Maxwell Tani

What We Learned From This Season of Live Free or Die

The first season of Live Free or Die comes to an end tonight, and with it concludes the cast’s bizarre DIY crafts and interesting diets. And though the show’s producers dedicated plenty of screen time to the beliefs and ideological motivations of each “back-to-nature” subject, the show really shone when the cast members put their…

How to Grow Vegetables, Courtesy of Live Free Or Die

Though the cast of Live Free Or Die are positioned as back-to-nature technophobes, they’re also children of modern society who know precisely when to take ethical shortcuts that don’t compromise their values too much. Put another way, they’ll use technology if there is no reliable workaround. Colbert occasionally drives a truck; he also has a hunting rife in…

Live Free Or Die’s Most Dangerous Moments

It takes a level of fearlessness to get up off the couch and voluntarily forfeit the comforts of modern life for a semi-primitive existence. Naturally, the cast of Live Free Or Die are an adventuresome, thick-skinned bunch. Whether out of nature or necessity, the show’s subjects haven’t shied away from the disgusting and the dangerous,…

The Weirdest Food on Live Free Or Die

Leave it to other shows for titular metaphor and wit: Live Free Or Die is meant to be taken literally. Sure, the show is a window into expert DIY craft-making and life with minimal bathing, but there’s one primarily occupation that takes up the majority of the show’s run-time: finding food. Other interesting pursuits (like tool and…

Why ‘Back-to-Nature’ Fundamentalists are Worth Studying

You, along with 100 percent of the other people who clicked on this article, are currently using an electronic device. So its safe to say that a life without modern technological luxuries would be quite a shock to most of my readers here, as well as those who watch Live Free Or Die, Nat Geo’s…

A Brief History of American Bathing

As we pointed out last week, Life Free or Die is more or less a show about the cool crafts, structures and appliances you can build without the need for such modern luxuries as electronic power tools and handymen. Tonight’s episode delivers on the promise of household appliances reborn sans-tech: in the opening sequence, outdoorsman Gabe…

Live Free or Die’s Coolest D.I.Y. Tools and Structures

Beyond it’s status as platform for the strange diets, habits and lifestyles of a select few back-to-nature Americans, Live Free or Die is also inadvertently one of the most interesting craft-making shows on television. Each week, virtually every cast member demonstrates a new way of replacing modern structures and tools with primitive and recycled alternatives –…

Here Are Four Species You Won’t Find Outside of Appalachia

The ginseng hunters on Smoky Mountain Money are on a tight schedule – ‘senging season is short – and probably aren’t always sensitive to the environment around them (save threats and signs of ginseng). But even with that nose-to-the-ground work ethic, it can be difficult to ignore the sheer volume of wildlife crowded onto the…

How Wild Appalachian Boars Are Affecting The Ginseng Trade

Here’s the good thing about ginseng – it’s worth a ton of money and it’s in the ground, fresh for the taking in 19 states. You know what I’m going to say next, right? Yeah, harvesting wild ginseng is really difficult. Forget about the whole scaling a mountain through the rain looking for a few…

A Quick History of Moonshine

There are few better ways to immortalize one’s name than to put it on alcohol. John Jameson knew this. So did the brewers and propagators of tequila and cognac. Moonshine, of course, is not named for a place, but it may as well be. The vast majority of Americas moonshine is and has always been…