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An Unfortunate Display of Manliness, Rather Overdone, A Bit Too...Too, If You Know What I Mean

(...of course, he's from Wisconsin, you know.....)

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

Here in Boulder the Damned we have a new crisis of conscience. No, not the cutting off of funding for community television which nobody watches, nor our race for City Council with seven of nine seats up for grabs. None of that.

No, we’re upset because a man in Boulder County, up by Gross Reservoir, shot a 175-pound Mountain Lion, a puma, a cougar, a catamount. He did so late at night because his two dogs, chained outside, began expressing social anxiety at such a large cat’s presence and decorum, expressively illustrated by trying to carry one of the animals away. We assume to kill and eat it. Of course, we don’t know that…….

Well, the animals were right outside the man’s trailer, the media wants us to know. Not home, but trailer. Get it? Just like media goes out of its way to announce relevant relationships of criminals and crime victims as by common law marriage, they do not hesitate to socially place people below and above certain levels. So, the man who shot the mountain lion is at the low end of the social scale, we’re to know. Had a gun. Used it.

And without regret. The man said he was from Wisconsin, where men are men and they know how to take care of things up there. Faux Pas! That he-man braggadocio doesn’t fly in laid back, testosterone laden but karma concerned and gender sensitive Boulder. So, our activists went to work.

They discovered a county animal ordinance that says it's against the law for the owner of any animal to tether it in such a way that it cannot "reach shelter," or the tethering causes "suffering." Now we know that this refers to keeping them out of wind and water, and that the tether should not cut the animal. But absent human presence, there’s no way a tethered animal can escape a predator; if the animal can enter a shelter, so can the predator.

The area around Magnolia Road and Gross Reservoir has been visited often by lions and bears of late, and miniature horses and pets have been killed. So even if you were dumb enough to have initially thought that living in the Rocky Mountain forests was just like suburbia only with taller trees and fewer neighbors, the well-publicized attacks would have grounded you in reality. The suspicion arose that this individual used his pets as bait so he could kill the lion, get his picture in the paper, announce the presence of a new top gun, a real man’s man, to protect us all.

In his home state, Wisconsin, deeply rural, they have serious and large hunting seasons. I have family in Wisconsin. It was a joke that civil suits and arbitration courts weren’t really needed in Wisconsin because they have hunting season, which is where things get arbitrated the Wisconsin way. And it does seem an awful lot of folks get killed in that state during those exciting periods, the most dangerous game is your brother in law type of mentality. Of course, the old families up there, as everywhere, illegally use bait for bears on their own lands and apparently a movement is afoot, if I read the news correctly, that people of Hmong descent are viewed as increasingly popular in that role, but those annoying murder laws and the fact the Hmong are equally thrilled to utilize others for their own hunting escapades has created those awkward social situations that occur just before wars of mutual attrition or genocide. On Wisconsin.

It is, in any case, from Wisconsin where our intrepid hunter hails. And he lives in a trailer, don’t forget that. It’s important that this be mentioned again and again, less someone forget and think he lives in an actual house. Because we all know that the exact same activity in a house and a trailer must be viewed differently in our egalitarian media. And, I wonder if they’re married? I mean, really married, and not Common Law. Even though lawyers will tell you there are no degrees to marriage, and you’re either married or not, our class-conscious devotees of social striations need to know this before the question of his guilt or innocence can be properly discovered.

And, of course, the real issue is lost utterly. I think it this. Suppose the dogs were not tethered, and were trained enough to sleep outside in a doghouse and serve a function as watchdogs. And the lion was shot carrying one away. Would there be such uproar? Or suppose the couple had been outside watching a meteor shower, and the wife got targeted? What would be the response? Is just being outside acting as bait? We may be able to flense distinctions, but a lion cannot and, if he could, wouldn’t care. Food, baby.