Saturday, September 13, 2008

Paul Theroux on Republicans & Hunting
"I have no strong views on hunting, only the usual disgust when I see a creature senselessly slaughtered at no risk to the hunter - "a fabulous animal", as Thoreau called the moose, serving as no more than a target and an excuse for a stew. In a book Sarah Palin probably has not read (someone as philistine and driven as she is doesn't seem to have much time for reading, as her quest to ban books in the Wasilla public library probably indicates), Thoreau remarked on how moose sometimes weigh a thousand pounds, and how they "can step over a five-foot gate in their ordinary walk".

While people cheered, Palin was lauded for knowing how to "field-dress" a moose. Thoreau, who watched such an operation take place, wrote: "Joe [his Penobscot guide] now proceeded to skin the moose with a pocket knife, while I looked on, and a tragical business it was; to see that still warm and palpitating body pierced with a knife, to see the warm milk stream from the rent udder, and the ghastly naked red carcass appearing from within its seemly robe." I read that and somehow am not provoked to cheer..."