Dé Máirt, Bealtaine 11, 2010

Primary Day Reflection

Someone downtown handed me a Tom Nesbitt for treasurer pamphlet. The man himself was somewhere in the crowd if I remember right. At the bottom of the pamphlet, beneath all the tax-cutting fetus-loving boilerplate, was a picture of the former Nebrstasi chief holding a dead deer's head.

"Tom Nessbitt hunting for Bucks!" reads the caption, and yes, the exclamation point was really there. Of course, if he was hoding the corpse of a buck he just shot then that means he wasn't hunting it anymore, and how are we to know he didn't just pick up the head of some random deer felled by CWD? I refuse to consder to consider this photo to be proof that Tom Nesbitt really is a hunter, and more to the point what if he is?

I myself have no objections to hunting, honestly I don't. I emphasize because I have met several people who are convinced that all those who do not hunt are violently opposed to hunting, or that all those bothered by a wild beasts' agony must be fur-coat defiling members of PITA. But that is not the case with me. I eat meat. I had chicken for lunch and liked it, and I'm having some more for dinner. I did not kill, gut, and pluck the chicken myself, but I'm o.k with that. I didn't chop down the trees that make up my apartment house either. I sleep just fine.

There certainly is a great deal of childlike neediness amongst Real American alpha males. I mean I hate to act all uppity but I honestly can't imagine what it feels like to believe that sharing my personal hobbies is a legitimate sign of good character and reason to vote for you. I'm sure that I have voted for candidates who enjoy vandalism, cheap liquor, and sex with strangers, but it has never factored in to my ballot-box decisions. That was what was so brillant about Ernie Chambers' amendments to the nonsense pro-hunting amendment to the constitution. His provision calling for the state to guarantee the right to enjoy a glass of lemonade over a summer sunset called out perfectly the selfishness of hunting amendment supporters. These were spoiled brats wasting the peoples time trying to get their own personal hobby enshrined in the state charter.

Yes I know, it is far more than just a hobby isn't it? Hunting is a sacred and
quintessential American tradition. Is it more of an American tradition than a Mexican or Russian or Chinese or any other place with large rural expanses sparsely populated by humans before the invention of the refrigerator tradition? Yes, of course it is. That's one of those questions I'm not even supposed to ask isn't it? Shut up hippy. And of course this is the purpose of "pro-hunting" amendments. It is to make state governments formally designate themselves "pro-hunter." It is to give hunters the ecstatic thrill of receiving legal approval for being hunters, an official proclamation from civil authority that tells them, 'you hunt, good for you, good boy, such a good boy'. Real Americans don't need government to pull their bootstraps for them. They just need government to rub their bellies and give them a biscuit.

And of course a large chunk of the hunting community has become convinced that they are beseiged by screaming hordes of animal-rights activists out to take their fun away. Hunting magazines have followed the gun media's cue and found that there is money to be made in convincing the hunting community that it's them against the world, and that they should never trust the biased information of any news source that isn't a hunting magazine. And at any rate who wouldn't rather be hated than ignored? What red-blooded American man doesn't prefer to believe that Chicago and Manhatten are filled to the brim with girly-men who faint at the sight of blood and hate those tough-guy meanies from the sticks who catch their own food (and Jesus they're just so big and tough those mean tough guys), instead of folks who spend three seconds of their lives faintly aware that hunting is something that somebody does out there, before blinking and getting on with something they actually care about?

No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority…. “They’ve no business to be different. It’s undemocratic.”
-C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters

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