Wednesday, August 5, 2015
any club that would have me as a member
>>>>>>>>> (Groucho Marx on safari)...
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
How he got into my pajamas, I'll never know."
Last week after I typed here a quotation: "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical" attributed to Dr. Spock, it occurred to me -- if people eight or more years younger than me read my blog, they'll probably say, "Dr. Spock, uhh -- the guy from Star Trek?"
To my knowledge I've only met or known-of three people in my lifetime who went to foreign lands to kill large warm-blooded animals. One of them, I never met but I knew of him -- he was a highly-placed executive of a company that employed some people locally.
Last week I thought of those three people peripherally, tangentially, while observing info on Cecil the lion. I remembered a local person telling me that the company executive (who was based in another state) went big game hunting in foreign countries -- Aghanistan among them, at that time.
I recalled having the impression of, "Oh." And I was glad my local friend did not do that, though I didn't think much about it.
And I remembered the relative of a local guy at that same company saying that he (the co. guy) was gonna travel to -- I think, Africa -- to go on a safari and kill an elephant. I went back to the office where I worked at the time, and told that to somebody, and I wondered aloud, "Why would you want to kill a perfectly good elephant?"
I couldn't get into it. It gave me a dismal feeling, & I didn't know why. So I stopped thinking about it. (I guess any animal protection activists or knowledgeable conservationists reading this would think I was a pretty shallow person. People! I don't have enough energy! Geez -- just -- Don't Think About It -- [Jacqueline Kennedy called it "drawing a curtain" in her mind]...being a WASP, "denial" has long been a key coping mechanism of "my people" ...)
And the third one -- the third person I "knew" -- not well, but to say hi and discuss business -- told me directly that he was going over to Africa to kill an elephant -- or to -- "go on a safari", whatever it was...and I said right to him, something like Wouldn't you rather take camera equipment and get photographs of all the wildlife over there?
But no he was going to kill somethin'...later on, working at a church, a church member came in, and I don't remember how we got on the topic of that local person & the elephant, but somehow the subject surfaced and she had been invited to some social "do" where everyone saw the -- I don't know -- whatever was left o' that elephant.
Her mouth was set in a serious line, after she spoke, and, only because I felt mildly horrified, I said -- sort of burst out, "Why did he do that, do you think?" Without taking her attention away from the computer-thing she was trying to accomplish, she replied, her words like dry, fast arrows, shooting contempt and disgust, "Oh just so he can be the only person in this town that has one" ...
These three people and their foreign safaris came into my mind last week when we heard about Cecil -- they came into my mind and just -- floated there in the background. Then Saturday morning I woke up and before I got out of bed, those three people (that I knew of) who had "hunted big game" and let it be known, came into my mind in the foreground, all lined up -- like missing puzzle pieces finally fitting together.
"Holy Toledo!" I thought. (Or -- "Holy Hwange!") -- those three men were connected to one another! I had never thought of that before. Ever. (Busy not-thinking about it -- draw that curtain!)
They were all connected. The one (who probably did the African safari first and was probably the one who could truly afford that stuff) was head of (or high up in) the company. The second one had a management job at that company locally (the boss does it, I can be special too...) And the third one, his wife worked in a business with the wife of the second one.
The realization broke over my head: one did it because the other one did it. And the third one did it because the second one did it...(!?)
So, I thought, it's actually not so much about elephants and lions and bears, Oh My -- it's more about simians -- monkey see; monkey do...
Honestly. I couldn't believe it, once I "saw" it.
America. Land of the free.
And what do we use our freedom for?