The Tao of Z

I’m often surprised by what gets people to respond to my posts. I’ll post something that I suspect will result in an angry mob chasing me down the street and I get crickets. This is not the sort of blog to generate a lot of comments, but I can see the traffic. I’ve had posts get thousands of hits in a day and just a few comments. On the other hand, off-the-cuff posts that don’t generate much traffic will sometimes get a bunch of feedback, none of it good.

Anyway, the lion murderer post seems to have got under some skin so I thought it might be good time to touch on some of the basic rules of life that shape my opinions. It seems to me that more than a few of you people have some misconceptions about where I’m coming from philosophically. Plus, I’ve always wanted to title a post “The Tao of Z.”

Let’s start close in and work out from there. I think a man has a duty to protect the innocent. That’s a duty, not an option. If you stand around and let harm come to a child, for example, you may be male, but you not a man. Even a coward will overcome his fears to save a child or a woman from harm. If you can’t be bothered or you think that is debatable, I have nothing but contempt for you.

This duty is not narrow, limited only to protecting children or old women. I’m just using some shorthand to keep it pithy. The reason a man has a duty to protect the innocent is the male of our species has an obligation to protect his world and all the things in it. We are the the apex species, the top of the food chain, the keeper of the world. As part of a man’s duty to guard his kind comes the duty to guard his kind’s environment.

That should not be interpreted to mean I worship nature like some sort of German hippie. Deer hunters, for example, provide a vital service by keeping deer populations down. Bambi is cute as hell, but the bigger picture means Elmer Fudd gets to blast her from his tree stand. On the other hand, Elmer has a duty to be a responsible hunter. Otherwise, he just an asshole getting his rocks off killing things.

That’s what offended me about the lion murderer. There’s no social duty being met by hunting exotic animals. In fact, it mocks the very idea of there being a social responsibility to hunting. It’s wasteful and pointless. Even if it is legal and somehow pumps money into the local economy, it’s morally null. Child prostitution pumps money into the local Indonesian economy, but that does not make it right.

Now, Elmer Fudd can be a responsible hunter, but he does not get to blast your schnauzer in the backyard. We have other ways to manage the schnauzer population and our culture has taboos against hunting neighborhood pets. In America, like most of the west, our women insist we protect the cute animals above all else. It may sound stupid, but we would not have domesticated animals if not for the female attraction cute fluffy animals.

In America, exotic African animals like lions have a special place in the collective psyche of the people. As I type this a commercial is running telling me for just a few dollars I can save a tiger. The lion murderer certainly knows this, but he takes pleasure in offending this sensibility. It’s vitally important to him that he scandalize the rest of us with his behavior.

That brings me to another one of my core beliefs. We have a duty to respect and maintain social norms. Letting weirdos and freaks dictate to the rest of us is how we ended up with Obama in the White House. Men who deliberately flaunt social norms are mocking more than just those social norms. They are mocking the rest of us. When I see some jagoff with ear gauges, I’m thinking the Middle Ages were probably not so bad.

Some of you people incorrectly compare public revulsion toward the lion murderer with the social justice warriors. There’s a whiff of libertarian crackpottery to that line of reasoning. Bitter weirdos assaulting normal people is the exact opposite of normal people rising up to defend the commonly held morality against the behavior of a deviant.

I flippantly said that sometimes you need to burn a witch, even if there are no witches because its clever and true. A confident society comes down hard every once in a while on a deviant to keep public morality from atrophying. Otherwise, the weirdos and lunatics begin to think they can flex their muscles. You can be sure that the other great white hunters out there are watching what’s happening to lion murderer and thinking it it is not a good idea to piss off the public.

I’m not starting my own religion so I will cut this short, but if I change my mind maybe I’ll write a longer more detailed post about my moral philosophy. I’ll just leave it with this. If the public was as choked up over the Christian bakers or the Little Sisters of the Poor as they are over the lion murderer, our world would be a vastly better place.

31 thoughts on “The Tao of Z

  1. Pingback: Arx-holes | The Z Blog

  2. The only reason this is a big story (and CBS still runs it every morning) is to give them time to deal with the Planned Parenthood videos. If women are upset about a lion getting killed, imagine how upset they might be at baby parts being dissected. They have to get judges in line to lock up the videos and time for the “war on women” storyline to get out. (And Jeb sure did help that along).

  3. Well, I am kind of ambivalent about hunting what you typically would never eat. In fact although hunters like to think of themselves as accomplishing the role of apex predator, the truth is that they typically cull the best animals rather than the old, weak or diseased. In that respect it is a sort of weird reverse-natural selection. The major problem is that a lot the hunting which catches the eye of the public is just a very expensive hobby, and I can understand why someone who has spent probably tens of thousands of dollars to go to Africa, hire guides, get licenses, and probably pay off locals, is going to get his trophy even if they have to tie it to a tree so he can shoot away with impunity. Having said that, why the hell would you take pictures? What was going through the guys mind when he posed for the picture? On boy! I am so happy, I’ll bet everyone who sees this picture of me standing over the carcass of a lion will be as thrilled as I am. Idiot.

