Ursa Minor

A couple of wits on the subject of power-worshiping, preening, butch wimps:

Jesus’ General:

Dear Mr. [Montgomery] Gentry,

It ain’t easy being a country music star. That’s especially true for someone like you whose entire image is centered around his masculinity. Heck, with all the hunting, war, and beating-up-people-for-Jesus imagery in your videos, I bet you’re afraid to kick back for even a few minutes on the john and pee, sitting down, lest someone catches you–not that I’d ever approve of that kind of unmanly behavior, but I think you get my point.

That’s why your recent arrest for shooting a caged tame bear with a bow and arrow is so damaging. It causes manly men like myself to lose respect for you. How can we continue to enjoy watching you taunt inexperienced impoverished young men into going to Iraq to fight our war now that we know that you shot Cubby in his cage?

Gore Vidal:

Give a sissy a gun and he will kill everything in sight. TR’s slaughter of the animals in the Badlands outdoes in spades the butcheries of that sissy of a later era, Ernest Hemingway. Elks, grizzly bears, blacktail bucks are killed joyously while a bear cub is shot, TR reports proudly, “clean through . . . from end to end” (the Teddy bear was yet to be invented). “By Godfrey, but this is fun!” TR was still very much the prig, at least in speech: “He immortalized himself along the Little Missouri by calling to one of his cowboys, ‘Hasten forward quickly here!'” Years later he wrote: “There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gunfighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.”

There is something strangely infantile in this obsession with dice-loaded physical courage when the only courage that matters in political or even “real” life is moral.

That’s right: it’s not really hunting. It’s posturing; it’s the act of putting on the butch costume in the hopes that the mask will eventually remake the man. These guys are weenies.

Besides, everyone knows that the only small bears it is right to shoot are those which wear blue colors and play baseball in an ivy-caged yuppiefied hellhole — in which case, fire at will, gentlemen!


Comments: 27


Oddly enough, Gore Vidal had plenty of good things to say about Tim McVeigh…


I think the “internet hunting” thing is even worse. An enterprising Texas rancher named John Underwood has set up a web site where you can sit at your computer, watch a webcam, and click a button to shoot a remote controlled gun. This is so wrong.

Blogwhoring, but I’ll quote the relevant part so no one actually has to click though:

Hunting is not a video game. It’s the ultimate expression of the reality of life: All living things feed on some other thing to survive, from predators on prey to prey on plants to plants on decaying predators, in an interconnected spiral stretching back to the first microbe in the primordial soup feeding off the nutrient-rich slime that birthed it. To hunt–to take up arms and kill your food yourself–is to acknowledge the karmic dept of our species, to shoulder that debt for the sake of your tribe. Is it any wonder that hunting most likely spawned religion in the misty-grey pre-dawn of history? Hunting is a sacred ritual older than humanity itself.

[…If you want to be a real hunter,] You do not, I repeat do not, pop open a can of Keystone Light and a bag of Cheetos, maneuver your ample backside into the too-tight, well-worn chair, reach for our slightly sticky, orange-stained mouse, and click away in fond remembrance of Space Invaders past.

If you want the unforgettable experience of blowing away animals with your (ahem) “pointing device,” try Hamster Blast.


Prelude to genocide.

It takes no skill to kill a caged creature, only the the lust to make something die and the weakness to give in to that impulse. And, like every compensarory addiction, yesterday’s dose won’t get you “high” today.

Those who get their rocks off killing caged or disabled animals need serious help (and by “help” I don’t mean “elected Vice President”).


I grew up hunting, decided I didn’t like it, and quit. I guess I’m a little girl.


Look, I know about canned hunts. But I thought they took the animals out of the cages, at least.

I suppose this way there’s less chance of accidentally shooting a lawyer in the face, hmm?


I hunt bears. Sometimes at the Lone Star, near the back urinal.


I’m sorry, what are we talking about here???

I guess the lesson learned is it is more important to pretend to be a real man, than to actually be a man. But we all knew that from years of listening to chickenhawks pound their chests and berate those who actually picked up a rifle in defense of this country…


Man, if this isn’t a nutshell scenario of what’s wrong – and what’s been wrong – with modern country music, I don’t know what is. Middle-class suburban white people trying to be bad-ass.

Canned hunts, shee. I grew up hunting deer, raccoon, squirrel and other various assorted varmits with my old man. I never did really like it that much and never did that much damage to the local wildlife, but it was about the only place me and the old man were able to relate to one another. My old man’s a real Gary Cooper type, taciturn as all get out. A friend of my uncle’s once invited us on a “canned hunt” – the guaranteed-kill type, fenced-in deal – and the poor bastard never quite grasped the deep loathing contained in my father’s polite refusal.

