I can’t watch it,” he cried, turning away in anguish. “I just can’t sit here and watch while those mess halls let my syndicate die.” He gnashed his teeth and shook his head with bitter woe and resentment. “If they had any loyalty, they would buy my cotton til it hurts them so that they can keep right on buying my cotton til it hurts them some more. They would build fires and burn up their underwear and summer uniforms just to create bigger demand. But they won’t do a thing.”

After pleading with Yossarian to keep eating the chocolate covered Egyptian cotton Yossarian told him it was impossible because it was indigestible. Even so Milo attempted to get around that. Sick of hearing Milo complain Yossarian asks Milo why he wouldn’t sell his cotton to the government:

Milo vetoed the idea brusquely. “It’s a matter of principle,” he explained firmly. “The government has no business in business and I would be the last person in the world to ever try to involve the government in a business of mine. But the business of government is business.” He remembered alertly, and continued with elation. “Calvin Coolidge said that, and Calvin Coolidge was a president, so it must be true. And the government does have the responsibility of buying all the Egyptian cotton I’ve got that no one else wants so that I can make a profit, doesn’t it?” Milo’s face clouded almost as abruptly, and his spirits descended into a state of sad anxiety. “But how will I get the government to do it?”

“Bribe it,” Yossarian said.

“Bribe it!” Milo was outraged and almost lost his balance and broke his neck again. “Shame on you!” he scolded severely, breathing virtuous fire down and upward into his rusty mustache through his billowing nostrils and prim lips. “Bribery is against the law, and you know it. But it’s not against the law to make a profit, is it? So it can’t be against the law for me to bribe someone in order to make a fair profit, can it? No, of course not!” He fell in to brooding again, with a meek, almost pitiable distress. “But how will I know who to bribe?”

“Oh don’t you worry about that,” Yossarian comforted him with a toneless snicker as the engines of the jeeps and ambulance fractured the drowsy silence and the vehicles in the rear began driving away backward. “You make the bribe big enough and they’ll find you. Just make sure you do everything right out in the open. Let everyone know exactly what you want and how much you’re willing to pay for it. The first time you act guilty or ashamed, you might get into trouble.”

“I wish you’d come with me,” Milo remarked. “I won’t feel safe among people who take bribes. They’re no better than a bunch of crooks.”

“You’ll be all right,” Yossarian assured him with confidence. “If you run in to trouble, just tell everybody that the security of the country requires a strong domestic Egyptian-cotton speculating industry.”

“It does,” Milo informed him solemnly. “A strong Egyptian-cotton speculating industry means a much stronger America.”

“Of course it does. And if that doesn’t work, point out the great number of American families that depend on it for income.”

“A great many American families do depend on it for income.”

“You see?” said Yossarian, “You’re much better at it than I am. You almost make it sound true.”

“It is true,” Milo exclaimed with a strong trace of old hauteur.

“That’s what I mean. You do it with just the right amount of conviction.”

“You sure you won’t come with me?”

Yossarian shook his head.

Now overriding Yossarian’s mourning and self-thought Milo presses his own problems on to Yossarian which Yossarian would’ve solved in an instant if Milo wasn’t pretending to justify himself along the way. Yossarian is obviously adept at manipulating money but as you see he has no desire to do so as he declines being Milo’s partner twice despite his power and wealth. Would you turn down such an opportunity? Why does Yossarian? Reading the book reveals what Yossarian truly values (and it is surprisingly or not – not money). This small snippet of speaking with a naked man in a tree reveals some stark universal truths if you can decipher the motives and reasoning. (happily willing to discuss).

While the above was taking place down below in the cemetery the Chaplain was leading the funeral of the dead flying mate. While the Chaplain was finishing up the funeral he happened to notice Yossarian sitting up in the tree. Because of the distance and forgetting what Yossarian looked like since they only met once prior, the Chaplain saw it as a vision choosing to believe something miraculous over the fact that an actual naked man was sitting in a tree. The Chaplain felt this was a vision from God but many doubts haunted him:

It was already some time since the chaplain had first begun wondering what everything was all about. Was there a God? How could he be sure?

