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Mountaineering Complex

(1) An Overview

Mountaineering complex. Psychological pathology characterised by an urge to ascend cliffs, peaks (geological), heights (wilderness) and/or similar in real-time non-scenario actuality. Is attractive to and encourages the tendencies of individuals characterised by a combination of non-normative degrees of aggression, stubbornness and limit-rejection, often in combination with Gerbit's Syndrome (the unchecked, progressive and potentially self-destructive amplification of effort as potential for reward and/or return diminishes - see SYNDROME).

The subjectively identical experience is legally available in virtuality, but is typically rejected by the mountaineer (see REJECTION) on the grounds that "if you can't really kill yourself, then it's no fun at all." The psychology involved here seems to be similar to that of the compulsive serial killer (see ADDICTIVE MURDER) who refuses to accept the virtual experience as a substitute for the real thing.

Physical side effects of mountaineering can include brain damage (see OXYGEN STARVATION), acclimatisation problems (see ALTITUDE), frostbite and/or nerve damage (see COLD INJURIES), haemorrhoids (see PILES - note, this side effect is very frequently encountered in habitual mountaineers), optical damage (see SNOW BLINDNESS), hypothermia (frequently fatal - see EXPOSURE), sunburn, dehydration, and cold sores (stress-activated - see HERPES). Also a wide range of gross physical injuries, including but not limited to concussion, broken bones and crush injuries (see INJURY).

In clinical practice, the mountaineer is usually encountered following detention by the authorities or enforced hospitalisation in the aftermath of an accident-injury situation. Note: With this syndrome, self-denunciation is virtually never encountered. In cases of self-denunciation, see HEROIC POSTURING.

The mountaineer's typical presentation is stoic ("I'm all right, jack"), macho ("We knocked the bastard off"), aggressive ("I'm getting out of here if I have to crawl out"), or combinations of the above, sometimes complicated by unrealistic flights of hyper-confidence regarding probable medical outcomes (see REALITY DISLOCATION). (Note: Mountaineers typically make difficult patients). If challenged regarding his/her unlawful praxis, the mountaineer's response is typically spurious self-justification (see RHETORIC), self-indulgence ("It's my life, mate") or an offering of patent illogic ("We climbed it because it was there").

While to suffer from Mountaineering Complex is not generally to be construed as either unlawful in itself or a legal impediment (see EXCEPTIONS), the physical expression of this complex in non-virtual actuality settings is most emphatically and unreservedly unlawful (see BAN). In cases of repeated physical expression of the pathology, treatment is mandatory. Options for medical treatment include counselling (individual, group, family or community), drug therapy, therapeutic brain surgery and/or protective incarceration (see TREATMENT).

Urgent note: Mountaineering Complex has a wide range of potentially fatal outcomes, and is also a Communicable Hysteria within the terms of the Communicable Hysterias Act. The mountaineer who persists in actual mountaineering in defiance of medical advice is therefore a priority psychiatric patient upon whom treatment must be forcibly imposed if it is not voluntarily accepted.

(2) Ban

Mountaineering (as banned activity - see also HISTORY, PSYCHOLOGY, PHYSIOLOGY). For legal purposes, mountaineering is defined as the non-virtual ascent by climbing of vertical or semi-vertical surfaces in wilderness areas, such ascent constituting non-purposive non-productive luxury activity (see DEFINITION, EXCUSES, PRAXIS). Having reviewed the wastage of human effort talent skill money and resources involved (see ECONOMICS), and having reviewed concomitant hazards, which include but are not limited to altitude sickness, avalanche, frostbite and death by falling (see HAZARD), and having considered the potential role model effects of mountaineering upon the innocence of the susceptible young (see YOUTH), and having dismissed sundry petitions supportive of mountaineering (see DEBATE) the Council of the Zafari Jahar resolved by Unanimous Edict (see VOTE) to ban under Unlimited Penalty (see LAW) all activities which constitute mountaineering in either whole or part or which are tantamount to or could reasonably be construed as being mountaineering and/or any substantially similar activity, with the following permitted exceptions: (1) economic and/or subsistence activities undertaken for commercial gain and/or personal or community survival, eg mining, farming, hydro-electric development, roadmaking; (2) activities undertaken for legitimate and sincere religious purposes, eg pilgrimage, mortification of the flesh, sacrifice (including human sacrifice, where permitted by local regulation); (3) purposive travel, including trading, migration, movement of refugees; (4) security activities (eg interdicting smuggling routes, routine military patrolling, waging war); (5) scientific research; (6) research undertaken to facilitate legal enquiry; (7) search and rescue operations.

The End

This story, "Mountaineering Complex," was first published in Barbaric Yawp Volume 3 Number 3, September 1999 (ed. John and Nancy Berbrich) (Russell, United States) (pp 18-20; 741 words) (satirical vignette).

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