  4. I think many of us feel that the lion had more right to life than the dentist. So yes, I am with Piers on this one.

  5. ” There’s no social duty being met by hunting exotic animals. In fact, it mocks the very idea of there being a social responsibility to hunting. It’s wasteful and pointless. Even if it is legal and somehow pumps money into the local economy, it’s morally null.”

    Here’s a pretty good defense of trophy hunting:
    It’s not just “pumping money into the local economy”. Trophy hunting creates financial incentives to protect the trophies, thereby creating more trophy animals than what winds up on some guys den wall. It also does this without creating a new bureaucracy to “protect” the poor animals.

  6. I have no great love for trophy hunters either, Z Man, but do you really think that such hunts violate American social norms? We have recently seen an avalanche of activity designed to purge the USA of the confederate battle flag*, but I doubt that a similar movement to get noted trophy hunter Teddy Roosevelt removed from the Mt. Rushmore monument would ever get anything close to the same kind of traction. My point is that even while I disagree with the lefty impulses of the confederate flag purgers, I think that they make a much stronger case that a new social norm is being declared than does the current “two-minutes hate” campaign against some wanna-be he-man dentist.

    I am curious how you came to the conclusion that said “lion murderer” took pleasure in offending our sensibilities. How did you pinpoint his motivation? Sure, he mugged for the camera with his kill, but I’m not certain that I can tell the difference between a dentist willfully trying to offend me and some professional-class dweeb enjoying his Tarzan / Allan Quartermain fantasy without a thought in his mind about how those acts might be processed by people whom he’s never met.

    *We have to remove some silly 1970’s sitcom from the deep cable wilderness of the TV Land network because of a car’s paint job? Seriously, SJWs?

  7. This Minnesota douche is not a hunter or sportsman by any definition that I recognize – he’s a poacher and a criminal. He lured an animal used to interactiing with humans out of its protected environment in order to cruelly kill it, and then removed the animal’s tracking collar so its whereabouts would not be immediately discovered. This has all the bravado of shooting a lion at the zoo.

    • Just about everything you said is wrong and at variance with the facts.
      The local hunting guides, the recipients of the 54K, lured the lion out of a protected reserve. They baited the lion with a carcass. They removed the tracking collar. They have been arrested and charged, the American Hunter is not under any legal action by the Zimbabwe courts.
      This dentist initially hunted the lion with a bow. Failing to kill the animal cleanly, he spent two days tracking the wounded beast and finally killed it with a rifle shot. That is the behavior of a hunter and a sportsman. Today, knowing the facts he has expressed sincere regret. In part because his current knowledge of the nature and docility of the beast he has acknowledged that it was not a valid target to hunt.
      All of the hysteria and approbation leveled at this man comes from those who don’t like anyone to kill any animal, especially a lion, at any time, in any manner. The criminal actions of the local guides and his hosts have given the international community of Disney kids an opportunity to whine in front of the cameras.

      • Zimbabwe calls for extradition of Cecil the lion’s killer

        HARARE (Reuters) – The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a “foreign poacher” who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said on Friday.

        In Harare’s first official comments since Cecil’s killing grabbed world headlines this week, Muchinguri said the Prosecutor General had already started the process to have 55-year-old Walter Palmer extradited from the United States.–finance.html#

        The douche – his touching denials of knowledge of any wrongdoing on the part of his hired agents notwithstanding – now will get to face Zimbabwean “justice,” as I have no doubt the 0bama Justice Department will be eager, nay orgiastically ecstatic, to comply with the extradition request.

  8. I have known personally a few African trophy hunters during my life. All were fine men and honest ones. I consider the Z Man’s position to be more emotional than rational and a symptom to the lack of rational discourse in current times on many issues especially politics.

    Dan Kurt

  9. If they eliminate big game hunting, and the “hunters” with big checks stop coming then in a few years the locals will kill every lion outside a protected area because they might kill a valuable goat or chicken. Animals that have no economic value do not survive in proximity to man. Are we in any danger of running out of beef cattle or pigs in this country?
    Some animals that are all but extinct in Africa are thriving on ranches in the American Southwest. Economics get more results than Disney movies.

  10. This will be shorter than my original post-really hate the cookie necessity.
    We have no evidence whatsoever that DENTIST knew Cecil. We know the licensed long time GUIDES did, and THEY deserve our opprobium(i guess cultural individuality stops at the oceans in America)
    As a life long Hunter we have done more globally for animal and wildlife conservation than a trillion luddite greenies.
    Sad that Ameicans are so blinded by hatred that this man’s ability to pay for this trip may destroy his life.
    BTW, I’ve gone back a few pages/weeks and can’t seem to find the equivalent post regarding the PP videos. World would be a lot better place if THAT tragedy were receiving the same attention that this did.