——————————————————

Was there a single true faith, or a life after death? How many angels could dance on the head of a pin, and with what matters did God occupy himself in all the infinite aeons before the Creation? Why was it necessary to put a protective seal on the brow of Cain if there were no other people to protect him from? Did Adam and Eve produce daughters? These were the great, complex questions of ontology that tormented him. Yet they never seemed nearly as crucial to him as the question of kindness and good manners.

—————————————————–

Actually the chaplain was almost good-looking, with a pleasant, sensitive face as pale and brittle as sandstone. His mind was open on every subject.

—————————————————–

He recalled – or was almost convinced he recalled – the scene at the cemetery perfectly. He could still see Major Major and Major Danby standing somber as broken stone pillars on either side of him, see almost the exact number of enlisted men and almost the exact places in which they had stood, see the four unmoving men with spades, the repulsive coffin in the large, loose, triumphant mound of reddish-brown earth, and the massive, still, depthless, muffling sky, so weirdly blank and blue that day it was almost poisonous. He would remember them forever, for they were all part of the parcel of the most extraordinary event that had ever befallen him, an event perhaps marvelous, perhaps pathological – the vision of the naked man in the tree. How could he explain it? It was not already seen or never seen, and certainly not almost seen; neither deja vu, jaiais vu, nor presque vu was elastic enough to cover it. Was it a ghost, then? The dead man’s soul? An angel from heaven or a minion from hell? Or was the whole fantastic episode merely the figment of a diseased imagination, his own, of a deteriorating mind, a rotting brain?

The chaplain wanted real universal truths and answers, not something commonly sought after. Many people would be more willing to resort to resentment and oppressive establishments than seek what the chaplain sought. The chaplain understands that this is socially unacceptable and is constantly thrown in to doubt about everything.

All of this rotates around a man being killed for a war that most likely was not benefiting him and the reaction of a deeply ponderous and strong willed individual who witnessed it. Yossarian takes it all in from a personal level (which he does as well when another plane is shot down because of his decision) and attempting to right the wrongs he’s witnessed and helped create. He doesn’t want to identify himself with his country anymore because of the senseless killing in his eyes. This spears deeper than a political level, it’s a personal level that it is happening on.

This is in contrast to the impersonal level that Milo and much of the world works on today (and during WWII). When we talk to other people it’s usually for some sort of gain, and this is encouraged among private and public industries. Relationships become value-based using circular logic as Milo did above he was able to justify his injustices. High divorce rates are probably the cause of this value-based relationship. When one or both partners stop feeling they are “getting” something from the relationship arguments and divorce usually ensues.When things are not able to be spoken about rationally, calmly, and logically circular logic is most likely a base cause of this. Unconsciously one who depends on circular logic may attempt at explaining it at first but quickly will get emotional when a partner won’t ignore his or her blind spots.

The Chaplain views the world openly. This ends up leaving him never totally sure about anything. I share this in common with the chaplain as I also share Yossarian’s outlook. The chaplain is not willing to just accept something without any proof as so many religious people are. The chaplain is looking for real verification because he understands on some level the circular logic of organized religion.

If you come to this site and fully understand the enigma that is our Universe, our planet teeming with life, and our species hopefully this site will appeal to you. If the “big” questions don’t interest you, this site most likely will not either.

In short (and after the above that is probably what you’re looking forward to) the naked man in the tree is about an amalgam of perspectives. The best part about it is that Catch-22 has many characters that represent many other unique perspectives. This weblog is going to be an attempt to discuss topics from a multiperspective point which I envy so much from Joseph Heller. It is meant to cut through simple politics or simple religion or simple economics or simple emotions and open up to what is created when they are all mixed together in a batch like chemicals. Life is complex and much of the interconnected world seems unwilling to address that important point. It’s also meant to be informative and I am not going to pretend I have all the answers. I encourage discussion and opposing viewpoints (rationally explained of course).

