Saturday, March 25, 2006

Duck Blind

This was written for a show at the UCB Theater LA called PIMP'D - I had a week to write on the topic of "Duck Blind" - I liked it enough to put it here.

--

For those of you who don't know, and some of the people I've spoken to about this in the last week haven't, a duck blind is a bench or hut camoflauged into its surroundings where hunters can lie in wait to shoot ducks as they fly or swim by. As far as I can tell, the need for a duck blind is predicated on the belief that human intelligence, opposable thumbs, and a pump-action shotgun do not present enough of an advantage over the ducks.

Modern hunting can no longer even charitably be called a sport. As exemplified by the strange cavalcade Dick Cheney was on when he unfortunately shot his colleague in the face, modern hunting has become the real-life equivalent of playing a video game in god mode. IDDQD, anyone? For those of you who never played DOOM, IDDQD was the magic string of characters that when typed into the keyboard made you invulnerable to damage.

I played DOOM. I played a lot of DOOM. I had to stop playing DOOM when I found myself walking through a dog-leg in the corridor of an office building, very much in the real world, cradling an imaginary weapon in my arms and trying to remember if it was the super-shotgun or the chaingun. That was a cusp moment for me, that was the moment I realized that the imaginary world of the game had changed the way I parsed real-world stimuli, that I had by playing six hours of DOOM a night for several weeks, started a process of conditioning myself into a well-trained, effective, and ruthless killing machine.

So I stopped. I quit the DOOM. I had to, or face a life in which my morals and ethics were so compromised by my self-imposed Pavlovian training that my only career option would have been hired assassin or possibly political operative for the Florida Republican Party. And unfortunately, it seems to me that this is a lesson the modern hunter seems to have yet to learn.

Modern hunting is no longer about Robert De Niro exorcising his Vietnam demons on a mountaintop, working carefully for that one clean shot. Modern hunting is all about overkill, Dick Cheney shooting 75 birds that have been raised, trained, stunned, and finally set aloft all for that meaningless coup de grace. People were shocked when Cheney accidentally shot his friend, but the real obscenity here was not that accident, as horrific as it was. The real tragedy is that we have walking among us men who are so desensitized to the pointless pain that they cause that they might as well be in god mode, invulnerable, unfeeling, and ultimately as dead inside as the things they shoot.

Perhaps we would all be better served by laws that force those who hunt to do it naked, pink and smooth. Send Cheney and his pals into the swamps in nothing but loincloths, smeared with duckfat, and crazed with hunger. Give them only small sharp flints, the tools of our ancestors, and perhaps that might teach them some respect for the lives they now take with such glib abandon. I don't think that the caveman had any sympathy for his game, life was too short and hard back then for such niceties, but I do think that he had respect for the sacrifice. I never thought I would agree with Ted Nugent on much, but the Motor City Madman and I are of one mind on this, that turning hunting from a communion with our forebearers and a meditation on the circle of life into a giant video game where players roam free and armed in the real world, where pheasants are pimped out and hove directly into their view for the killing, where the clay pigeons are made real and bloodlust is to strong a word for the pale, anemic prancings these tired old men call sport, that this change is nothing but a shame on being a man.

As for me, I'll have a Porterhouse, medium rare, and a side of duck sausage.

Thank you very much.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

o bitboy of divine reason,
would that i could convince you to weigh in on some of the issues currently facing freelancers with such clarity. and on ruthless teasing of younger sisters as the sport of overactive teenage brothers. disco is not dead! lynrd skynyrd forever!
" i'm as free as a bird now..."

Jessica Seo said...

Big12-fans.com article profiles the season and career of Brad Smith, the Missouri Quarterback who has had a roller coaster career. Living up to expectations was always difficult for Smith who had fantastic games one week and average to poor games the next, thus causing debate over his consistency.duck hunting