I still haven't shaken a cough that began four weeks ago, and I'm having trouble concentrating on anything including the life and death matter (for my cat at least) of looking for a new job, so I'm going to clear the desk of some blog ideas that I haven't gotten around to writing.
1) I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, to find that hunters are acting illegally and unethically. According to an article in today's Duluth newspaper, 2/3 of the DNR officers quoted think 40-50% of the bowhunters in town are illegally using bait to lure deer. This is not only illegal throughout the state but people taking part in this special hunt are specifically told in person that it is not allowed. Another article reports hunters seeing fewer deer in this third year of the hunt and speculate the hunt is reducing the population. This is truly complete speculation because the completely unscientific hunt was authorized with no idea of what the deer population was to begin with, much less with any attempt at monitoring the population as the killing took place. Meanwhile a recent poll on the newspaper's website regarding hunting showed almost 60% of respondents (at a steady rate which made me guess the results were at least legit if not scientific) were "rooting for the critters", which seems a landslide in one of the country's major hunting regions. With two of the three biggest original proponents of the hunt off the City Council in January, and an incoming Mayor who was less than enthused about expanding the hunt in the city's parks, perhaps it's time to start working on eliminating or at least reducing this slaughter.
2) I attended a student dance performance at the university Friday night, which had me thinking of revisiting a column I wrote a couple years ago. I love modern dance for its athleticism, sensuality, creativity, expressiveness. It's my favorite art form, perhaps in part because my earliest exposure to it involved works with strong themes of nature and paganism. At a student event like this with 16 short works, I also get to hear some music new to me. Didn't write anything new but I did add a bunch of dance dvds to my Netflix queue.
3) A month ago as I flew east with two favorite books of essays, The Hopes of Snakes by Lisa Couturier and The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner, I jotted down some ways in which I'd compare and contrast. Respectively, east vs west, suburban vs wild, female vs male, literary vs plainspoken, compassion vs action, emotion vs ideas, individuals vs species. Didn't write anything...are you noticing this pattern?...now you know why I never finished that MA in English...but it was good to read them again and make a bunch of notes in the margins.
4) That was an idea from a month ago unacted on. You think that's something? A couple years ago when I was doing a biweekly column, I intended to write one titled In Praise of Ecoterrorists. In my mind this has now expanded to a three part series about the so-called ecoterrorists, the real ecoterrorists, and the silently complicit (like me) who let what they profess to care about be destroyed through inaction due to issues of fear, security, obedience, etc. I'm going to be requesting my FBI file soon; if I find that I don't have one after all those years of marching, writing, and donating, I'll probably be disappointed enough to get to work on this idea.