In this weblog a general rule applies that there is not one right way to live which seems to be a minority viewpoint unfortunately. However the internet is a great way for great minds to spread that idea which would inspire acceptance, collaboration, and freedom. As for me personally? I’m a New York State certified English teacher (without a permanent position) in his mid-20s. I don’t expect everything I write on here to be grammatically perfect, everybody makes mistakes (an English teacher’s clause). I work with “emotionally disabled” students which is really a term that means anything, but I can promise you the school is very emotionally charged. I’m not going to disclose my name, where I work exactly, or where I live exactly. This is only because people are using “simple” emotions and “simple” politics to rationalize relatively reasonable and rational topics as unsuitable because someone could get offended. I want to be able to share my viewpoints as naked as Yossarian was in the tree. I really hope people have the patience to read and think through these issues I bring up. Sometimes I might be in the mood to write something humorous, other times serious, but hopefully all will be thought provoking.

The whole basis around the content of this site will be based around 3 things I don’t understand, if you care to read about the 3 things click the following links. Unfortunately, like this page, they are long, but I look for thought provoking responses to have my understanding continue to grow. The three things I don’t understand are: Life, the Universe, and people (no, not everything). I don’t expect this site to be the next popular thing, I expect there may be relatively few visitors but well-thought visitors who have things to add to my point of view. I encourage debate and passion, but discourage mud-slinging and barriers.

25 Responses to “About Naked Man in the Tree”

  1. sunkissed Says:

    i love it! yossarian + your take on life/bloggin = awesome!

  2. nakedmaninthetree Says:

    Sunkissed I really do appreciate a comment like that. I don’t know many who get the “Catch-22″ part.

  3. sunkissed Says:

    i looooove catch 22. it’s one of my all time favorite fictional books.

  4. Alex Says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  5. rachel Says:

    I love the idea of this weblog. Perhaps the naked truth to life’s many mysteries would appear more clear if this type of discussion were welcomed more frequently. Collaborative efforts to find meaning and understanding are exactly what this world needs more of. thanks!

  6. Bill Bartmann Says:

    This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read.. :)

    -Bill-Bartmann

    • nakedmaninthetree Says:

      Thanks Bill! Keep checking, I’m super busy right now but I’ve got plenty more to write about the moment I get some time!

  7. Point of Impact.. Says:

    Hi…

    I was just wondering whether you include in your analysis of human rights violations, the original causes of overpopulation colliding with finite resources…

    Put simply, the exponential function of sex and war…?

    Cause I don’t see what the point is of misadvising people to take aspirins to avoid unwanted pregnancies; just cause we are too sensitive to talk openly and honestly about the real causes of these issues..

    Thanks.

    • nakedmaninthetree Says:

      Point of Impact-

      “the exponential function of sex and war” is not a phrase I’m familiar with nor is it a phrase widely used as there are 0 results when searching for it in Google. I’m not really sure what you’re trying to communicate.

      However, if you’re interested in the topic of exponential growth and its correlation to human population growth, I actually have discussed this issue here:

      https://nakedmaninthetree.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/population/

      And finally – please dont accuse me of “misadvising” people to take aspirin – I’ve never advocated for or against aspirin use in my blog. And while I have encouraged people to have as few children as possible (for reasons you can read in above entry linked), I don’t think that’s “misadvising” or a dodge about talking about the real issues. I’d truly appreciate it if you comments were clearer, factually based, and less accusatory in the future. I don’t come to your site, not read it, and then accuse you of misadvising people to do things you never said.

  8. Rudie Says:

    This is wonderful. :)
    I’m reading Catch-22 currently, and I’m absolutely astounded by the allegorical/metaphorical/ emotional intricacy of it…
    The chaplain is my favorite character, as of yet.
    Last night I was writing a poem about Yossarian, the naked man in the tree. I googled the naked man in the tree to see if I could find a second perspective on the situation…
    Found your blog, and have been reading it all afternoon.

  9. padota Says:

    The people on this site have smoked a lot of pot!

  10. Peter whittlesey Says:

    Re our oceans

    Whats the date of the LA times series re bacteria etc. Link doesn’t work. Likely they changed the archive address.

    Thanks for your wide ranging “trawl” of this vital subject.

  11. Michael Says:

    Hello Naked Man in the Tree

    Found your blog while looking for pictures and information on jellyfish. Been seeing them in the thousands here off our Island home recently. More than ever before. So many.

    Your information and concern for our oceans is much appreciated. Keep up the good work Naked Man. I hope to check back often.

