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Hunting for Relaxation
Saturday Night with Michael Collins
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Comment by Michael Collins
"Everything you said rings true. What about hunting with close range weapons, like a spear? I think the act of killing would help me learn to relax. Take care James!"
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Michael, I am a man who did not think of myself as a hunter, having stopped murdering crows, black birds rabbits and squireels—and a very nasty blue jay—with beebee guns and bow and arrow and throwing sticks when I was a feral teenager in rural Pennsylvania. I found that the killing of small animals that had not posed a threat to me made me feel bad about it.
Then, after writing perhaps a thousand Harm City articles, about being a ranger of sorts in a concrete, brick and asphalt wilderness, I was contacted by Ishmael who informed me that I was a hunter, that most of what a hunter does is tracking and analyzing traces of animal activity, both predator and prey. After reading a piece I had written about how I determined what the streets around my rental were like at night when I was sleeping, and how I scanned the sidewalks, streets, lots, gutters and yards for signs of hoodrat activity, Ishmael informed me that we were two predators of a kind.
I have spent almost a year of my life with this man over the five since he contacted me, and I discovered, that just like a boxer spends most of his time honing skills and training and examining his potential opponent, and spends relatively little time in that fight, and just like I, as a crime avoidance survivalist spent most of my time scouting for hoodrat and PIG sign, that he, as a meat hunter spent the vast majority of his time scouting, "glassing" [with binoculars], tracking and stalking. Killing was the briefest part and then became a mere elipse into the butchering.
This made me think back to the numerous times when I hunted humans in Baltimore: the bicycle thieves who took my son's bike, the PIGs finding out where they ate breakfast in 1994 so I could snuff them as a group if necessary—having coffee next to these bastards as they sneered at me, talking about "jacking up longhairs" and ultimately extorted their meal from the Ukrainian diner owner. Having assessed the five of them as doable, convinced that I could butcher all five where they sat with my combat knife while the last two managed to shoot me—just in case any of them put hands on me on the street—made me feel better about all of their harassment, sure in the knowledge that I could wipe out the whole squad if they pushed shit any further. This relaxed me every time PIGs messed with me, sure in my ability to avenge the indignity of necessary.
Then the hoodrats, my hereditary enemies who threatened and attacked me constantly: where did they eat, live, catch the bus, deal drugs, meet for planning, bang their bitches, go to school, dismount from the bus to hoof it to their stashhouse… I entered this urban stalking process, this scouting and tracing, as a necessity, acting as my own intelligence officer in my one man defensive war against the Northeast Police Precinct and the revolving lineup of Bantu gang sets and assorted feral criminals.
It relaxed me, in the process—which was relaxing in and of itself—and in contact and approach situations. I became relaxed when hiding from the cops, when running from them, when lying to them, when telling them the truth and determining whether or not I should pack a certain weapon on a given night, as my scouting had informed and relaxed me in these things.
Sure, eventually killing would help your clutch combat ability, most precisely your ability to continue in a combat situation in which you have downed one of a group of foes and have to maintain a sanguine determination against another. But in being relaxed before and during and after contact, having scouted, assessed, stalked and come to understand your enemy—and we can count much of humanity capable of combat as our possible foes—will pay the biggest dividends. These activities, not killing, are the primary activity of the hunter. I would suggest scouting human activity, practicing observation and tracing of potentially dangerous men, as something you can begin doing tomorrow on your way to work. Eventually, find a hunting guide to take you on a hunt and go in for the entire experience—after first learning how to use the weapon of that hunt in a training environment.
Above and beyond the therapeutic aspect of hunting humans with his eyes and mind, the hunter, the man who hunts every day in his mind, that man is less surprised and therefore more relaxed when things go haywire in the wild and wicked world of humanity.
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