    • Exactly – “BTW, I’ve gone back a few pages/weeks and can’t seem to find the equivalent post regarding the PP videos.”

  11. Zman, this post is a homerun to me, hit right on the screws. The dentist is a self important dope who killed a beautiful animal because he could. In hiring a couple of Zimbabwean gangstas to lure the cat out of safety, he knew exactly what he was doing. I have no sympathy for him at all, even when the psychotic Mia Farrow posted his personal info online. Hey big boy, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.
    This kind of cultural imperialism plays into the hands of leftwing creeps and ideologues who use it as an excuse to bash the west.
    On a scale of atrocity, it is nothing compared to the abortion mills but that still doesn’t make it right.

  12. Yeah- I’m conflicted on this one- I guess I believe that the dentist can be an asshole, that hunting exotic animals might (and I stress might) be good for the locals- although in a dysfunctional place like Zimbabwe who knows- and that the mobs howling (literally in some cases) for “Denty’s” scalp are mostly assholes, too. As for the Tao- love your blog; keep up the good work!

  13. I read this blog daily but do not feel that I have substantive commentary to add. But the comments here are quite good. Some other blogs (Aceofspades comes to mind) have comment sections that seem to consist largely of folks trying to out-jest each other.

    The internet, despite its pron, cat videos, and celebrity worship, does provide a refreshing and informative information service to non-leftists. What is the impact of thezman on current events? Dunno, but time will tell. It’s important to question what one is told, and I never did that prior to discovering non-leftist blogs and pundits on the interwebs.

    So thanks for the daily insights. You’re probably more important than you realize.

  14. I like the Tao of Z as a title, and sorry there isn’t more than you have published thus far.

    I think it is a given among sane people that whatever darkness may lurk in us (the somewhat facile but easy-to-grasp ‘good wolf/bad wolf’ within us that needs feeding on one side but not the other) we have to do what is morally right without ever being in the luxurious position of intellectually defining moral values. Our instincts, if raised properly and aware of the world, should see us taking the line of right over wrong.

    One can only conclude that many of our notable thinkers and assorted leaders have never had the upbringing or gained sufficient life awareness to understand the difference.

    As for the lion slaying, I always wonder if trophy hunters would be so good if the animal was similarly armed. The fact that man has, for good reasons, invented a sophisticated and accurate weapon doesn’t mean it should be used indiscriminately. Mind you, if the lion was called Killer-Fang instead of Cecil perhaps the outrage would have been muted.

    Equally if the lion was called, I dunno, Sustainable-Rainbow-Greenpeace then the shooter would be dust by now.

  15. Joseph K gets it right, this guy may be a tool but not exactly for the reasons the media wants – a lion with a human name of a cuddly stuffed animal is dead, but it’s the methods employed and the backstory that make this a bad shoot.

    Do tell, what are the stats of poachers in Africa in recent years? A white dentist makes a bad shoot and we’re all sobbing all over ourselves, and btw, look at that bad bad white man just ruining Africa. WTH is that? At worst this guy should receive a hefty fine from US authorities, have his US hunting license pulled for a few years, and be banned from hunting in Africa. And move on to defunding planned parenthood.

    As others have noted, with the planned butcherhood story, this is clearly an outrage fest and diversion to the real news. As others have noted, I’m surprised that zman is giving a nearly non story this much attention.

    From Joseph K –
    The bad shoot part ->
    “Lions may not be “endangered”, but it is illegal to hunt one in a park, or remove its collar. Cecil was lured out of the park with food, and his collar was removed after he was killed.”
    The real man vs wannbe part ->
    “Meanwhile, a real man, Theo Bronkhorst, the professional who organized the hunt, reported himself and the incident the following day. He will be charged.”

    A single lion is dead, zman, not all of them. You made a mistake jumping on this one, we still love you. Onwards and upwards.

  16. It has always bothered me to hear someone use the term “animal” in reference to some scumbag who has deliberately and cruelly inflicted bodily harm, or even death, to other innocent individuals (or animals), for no good reason. There is no parallel in the animal kingdom for this. Animals kill to survive. Sick and demented individuals, like the tool who murdered that lion for no good reason, is very defintely an asshole. Refering to him as an animal is to elevate his status.

    • Minor quibble. Animals don’t always kill only to survive. Sometimes it’s sport for them also.

      A century and two past this would not have raised an eyebrow, but back then many ordinary citizens were chopping heads off their own chickens and slaughtering pigs. Your cat had a large litter and dad told you to drown a few, which you did. Lots of death in the human ranks too, especially in the young. We’re so….evolved now. Eh.

