Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Bad Sign: The Wantonness of the Narcissist

It sounds like a war out there. This is the time of year you worry about your cows, your dogs, even your kids. Hell, you can even get your barn shot up by those drunks.

Deer gun season.

When 400,000 men and more than a million deer go temporally insane.

How insane? So insane that the deer, which you rarely see during broad daylight hours, are running so headlong all day long that every two or three miles you see one dead along the interstate highway. (Deer are frequently hit at night on secondary roads through woods and cranberry bogs, but otherwise road kill is rare.)

I used to live in La Crosse, where the hunting and fishing "culture" is worshipped. I knew some guys there who just had to kill something every single day. Who just had to get their bag limit of fish or birds. Whatever was currently in season, they hunted every day, bragging about getting the maximum (seasonal) bag limit by getting the bag limit every day.

Do you have any idea how many truckloads of dead birds, fish, ducks, geese, deer, and other animals that is per year?

I'm sorry, but that is wanton destruction. And any kind of wantonnes, especially wanton destruction, is a very bad warning sign.

Because decent people, normal people, have a sense of measure.

We saw an example of wantonness in the wanton destruction of 9/11. It is the most unmistakable outward sign of a black heart.

Indeed, I ask, what's driving an urge to kill something every day? Anything wholesome? One of these admired sportsmen was so shameless he even repeatedly told me he never ate the trout he caught daily. He said he hated trout and would just as soon eat trout as a dirty dish rag. (Most hunters and fishers would never admit that they just throw away what they kill.)

His other behavior proved him beyond all doubt to be a malignant narcissist. So was the one who had to get his bag limit every single day. I knew another one that I am highly suspicious of who was so wanton that bragged about shooting 7 deer one year, which means that 6 of them were poached.

Surprised? We shouldn't be. Is this urge to kill any different than the urge to kill by character assassination? It's killing to kill. In the language of the Fifth Commandment, it's "laying low."

The Biblical Hebrew word for "laying low" covered any kind of laying another being low just to lay it low. The word could refer to killing any living thing, not just humans. The word could refer to slander and character assassination, not just murder or homicide. It could refer to merely punching someone to knock him down, not just taking his life. "Laying low," get it?

That's what narcissists go through life doing = aggrandaizing themselves by laying other beings low. That's malignant narcissism in a nutshell.

The word for "laying low" never referred to killing for legitimate reasons, such as hunting or slaughtering for food, the execution of a judicial sentence, an act of war or self defense. What the Fifth Commandment outlaws is bringing others low, killing to kill. As in killing for sport.

I have no problem with hunting and fishing per se. In fact I myself love to fish and we rarely eat my catch. I either catch-and-release or have people lined up who want my catch of the day and will eat it.

Though I don't hunt, I have no problem with the idea of hunting, either. But eating the bird or venison isn't what makes it moral, as many cute quibblers would have us believe. What you kill FOR is what makes it moral or immoral. I have a problem with killing to kill. Killing for sport.

For "sport"? :(

And you don't make that sin go away by just eating it afterwards.

Before someone dumps the old "The end doesn't justify the means" cliche on me, I will answer it by saying, yes, 'the end CAN justify the means.' That cliche makes sense only if you interpret it as meaning that "the end doesn't always justify any means."

Morality isn't so simplistic as holier-than-thous would have us think. In this case (as in most cases) WHY you do the thing is what makes your deed right or wrong. There are very few things that it's hard to imagine doing for any justifiable reason.

Don't get me wrong. I know very well that we need a gun hunting season here in Wisconsin. In fact, I wish the quota was raised to reduce the size of the herd. It is managed now to insure a large number of deer to shoot next year. (Leave plenty of does.) I would manage it to insure a biologically sound habitat. One with fewer deer, so that disease wouldn't spread so rampantly and so that deer wouldn't starve over winter.

So I would allow more hunting, not less. I would also lengthen the hunting season and reduce the pressure. This would not only eliminate hunting accidents, it would also work more like natural predation on the deer herd.

By that I mean that it would make hunting more difficult, like it is for natural predators. You'd have to be good at hunting to succeed. That would get rid of most of the drunks out there shooting up things today. This way, any old clown gets his deer. He just sits in a tree until some crazed deer fleeing the constant gunfire upwind practically runs him over in its headlong flight. You don't harvest the aged, weak, and genetically less fit individuals that way, because it's just a crapshoot. So, you don't improve the gene pool with this kind of hunting.

I would let the Indians who live on reservations here hunt year-round, provided they don't sell the venison. Let them hunt for food. (Allowing them to sell the meat would prompt them to overkill.)

When farmers suffer substantial crop damage, they should get the same pass. Yes, there are do-gooders who claim that the evil farmers would just kill all the deer. Wrong. All the farmers I know love deer. They count a certain amount of crop loss to to the deer as the cost of doing business. But when the deer herd gets so big that they can no longer comfortably absorb the loss, they shouldn't have to sit there and watch the deer eat all their corn.

That's no good for the deer, either. Because what happens in winter? They starve. In fact many farmers leave some corn in the fields over winter to make sure the deer don't starve. Really evil, eh?

But my idea will never fly. It would limit hunting licenses to about the number of state residents who buy them. Then what would all those big spenders from Chicago do when they couldn't come here once a year to get drunk and shoot things up (leaving a lot of money here during their stay)?

But I can dream, can't I?

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