Saturday, December 06, 2003

Dale Price's Production of A Few Good Hunters

In one of his typically-brilliant dyspeptations, Dale Price notes that an excessive deer population is an actual threat to the life and safety of soccer-moms and other anti-hunting persons. He then dons a set of Carhartts, an orange knit-cap, and his best Jack-Nicholson leer and then takes the witness stand:
Remember incidents such as these when I'm stalking out to the woods of rural Michigan next November, when critics think they are entitled to an explanation. Folks, we live in a world that has woods, and those woods have to be watched by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Squeamish Soccer Mom? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Bambi's mom and you curse the hunters. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Bambi's mom's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in those woods, you need me in those woods. We use words like shotgun, scope, velocity. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who wakes and drives under the blanket of the very safety that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and sit in a stand. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Attention! There's a hunter on deck!

BTW, if you want Dale to stop blogging so frequently about hunting members of Bambi's extended family, you gotta ask Dale nicely. You see, you Vegan Associate Professor at State University, Dale can deal with the bullets, and the guts, and the fur. He doesn't want money, and he doesn't want medals. What he does want is for you to stand there in your faggoty birkenstocks and with your PETA mouth extend him some doggone courtesy. You gotta ask him nicely.

And while we're on the subject of double plagiarism (my plagiarism of Dale and our mutual plagiarism of one of the most riveting characters the movies have given us in the past 10 years), I like to imagine this little dialogue about a slightly-confused priest named -- oh, let's call him Fr. Santiago, who tells RCIA classes that Humanae Vitae "isn't infallible" (as though that means anything to Catholic laymen), that the old "confession box" has been replaced by the "freeing rite of the Eucharist," and that the Eucharist itself is a "communal meal celebrating our faith community."
MONSIGNOR: I think Santiago should be transferred. Right away.

BISHOP: He's that bad, huh?

MONSIGNOR: Not only that, but word's bound to get out. The kid's gonna get his butt kicked by Opus Dei or the Legionnaries.

BISHOP: Transfer Fr. Santiago. Yes I suppose you're right. I suppose that's the thing to do. Wait. Wait. I've got a better idea. Let's transfer the whole parish. Let's - on second thought - the Diocese. The whole Diocese, let's transfer it out of the country. Jon, go on out there and get those priests off the altar, they're packing their bags. (calling out) Tom!

A SECRETARY comes in from the outer office.

SECRETARY: Your Excellency!

BISHOP: Get me the Pope on the phone, we're surrendering our position in America.

SECRETARY: Yes, Your Excellency!

BISHOP: Wait a minute, Tom. The SECRETARY stops.

BISHOP: Don't call the Pope just yet. Maybe we should consider this for a second. Maybe - and I'm just spit-balling here - but maybe we as priests have a responsibility to train Fr. Santiago. Maybe we have a responsibility to this country to see that the men and women charged with its moral security are trained Catholics. Yes. I'm certain I once read that somewhere. And now I'm thinking that your suggestion of transferring Fr. Santiago, while expeditious, and certainly painless, might not be in a manner of speaking, the Catholic way. Fr. Santiago stays where he is. We're gonna train the lad. You're in charge, Father Ryan. If Fr. Santiago doesn't answer the whole Baltimore Catechism correctly by next month, I'm gonna blame you. Then I'm gonna excommunicate you.

FR. RYAN: Yes, Your Excellency!

MONSIGNOR: I think that's a mistake, Your Excellency.

BISHOP: Monsignor, I believe I will have that word in private with you now. Father Ryan, that's all. Why don't you and I have lunch at the Rectory, we'll talk about the training of young Fr. Santiago.

FATHER: Yes, Your Excellency. I'd be delighted to hear any suggestions you have.

BISHOP: Dismissed. FR. RYAN leaves.

BISHOP: Monsignor, sit, please. MONSIGNOR sits.

BISHOP: (While lighting a cigar). We're in the business of saving souls, Matthew. That's a responsibility we have to take pretty seriously. And I believe that taking a Catholic who's not yet up to the job and packing him off to another assignment, puts souls in danger.

MONSIGNOR starts to stand

BISHOP: (continuing) Matthew, siddown. We go back a while. We went to the seminary together, we were ordained together, we did our tours in parish ministry together. But I've been promoted up through the Church with greater speed and success than you have. Now if that's a source of tension or embarrassment for you, well, I don't care. We're in the business of saving souls, Monsignor. Don't ever question my orders in front of another priest. BISHOP grabs his biretta and walks out, leaving MONSIGNOR sitting all alone . . .

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