    • Pet cats routinely kill for sport, fun, practice or whatever reason not for food. One of my girlfriends had a pet boxer dog that whenever he got loose he bit the head off neighborhood cats he caught but didn’t eat a bite.

  17. I can’t write for s%#t and I’m envious of MtnExile for expressing what I would like to say far better than I could. I’m also curious as to why the Cecil episode struck such an emotional chord not just with you, but with our society in general. Per Newsbusters, Cecil garnered more network coverage in one day than the slicing and dicing of recently murdered babies did in two weeks. Make no mistake, from my vantage point, this is pure emotion on your part which seems to be totally out of character. I read and enjoy your posts every day and am not trying to be contentious at all, but what the hell!

    • That’s a good question and I’ve been wondering that myself. Men who harm animals or children always strike a nerve with me. In the ghetto, you have dog fighters and you have a lot of pointless cruelty to children from parents. Viscerally, I guess I just associate this sort of behavior with barbarism.

  18. It’s kind of a conundrum, Z man. The more material wealth we acquire, the more power the bitter weirdos will acquire. To put it in terms of your tao, if there few or no opportunities to protect defenseless women and children, then the wispy-bearded demi-men come out of early adulthood looking as good as the guys who would put their lives on the line for the innocent.

    You and I and a lot of the other commenters here know that the wispy-bearded demi-man is just that — half a man — but too many others (many of whom are intelligent or well meaning) are fooled by him. Of all the bitter weirdos out there, I personally think the band kids and the debate club kids are by far the most dangerous. The band kids (Bill Clinton being the archetype) are often good organizers and policy wonks, but don’t understand the use of force and usually choose poorly when it comes to fight or flight. The debate club kids don’t know limits since they’ve never got their ass beat by a defensive guard with 30 pounds on them or gotten their ass chewed by a good coach for embarrassing some poor kid in a wrestling match instead of just getting the damn thing over and done with. This type is exemplified by the army of political consultants out there, amorally and aggressively trying to get their candidate elected. Most of them just need a sharp jab to the solar plexus or nose.

    Reading your post reminded me that there was a lot of concern around 1900 about the effects of an increasingly prosperous urban society on the manly virtues. Guys like Teddy Roosevelt and Baden-Powell were trying to encourage young men to get outdoors and take up organized sports, hunting, camping, etc. Even as late as Kennedy, it was OK for a leader to set up something like the Presidential Physical Fitness Badge. Try that today. The band kids and their kids would be in an uproar. You’re fat shaming! And the debate kids would jump on the bandwagon, not because they had any strongly held belief, but because it might give whoever was currently stuffing their mouths with gold a two-point boost in the polls.

    • I wish I had a great self-deprecating nickname like yours, instead of one based on a bawdy limerick, but I really like your response of a sharp jab to the solar plexus. You brought back into focus all the times so long ago I got my ass handed to me by a fullback or a pulling guard.

  19. Yeah, well.

    The Arabs have a saying: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I have my own saying: my enemy is my enemy even when he agrees with me.

    I don’t have anything like a soft spot in my heart for trophy hunters, either. I think there must be something missing in a man’s soul to make him take pleasure in collecting dead animals, no matter how strenuous or skilled the act of killing might be. It takes a hell of a lot more skill to off minks from an A-10, but nobody would have any problem recognizing that as deviant behavior, so why is it so hard to recognize bowhunting lions for what it is?

    But — and this is a massively big but — look who you wind up marching with when you make “lion murderer” your target. Assholes like Piers Morgan, who wants this guy not scorned but dead, as an example of the principle that people count for less than lions (or whales or bugs or trees) if those people happen to be wrongthinkers. And a large part of the problem is that, to them, the ironic and contemptuous phrase “lion murderer” is literal: killing a lion is just as bad as killing a human being. Actually, no: it’s worse, because justified leocide doesn’t exist, and justified homicide is common as dirt. Planned Parenthood actually uses it as a business model.

    So when you go off on your screeds (and don’t misunderstand me: I bookmark you for your screeds), watch your side mirrors carefully, because you’re going to have company, and you want to make sure it’s the right people. Otherwise, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by genderfluid social justice warriors with ear gauges.

    • look who you wind up marching with when you make “lion murderer” your target.

      That’s not something I ever consider. I keep my own counsel. My opinions are my own. If people I don’t like happen to agree, so be it. My view is even complete wack-jobs will be right sometimes, just as brilliant thinkers like myself will get things wrong from time to time. Fretting over who agrees with you is just another form of the heckler’s veto.

      • Old non-English saying, which I may not be reporting accurately: “When you run with the hungry mob, you find there are those among you who want to burn the bakery down.”

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