Fuckin’ yuppies.


teh, placing yourself in the trap, slathered in maple syrup is not hunting.


Fuckin’ yuppies.


I’ve hunted, some aspects I liked and some I didnt — frogging was fun, pretty much everything else is tedious. The one time I went deer hunting, I took a morphine tablet, sipped on Apricot brandy, enjoyed the snowfall, and took a potshot at a turkey (an albino — how could I resist?) and missed, but mostly I sat there stoned, reading Dumas.

But I own a gun. I need one out here, especially if one has pets or farm animals. I shoot pests like groundhogs and squirrels. This is not sport, it’s simply life in these conditions. OTOH, venison is delicious shit and I’ll take a freezer full anytime, thanks.

In the winter, though, this area turns into yuppie central, suburban fuckheads with money running out their asses and little sense paying outrageous money to freeze their balls off in a duck hole. Morons. This is the flyway, and much of the time it’s like shooting fish in a barrell. The yuppies get their limit, then return to a cabin to drink single malt and talk about stocks.

The guides function then as crude purveyors of bullshit testosterone for the suburban fucks who feel manly by shooting everything that moves. Not, unfortunately, being much of a traveller, I used to be confused and disgusted by the certain antipathy of “other” people to bloody tourists, but now I begin to see the point.

It is a paradox, then, just as in country music in that the more authenticity these posers seek, the more plastic they seem to the observer. Of course, I dont think all that much of authentic country, having spent my life reacting against that lifestyle, but at least it has the virtue of being fucking REAL. Genuine bullshit is bad enough even though, as a wise man said, it does have its own sort of integrity. But FAKE bullshit? Gah. Artifice can be fun, especially considering that life is meanngless and boring, but my god, pick something worthy to be pretentious about! Redneck culture is not worth faking, except for purposes of parody.


Given the bile that the (wealthy, vapid) locals ceaselessly heap upon Wrigley (or, more precisely, the bars surrounding it), and the stiff resistance they throw up to any changes to the “friendly confines” that might encourage the fans to spend more time in the neighborhood (lights, anyone?), I’d say that there is indeed a yuppie problem, but that it’s mostly on the other side of those ivied walls.


General JC Christian, patriot, being 110% heterosexual, has previously noted the manly men who plan canned hunts for rare species. And Borat, famed Kazakh correspondent, reported on canned hunts, one presumes in Texas.

It’s actually a decent argument against the subtleties of Darwinian natural selection when fat fuckhead redneck shitbags are able to kill animals that should really be chasing them short distances and eating their entrails. Give it a few years, and one will hope that rhinos learn how to plant IEDs.


Not sure if anyone’s still awake or cares, but things have gotten quite ugly (yet amusing in a sort of car-crash way) over at Jackie’s in the comment section to her, um, personal ad.


OMG apparently Something Awful linked to her too. It’s so bad over there that a sort of grandeur emerges from all the bile.

And there are some real gems, too. This fucking slayed me. I’m still crying, it was so good:

“hello, your face doesn’t fit your head



Fuckin’ yuppies.

My stepfather, who I love dearly, is a hardcore Republican. We argue, but it’s generally civil. Anyway, when Cheney shot that lawyer, it was during a “canned hunt” of birds. My stepfather was the first person to say how disgusting that is, that it isn’t hunting, it’s torturing animals. Because he’s gone hunting. Sitting in the woods in autumn, cold, wet, and waiting for a deer to cross your path–that’s hunting. Taking the deer, having it butchered, and then eating the meat–that’s hunting. Hell, that’s winter food where I grew up (rural PA). Fishing on the shore; hunting in the woods; not this sick “guaranteed kill” bullshit; hell, I don’t even like stocked ponds.

Yuppie is the right word for it, no doubt.

I’m not a vegetarian, though when I have the money I’d rather buy free-range/organic meat than not. I don’t have any qualms about eating animals, but damn–this is basically torturing an animal.


I wish someone would plunge a stake through Gore Vidal’s heart. When has he ever brought a single constructive argument to the table? All he does is bitch.


All he does is bitch.

The inability to grasp irony has reached epidemic levels on the right.


I take it Jose can’t bring himself to actually agree with anyone here, and has to change the topic completely. Well, not surprising, really.


I both like and respect Gore Vidal, but his almost compulsive contrariness-see his affection for Tim McVeigh-is a bit difficult to reconcile with someone of his intellect sometimes.


you had me there for a minute, but then…


don’t you know all the yuppies go to “the cell” now?


I recall Ann Coulter showing some “affection” for McVeigh, as well. At least, for his methods.

Fucking wankers.


Last I checked, there was no “Mr. “Mr. Montgomery Gentry”, either.


