Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 Thanks partly to rules here in Pennsylvania that protect "game" and leave predators exposed to open seasons we have exploded deer populations.  It is a cinch for any hunter to kill one or two and happy, successful hunters mean more gun, gear and license sales. In the off season hunters can  shoot coyotes. It's all very popular and is a large industry connected to many dependent industries.

However, the sport of hunting in the greater metropolitan area, where I live, and anywhere else for that matter, depends on suspension of any sense of reality.  Hunters pretend they are in wilderness practicing the same skills as those of our mythical forefathers and facing the same challenges.  It is good for them to do this, they say, because it builds character and nurtures respect for nature and, for the same reasons, good for their children to be trained to shoot animals also. What hunters need to repress is the obvious reality that there is no wilderness, not anywhere, and they are hunting in managed parks, backyards, and "game lands," a kind of primitive holodeck and the hunt is a make believe adventure not so far removed from an evening of TV.

It is all make believe and like lotteries, fashion, car brands, wrist watches and the rest, exists to take our money by getting us hooked on the mental highways to fantasies that decorate the dullness of ordinary lives, keep us from doing real things, and help us avoid thoughts of over population, global warming and our own inevitable, though rarely acknowledged, death.

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