Saturday, July 23, 2005

Libertarian cajuns, dangerous boars

Folks who know me know I'm neither a libertarian nor a Libertarian. Heck, I'm not even a libertine. Nevertheless, the latent libertarian that dwells in all Americans stirred during my trip to New Orleans.

We went on a swamp tour, which was led by a fellow who had no formal education, having quit school at the age of nine. After that time, he spent all his time in the swamps with his grandfather, who taught him all about hunting, fishing, trapping, and swamp survival. He's one of these guys who'd do you no good at a cocktail party, but you'd want backing you up if a gator ever came after you. Besides all that, he was affable without being obnoxiously "folksy" for the tourists.

What awakened my inner libertarian was the frequency of the phrase, "...the State won't let us..." On nearly every topic we discussed, at least once he had to say, "when I was a kid we used to do it this way, but now the State won't let us," or "the State makes us do it this way instead," or "the State passed such-and-such a law that ruined the market for..." After the tour, I thought about that. Here's a guy with no education, no real ambitions beyond the next duck hunt, living in a swamp, and even here he finds his daily doings micromanaged by government agencies. I suppose government intrusion (or protection, if you prefer) becomes more noticable when we are not completely engulfed by it, as we are in the more inhabited areas of the world.

On a completely different (but still swamp-related) topic, I was interested in his stories of wild boar in the swamp. He claimed to know someone who bagged a boar weighing about 400 lbs. Unlike gators, which he gets to chase him so they can harvest the eggs, he said he immediately flees up a tree if chased by a boar. It seems that the boar is the most frightening creature in the swamp, even moreso than the alligator. All this lines up nicely with the Anglo-Saxon fear/respect of the wild boar. Wolves and such were considered the scavengers of war; it was the image of the boar with which warriors adorned themselves, as with this Anglo-Saxon boar atop a helmet.

Next time I read Charlotte's Web or watch Babe, I'll do so with more trepidation. In fact, properly re-cast, Babe: Pig in the City could pass as a horror film.

1 comment:

  1. Thus, the Boars Head carol? A little less warm and fuzzy now, huh?