I both like and respect Gore Vidal, but his almost compulsive contrariness-see his affection for Tim McVeigh-is a bit difficult to reconcile with someone of his intellect sometimes.

It’s hard for a lifelong contrarian to remain on the “outside” of The Conventional Wisdom if there has been any social progress during his or her lifetime. In Timothy McVeigh, Vidal’s bedrock affection for the neglected Appalachian virtues of his childhood, and for the men who grew up immersed in those virtues, collided and colluded with his suspicion of the current political establishment’s “Easy Answers for Hard Questions” practices. Remember, Vidal was questioning the Warren Commission’s report and Arthur Bremmer’s role as George Wallace’s would-be assassin long before McVeigh discovered the Michigan Militia… he has never been a fan of the Lone Gunman theory of American politics.

And, to be honest, Gore is far from the only historian to raise the possibility that Teddy R’s vaunted Huntin’ & Shootin’ & Sayin’ Rude Words persona reeked of what we now call over-compensation. Read Finley Peter Dunne’s review of Teddy’s Rough Rider autobiography (an early example of political self-promotion via authorship) if you want to see Snark As It Should Be Done: Teddy never forgave Dunne for branding his beloved tome “Alone In Cuba, by Myself, Teddy Roosevelt”, a barb so true that a young socialite was said to have congratulated the less-than-amused TR for its success under that title!

Incidentally — am I the only person here who wonders why the latest news keeps paralleling so neatly the politics, and the personas, that F.P. Dunne mocked during the Gilded Age? I know Karl Rove wanted to re-create the realm of “Billy Mack” McKinley, but why do so many otherwise functional adults want to assist him in this endeavor? Have none of them ever heard the aphorism about history repeating itself, first as tragedy and then as farce?


Bravo, Annie Laurie, to every bit of that, especially the last part, which is a crucial analogy: Rove is absolutely Mark Hanna to Bush’s Wm. McKinley and moreover, the WOT/Iraq operations are perfectly analogous in intent, excuses-for-intent, and (so far) result as McKinley’s Spanish-American War operations, particularly when we see the water-torture recreated as waterboarding, and the “savage Moros’ recreated as ‘filthy wogs”. Hell the symmetry is perfect down to the “vulcans” in Cabinet and to the token Democrat onboard the racist crusade (Lieberman being this generation’s Albert Beveridge).

As for the recreation of the 19th Century kleptocrat economy, Bush and Rove have done wonders here, too. Pressed for time but google “uggabugga” and “19th Century Bush”, and marvel at the attempted, and laregly successful rollback of the Progressive Era, which was naturally the next target of the reactionary right after Reagan, at least in the American psyche, rolledback the New Deal.

My long-time book idea, going on for three years now, has been to write on this analogy, and do side-by-side profiles of the Bush regime and its enablers next to McKinley’s and his. Root, Hay, Lodge, TR, Beveridge, Josiah Strong, Taft, Mahan, Brooks Adams corresponding roughly to Cheney, Condi, Gingrich, McCain, Lieberman, Pat Robertson, Bremer, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz.


Retardo, if you didn’t see Sunday’s “Tank McNamara” strip, you should look it up. (I tried to email you a copy but I’m not very tech-literate.) Millar & Hinds managed to nail canned “hunting”, video “hunting”, and the current Eff-Bee-Yi crackdown on internet gambling all in an eight-panel strip. If those guys didn’t appear on the sports-stats page, the Townhallers would definitely have declared a fatwah upon them by now.

I tried quoting FP Dunne’s ‘Aggy-naldo’ lines in another blog (“We want none of yer canned democracy here… whatever Mr. Armour sez, we fear its freshness may have suffered durin’ the long sea-voyage… we prefer our democracy home-cooked, sich as Mither used to make, even if it is too coo-arse for yer standards.”) and was told that FPD’s self-protective dialect is too hard on modern sensiblities. Were I to win the lottery, and assuming that FPD’s work is now out of copyright, I’d set myself the task of republishing a non-dialectic version of Mr. Dooley’s Greatest Hits. Barring that, I look forward to reading your book someday!


I never hunted. I didn’t really have any reason to, and I bore the various critters no ill will. But I did used to fish. However, since I never really liked to eat fish (no gay jokes here, people), it was strictly a matter of catch-and-release. Eventually, I clued in on the fact that getting a mouthful of barbed hooks and then having said hooks torn out of one’s jaw probably wasn’t especially pleasant, whether one was a bullhead, a bluegill or a crappie, so I stopped. Of course, as a youth I never really partook of blowing up frogs with firecrackers, unlike some people I could mention.


I still don’t know how Cheney going on a canned hunt is different from a budding serial killer torturing the neighbor’s cat.


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