Featured Profile

Doug Fine

After being raised on Dominoes Pizza and Brady Bunch re-runs, Doug Fine’s method of journalistic investigation was to strap on a backpack and travel to five continents; to the nooks where the world’s monied media venues weren’t sending their people. These venues tended to be delighted to have a whippersnapper beam back colorful dispatches for poorly-remunerated publication as long as he didn’t identify himself as an employee of said venues. Complicated insurance ramifications for torture treatment might ensue. As a young freelancer, Fine reported in this manner for the Washington Post, Salon, U.S. News and World Report, Sierra, Wired, Outside, National Public Radio, and other venues from little-visited jungle war zones like Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala and Tajikistan. He became a world-class adventure writer and investigative journalist, writing culturally insightful and funny dispatches. One of these, about democracy efforts in Burma, was read into the U.S. Congressional Record. During this time, his 20s, Fine recognized that he lived on an actual planet, and that he felt most alive while living and loving in wild ecosystems. Following this impulse in contradiction to all the suburban values with which he was raised (which can be summarized as, “if you’re not going to be a doctor, you can at least be a lawyer”), he moved to extreme rural Alaska to see if a former suburbanite could survive away from Costco. Happiness and self-awareness were the goals. This resulted in his award-nominated first book, Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man, a wildly humorous and meaningful adventure narrative, which is now in its third printing. Realizing that living in sync with his ecosystem is indeed where his own inspiration and personal happiness reside, Fine for his second book decided to embark on a “Hypocrisy Reduction Project,” to see if he could truly live a sustainable lifestyle, rather than borrowing from Babylon to live in an ecological Zion. He moved to an obscure valley in Southern New Mexico to write Farewell, My Subaru, to quite simply examine whether a Digital Age Human can live without Petroleum but without giving up any of his Digital Age Comforts. His conclusion? He can, once he figures out how to keep the coyotes from eating his chickens, his solar panels from electrocuting him, and his vegetable oil truck exhaust from giving him a bad case of the munchies (it smells like Kung Pao chicken). Farewell, My Subaru has been translated into Chinese, Korean, and other languages, and garnered Fine his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Fine now travels around the world speaking about his sustainability realizations and is a regular contributor of adventure and investigative features to National Public Radio. Despite all the accolades, he still milks his goats one teat at a time like all former suburbanite, neo-Rugged Individualist Organic Cowboys. He enjoys drumming, spirit dancing, distance running, backpacking, rafting and kayaking, meditation, golf, singing at the top of his lungs, the art of conversation, the art of silence, and Frisbee on the beach. Wagering on what Fine’s next book will be about is now a significant part of the economies of Liechtenstein and Paraguay.

(Couresty DougFine.com)

Recent Contributions by Doug Fine