My Neighbors Hunt
My neighbors hunt. They can survive in the forest, hills, lakes, and rivers, here in Indiana. They understand the world of nature, its vicissitudes and savagery. Appreciating its transcendent beauty and cadences, they also accept its fierce cruelties. They do not worship nature. They seek reconciliation with it that they may endure and protect their loved ones. They admire the natural world, its towering majesty and microscopic complexity, but they do not hold it on a pedestal, pristine, and viewed from a distance. Theirs’ is a realistic appraisal of nature and its vagaries, and what they require to survive.
Coming from the Bronx, I was acquainted with riding the subway or bus or navigating the busy and often treacherous streets of New York. There I learned to survive in the city, but I knew nothing of hunting, fishing, or surviving in nature. Coastal elites have disdain for those schooled in such things. They assume that food, water, and other necessities and amenities just appear. They lack awareness of the complex grids, structures, and platforms that maintain their comforts. The sources of the electricity that powers their computers and air-conditioning. The gasoline that fuels their cars. They do not appreciate those who make these daily, secular miracles possible, the commonplace wonders of modern, electronic civilization.
Many Hoosiers preserve food. Some steam or pressure can. Or dehydrate, pickle, freeze-dry, smoke, or salt items. Knowing how to farm, they cope with caterpillars, aphids, and cutworms and guard against hedgehogs, fungi, and lack of rain.
Some have gas tanks and generators. They have water filters, propane stoves, purifying tablets, first-aid kits, pick-up trucks, drills, hammers, and wrenches. They can repair a car, a machine, or a leaking pipe. And yes, they also know how to install wifi, use computers, navigate the internet, and operate smartphones.
They have guns and ammunition. Well trained, many are veterans, serve in the National Guard or law enforcement, and are defenders of the 2nd amendment. They have shotguns, bolt-action rifles, AR-10s, and other semi-automatics. They own handguns and an array of shells, including expanding home-defense rounds. Many have night vision, tree stands, bows, arrows, camouflage, trail cameras, scents, GPS devices, and 2-way radios. They hunt duck, quail, and deer. Floating down a river or walking the fields, they recognize the rhythms of the animals they track and pursue, their migration and trail patterns, driven by the weather, mating seasons, and food sources.
Some love to fish. Equipped with bait, rods, reels, nets, and spears, they cast for bluegill, catfish, and carp.
It is a different world from city dwellers who know only of going to a grocery or ordering online. They are ignorant of nature, although they worship it in a paganistic way, atheists as they generally are. They believe in nothing, so they believe in everything. Global warming concerns them, though none would change their lifestyle to reduce their carbon footprint. They are uninformed of the history of climate patterns, the solar cycles that drive the weather, the ice ages and interglacials that occurred well before the industrial age. They blindly accept the panicked predictions of flawed Global Climate Models, not unlike the hysterical coronavirus forecasts that called for the Black Death and forced the unnecessary crashing of our economy. They would abhor nature if they actually had to live in it.
But these metropolitans, gentry liberals, and globalists, scornful and sarcastic, enclosed in leftist coastal ecosystems, have their opinions confirmed daily by everyone around them. Predictable and conformist, they hilariously imagine themselves wild and free, and look down at those who know so much of nature, who can live and flourish in the wild. Hunters, fishermen, food preservers, and preppers do not idolize the environment. They just respect it. Such people, blue-collar types often, farmers, oil workers, mechanics, and coal miners, make the lives of the urbanites possible. They provide them with power, goods, food, and water that they may live and sneer.
But if the power grid went down from a solar event or an EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse) device, or if the economy collapsed, the denizens of flyover country would survive. Probably not so our sophisticated urbanites.
They would soon realize that their clever turns of phrase, condescending smirks, allegiance to “diversity,” abortion, and the rejection of God, would mean nothing before the fury of nature and nature’s God. It would be a distant and aloof nature, whose whims had formerly been kept at bay not by Greenpeace, Sierra Club, or the ACLU, but by truckers, electricians, and refrigerator repairmen.
Their fatal conceits would vanish in terrified moments as nature delivered its cruel blows. Their high-minded rhetoric, progressive orthodoxy, navel gazing, and self-absorption would dissolve before the acid rain of Gaia’s indifferent wrath. The globalists, media types, and hip Marxist professors would not do well. The anointed ones, the ruling class, and other pompous visionaries would descend to savagery in a war of all against all. But the country bumpkins would get by. Some may not even blink an eye, for they already anticipated this, and had spent their lives preparing.
In the age of coronavirus, a time of plague, with the economy crumbling, hospitals closing, streets emptied of life, perhaps the metropolitans may want to reconsider their contempt. What is certain is that our elites, in the media, academia, and elsewhere, cloistered in liberal ghettoes, amongst fellow members of the cognoscenti, would not survive without the welders, assembly line workers, and equipment operators. Those whom they refer to as hicks, rubes, and deplorables who cling to their guns and Bibles. Maybe they should thank them. But don’t hold your breath.
Dr. Moss is a practicing Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon, author, and columnist, residing in Jasper, IN. He has written A Surgeon’s Odyssey and Matilda’s Triumph available on amazon.com. Find more of his essays at richardmossmd.com. Visit Richard Moss, M.D. on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.