    Muchas Gracias
    Michael

    • nakedmaninthetree Says:

      Michael, I appreciate your comment! Keep an eye on this site, I plan on upgrading this site and attaching much more information soon. Please let as many people as you can know about the warning sign you witness off your island.

      • Sangabe Says:

        Yes Michael please let him know of any warning signs you may dream up, for without your help he has no evidence to back up his global warming lies!

      • nakedmaninthetree Says:

        Sangabe -

        What you are doing is commonly referred to in internet culture is “trolling” and I am asking you respectfully to quit it. I encourage knowledgeable criticism and discourse but I do not stand for projecting, prejudice, and hate.

        Michael was not referring to the problem of “global warming” which you ignorantly assume and my entry was not about “global warming.” The entry Michael is referring to largely focused on the unsustainable fishing practices done by many countries. If you actually care to READ ANYTHING ON MY SITE then I will be happy for comments that actually have to deal with the CONTEXT OF WHAT I WRITE. But instead you decided to project an image of what you THINK I AM onto me.

        The FACT is that the global fish population has been decreasing every year since 1989 and although global warming (I prefer to use the term climate change) is a contributor, the main factor behind this was the country of China lying about its fishing catch data and terrible fishing practices like bottom trawling that destroy centuries-old corals, home to most life in the oceans.

        The language you use with global warming is reckless and ignorant. Climate change is definitely occurring and this is not a “lie” as you so stupidly put it, but is actually a fact. A fact that is clearly indicated by the shrinking arctic ice caps which has decreased by half in size over just 30 short years. This is backed by climatologists, the environmental protection agency, and NASA. If you would like to educate yourself and become knowledgeable about reality, please check out this website that provides facts from the environmental protection agency and NASA.
        http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/polarregions.html

        While I’m sure you believe your understanding of the climate far outweighs the combined weight of the ACTUAL SCIENTISTS WHO STUDY IT, you are by EVERY CREDIBLE STANDARD wrong. And yet you dare say that it’s people who smoke marijuana who are the delusional ones. Everything I write on here comes to me as sober as any idea comes and I would appreciate if you could go spit your ignorant hate somewhere else. Don’t come to my website and judge me without reading a single damn sentence of anything I write. You are the ignorant fool, not I.

  12. Guillermo Says:

    Mr. NakedManInTheTree,
    I was doing a research on uncivilized cultures when I came across one of your posts, and I must admit, I’ve become a big fan of your writings… Everything, from your stance on ecology to exposing cultural taboos… Its hard to find people who can express their believes and opinions without pushing a political agenda, or even worse, a religion outburst of biblical quality…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and keep up the good work.

    • nakedmaninthetree Says:

      Guillermo -

      Thanks for the thoughtful encouragement. Keep checking the site as I am deep inside a brand new project. Hopefully one that can eclipse the things I’ve done on here. I hope people who can appreciate similar qualities to ourselves will appreciate it.

  13. Sloan Wright Says:

    Discovered your site while searching for info. on The Congo, which I now am beginning to understand, if only partially, for the first time.
    I’m looking forward to reading all of your articles.
    Your perspectives are appreciated and will help me to become a more informed and wiser person.
    Thank you very much for sharing your gift.
    With appreciation,
    Sloan Wright

    • nakedmaninthetree Says:

      Sloan! That was a super nice message. I know I havent updated in a while, but I am in the middle of starting a newer and better website. It will be posted on this site when I’m ready with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Age of the Fool Says:

    Very much like your site! Keep shouting long enough and people do eventually start to listen and hopefully, care a bit more about the real costs of their lifestyle choices. Cleaning up this mess we have made in our world actually comes down to a single decision for each of us. “What are you willing to give up to make the world a better place for all the living things you share this planet with?”
    Every time we choose, we do make a difference.
    Keep on telling it like it is!

  15. Darryl Davaz Says:

    sk your friends and relatives who have fished and if not they may be able to provide you with some referrals. It is better to ask them about their experiences, the things that you need to do and things that you have to look for in a guide. They may be also to provide you referrals of the guides they have tried and found effective for them. This will be a chance for you to ask if the guide they are referring you to has enough knowledge or is accommodating to clients.’

    My favorite blog
    <,http://www.caramoan.co/


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