Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fat Man with Dead Lion

I suspect almost everybody I know with few exceptions would take one look at this image and express all manner of disgust. My initial reaction was that in a moral, ethical and natural world, killer and killed would be reversed: noble beast would have his majestic paw on the fat man's gargantuan and very dead belly.

Of course when I speak of "everybody I know," I'm for the most part referring to urbane, highly educated, relatively intellectual liberals that inhabit one or the other American and Canadian coasts (and parts of the Gulf Coast) and the isolated pockets of blue in between. I speak of people that are likely believe that "trophy hunting" and "obesity" are repugnant in and of themselves. Lay a double whammy like this on them and they're likely to vomit, literally and/or figuratively.

Would we have the same reaction if this were a black and white photo from the fifties with a portly Papa Hemingway astride his kill? Or a couple of tall, loin-clothed natives with spears and nose rings? Probably not. However, while a historical compare/contrast analysis of the current state of trophy hunting and endangered species turns up some alarming data, like the Change.org petition this photo came from that states "there is no justifying the slaughter of such incredible animals for sport and vanity." Indeed. How anyone could disagree with that statement is beyond me, especially given the facts that, "Last year, more than a thousand rhinos were poached in South Africa, elephant populations have plummeted 66% in just five years, and the export of lion 'trophies' has increased ten-fold--hunters bringing home animals' heads and bodies to stuff and mount."

But what makes this image so profoundly disgusting is the killer. The idea that a human being in such miserable condition can take down a wild animal for "sport and vanity" is criminal - fuel to the fire, as they say. But what if the individual was disabled, terminally ill,  in a wheelchair, and legally killing a lion was his "wish" from the "make a wish" foundation? Would I be more tolerant in that case? Maybe. So, after thinking about why I found this image as disgusting as images of death-drunk Sunni's on a beheading rampage, I started to question the whole idea of "tolerance," not of the trophy hunter's murder, but of the trophy hunter himself.


I'm no Adonis. Recently an estranged Treble Makers fan called me a "fat, gullible piece of shit," and I have seen pictures from the Roasters that make me cringe. Many if not most of my friends are overweight, and some have struggled with it their entire lives. I grew up in a family where fat was far worse than drunkenness or chronic flatulence. Mom was a card carrying anorexic, so eating was a sort of necessary evil. Still, I've managed to get over my foodless upbringing with great success. Now, I don't think I know any men quite as large as Mr. Lionkiller, but some of my female friends are. I'm sure my initial judgement of these individuals was prejudiced and harsh, and it wasn't until after I had gotten to know them that their size became as natural a characteristic as the color of their eyes. On one ski trip with a dear, departed friend, I had to climb up the mountain to help her rise from where she had fallen because she had gotten too big to manage it herself. We've all seen the statistics. Obesity is a national epidemic, bought on by a culture of excess and, put simply "too much food and not enough exercise." (An article in the National Institute of Health also points the finger at 'microorganisms, epigenetics, increasing maternal age, greater fecundity among people with higher adiposity, assortative mating, sleep debt, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical iatrogenesis, reduction in variability of ambient temperatures, and intrauterine and intergenerational effects.") Oooohkay!

So when I see an image of someone that clearly disrespects his own body take the life of The King of The Jungle, well, not to put too fine a point on it but the cards are stacked against the fellow. We all know it wasn't a fair fight, and Mr. Lionkiller's life was never in danger, regardless of his girth. That's certainly a strike against Mr. Lionkiller. It's hard to tell if the other person in the image is a woman or a man. Maybe it's his loving wife. Maybe it's the guide that helped run the creature into a state of exhaustion with a fleet of jeeps so the big man could take a shot at it from his fox hole, or more likely an elevated "lion stand" like the one's used by deer hunters. In other words, it's pretty easy based on the available evidence to label Mr. Lionkiller as a "fat piece of shit" (hard to assess his gullibility from the picture) and be done with him. But doing so might be just as unfair as his completely legal and sanctioned murder of the lion. (Perhaps this particular lion was a notorious pest, making off the the local tribesmen's daughters and such.)


Miss Frost, a transgender librarian in John Irving's In One Person says, "My dear boy, don't judge me until you get to know me." I don't know Mr. Lionkiller, but I'm inclined to flush him down the toilet without as much as a handshake because I am intolerant of what he's done and, worse yet, how he looks. Then again there are places in the world where his girth is admired. So in the end it is I who can't see beyond the edge of my own liberal coastal cultural blinders when I label Mr. Lionkiller as the lowest form of pond scum to inhabit the planet.


I'm cool with that.

13 comments:

  1. awesome piece! love it

    ReplyDelete
  2. Personally, I'd like to shoot the dude myself. Let that be a warning to would-be trophy hunters. People are getting angrier and angrier at what you do. There's a tide of people with mental illness. It's only a matter of time before people start turning the guns on you. And personally, I feel like finding all the websites that talk about bullying teenagers and say to them: "look, if you must kill somebody, at least do your research and take out someone that the world hates".

    "I have spoken"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem with that logic is that they hate the world, so why would they listen to it?

      Delete
  3. Survival of the fattest!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hope this fat pantload drops dead of a heart attack sooner than later.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This fat piece of shit makes me want to feed his carcass to other lions. I'm sicked by this senceless act of animal cruelty. Who is this piece of fat garbage?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I must’ve been living in Underoath rock. I did not see this till yesterday. And the first thing I thought honestly is that it looks like trump six months out of office. Killing a beautiful animal like that is ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry. I can't outright ban something that actually has practical applications for good, such as reviving an animal population and bringing animals back from the brink of extinction. Most "trophy hunting" photos turn out to be either from tranquilizer shots for researchers to catalog and track the animals or give sick animals treatment. A few of them are after a government organized hunt for dangerous rouge animals or sick and untreatable animals. And when the authorized hunts actually offer rewards to catch poachers (hunting humans), I would think more people would be cheering the efforts.

    Animals saved via hunting: elephants, rhino, lions, giraffe, american bison, grey wolves.

    You, of course, can say your "educated friends" are correct. You can also betray your "kind heart liberal attitudes" with body-shaming (I don't care, really). But unless you can explain every detail in the photo, including if the lion is actually dead, how it dies, whether it was healthy or not, and so on, you are merely spouting guesses and random thoughts that do more to show your own personality than what is actually in the photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curious, are you the person in this photo?

      Delete
  9. $1000 reward for the name of this Fat Fuck, going to go show him some real hunting.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Perhaps, you should take the $1000 you are offering for a reward/ bounty/ bribe, and get some sort of an education.

    Do you know anything about the picture?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think it's a safe assumption that the slob shot the lion, then waddled over to have his trophy picture taken, then released the picture.
    There's nothing in the picture to suggest a real hunt; being dropped off in the prey's range, carefully scouting for fresh sign, setting up in an opportune spot and waiting silently and patiently for a kill opportunity. I can't imaging the fat man in this picture scouting and stalking anything, save perhaps a refrigerator. Even the idea of "dropping him off" near the hunting grounds invokes an image of a front end loader.
    Perhaps there's a sick economy at work here. Perhaps "managing the herd" for the larger good entails allowing sick individuals pay big bucks to ambush an unsuspecting animal tagged for culling. Perhaps.
    If Karma exists, he'll be dropped off next time in a loin cloth with a spear. Getting a kill will be a challenge, but he could improve his survival odds dramatically if he could slip in among a group of hippos before the lions smell him. Couldn't be better camouflage.

    ReplyDelete

Let's get the conversation started, people!