Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 20 April 2012
Cro has just thrown my mind into a tumultuous maelstrom of impotent hatred by posting a picture of the utter bastard, Juan Carlos - King of Spain - standing next to a young, tusked elephant that he shot dead recently, looking very pleased with himself indeed. The elephant is - pathetically - kneeling head-on against a tree which it managed to stagger up to in it's completely unexpected death-throes. I am grateful to Cro for posting that image though, even though it has somewhat ruined my day.
I used to have a sort of grudging admiration for Juan Carlos, what with him riding around Madrid on a motorbike, etc. but now I long for nothing else than his deposal - preferably a violent one which culminates in him dangling upside-down from a lamp post, and I am ashamed to admit to this level of emotional involvement. The people of Spain seem to be more upset by the fact that he took an expensive holiday at a time of financial hardship for everyone else, than that he shot dead a young elephant from an endangered, close family herd. I suppose that's what you must expect from a nation of bull-fighters.
I have been very indecisive about whether or not to renew my membership to the classic gun-club that I belong to, for a number of reasons. We only shoot shotguns and we only shoot them at clay-pigeons, although most members do go shooting pheasant and pigeon etc. as an extra-curricular activity, and I regularly eat game-birds and venison shot by them in season. I am very similar to all good Moslems in one respect though, and that is that I do not ever want to kill anything for 'sport' - I could never derive any pleasure from bringing down a creature with a gun, although I completely understand that to do so efficiently and cleanly requires a level of skill which does - by sheer practice - involve pleasure and satisfaction from doing something difficult well. I get this pleasure from shooting at fast-moving, inanimate objects, and find it difficult to transpose onto birds. Having said that, I do like the idea of fly-fishing, but somehow I just cannot identify with fish.
Being handed a high-velocity rifle by an experienced skivvy and training the cross-hairs of a high-powered telescopic sight on the unmissable bulk of a stationary elephant from a quarter of a mile then pulling a trigger does not - in my opinion - require any level of skill which could justifiably engender any pride in the work, nor can it be described as 'sport' by any well-balanced human being.
A few years ago, we had a club-member who was universally disliked - even by the most right-wing of the old boys who form the nucleus of the club - and he was primarily despised for his Scrooge-like meanness when it came to money.
Despite his tight hold on the purse-strings, every summer he would take a £3000 holiday in Africa with the sole intention of shooting big game with telescopic rifles. He enjoyed nothing more than to fly thousands of miles into the African wilderness and take the lives of a few docile water buffalo or gazelle which happened to be wandering around trying to survive before he arrived.
The club did - at one time - have one Arab Moslem member, and I wondered how he reacted to all the pro Iraq War hate emails being circulated by some of the more extreme members at the time. Then Christmas came around and we were required to choose in advance from the menu of the restaurant which was hosting the annual dinner. That was when everyone realised that he was also a vegetarian...