BoosterShots

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zombies

Zombies. They're everywhere in popular culture. They're in movies, and TV shows, and books. They're on Mythbusters, and they're on the range.



Okay, I admit it - this craze has pretty much passed me by. I'm just not all that interested. Yeah, it's fun to joke about the Zombie Apocalypse, or use it as a preparation metaphor for virtually any disaster - see the CDC  http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp   

But other than that, the phenomenon has just not grabbed me like it seems to have with the rest of the population. So, I've been pondering what the fascination is. 

I read this article recently, which makes some sense, but I don't think it delves far enough.

The article pretty much stops at the politico-social situation currently. But I think there is more to it than that. I think that our feel-good society has gotten to the point where it isn't socially acceptable to have "enemies" anymore. You are supposed to love and understand everyone, and excuse their awful behavior, because "compassion", or because "repressed", or because "underprivileged". I think that zombies have become this generation's "Nazis" - the guaranteed enemy that nobody minds if you hate, and nobody minds if you kill -- Because there isn't anyone else left. Zombies are the last bastion of Acceptable Bad Guys.

When I was a kid we played Good Guys vs Bad Guys all the time. These were pre-Offense-at-Anything days, so sometimes the Bad Guys were western outlaws, sometimes they were Indians, sometimes they were Nazis or Japanese, and sometimes they were even "guards at the orphanage". (Yeah, that one was basically a kid mash-up of "Annie" and "Hogan's Heroes" that a couple childhood friends and I used to play LOL.) I fear that modern sheltered kids don't even play let's pretend games like this anymore, but that's a whole other topic.

But the point is, there were always Bad Guys in some form or other who had to be vanquished or escaped from. Nowadays though, you can't have "Bad Guys" without being accused of being racist, or classist, or sexist, or culturally insensitive, or offending someone in some way. The Nazis have been sort of the last to go - probably because they are white European types, and it's still ok to hate them. Oh, and Confederates - those are white guys who it's still ok to hate, too. 

Other previous groups our country has been at war with, like the Native American tribes, the Japanese, the North Koreans, the Red Chinese, the North Vietnamese, and more recently Middle Eastern Extremists (of an unnamed religion), all fall under the "racist" umbrella as even fantasy-game bad guys. It is just not socially acceptable to portray these groups as enemies or Bad Guys - even in a game or fiction.

This apparently extends to humans of any type - even cardboard humans. A few years ago I showed a non-shooter friend a video of me shooting an IDPA stage. Her response - "So you shoot people?" - took me aback for a minute. She was communicating her disapproval of using a cardboard cutout of vaguely humanoid proportions, and was equating that with shooting actual people. It took me awhile to formulate an appropriate response, but I replied that - Yes, in a way, I shoot "people". Not because I have murder in my heart, but because if I should ever have need to defend myself, it will likely not be from "Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!", but from predators of my own species. Thus, the cardboard cutouts are of vaguely human geometry. 

Yup - Society has gotten to the point that you can be socially ostracized for showing aggression even to cardboard of human-ish resemblance.

But, enter Zombies.
Zombies are not people anymore. Maybe they used to be your neighbors, and maybe they still look roughly human, but now they want to eat you. They are dead (okay, UNdead), and rotting and ugly, and thus not pleasing to the eye like a human enemy, so there is little chance that you might be squeamish when pulling the trigger. You don't have to work to psychologically "dehumanize" your enemy, because they are already sort of un-human. Literal disgust for your enemy is perfectly ok, and even expected. (Wouldn't you be disgusted by rotting flesh?) It is also difficult to re-kill a zombie, so employing methods which would otherwise be considered gruesome are perfectly ok. Think heads shots, chainsaw, etc.

In short, zombies are humans that are socially acceptable enemies. (That is, until some "Respect the Undead" group comes along). People who wouldn't otherwise consider themselves aggressive or bloodthirsty really get off when it comes to zombies. To me, it is evidence that there is some heavy-duty psychological repression and dissonance going on.  It may be just harmless fantasy for most. But some people scare me, in that they work to disarm their fellow citizens against REAL dangers, and yet gain gratification from employing fantasy weapons against fantasy enemies. 

It is as if these folks pretend to have no connection at all to their very human and normal urges to protect or defend, because even defensive "aggression" is discouraged and suppressed in our society. Kids at school are punished for defending themselves against a violent bully. You can be ostracized as a weirdo if you recognize and prepare yourself for genuine dangers like sexual assault or home invasion, or you are concerned about the influx of potential bad actors into the country,  yet those who upbraid you for preparing for the real world, then turn around and cheer their favorite zombie hunter characters on TV or practice their head shots on video games. 

I'm thinking that this isn't particularly healthy - for either the individual or the country.
But what do I know. I'm just a grumpy old gal who used to play "Orphanage".

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Magazines and Pedicures


Being surrounded by so many wonderful online women shooting friends, I sometimes forget that we are still an oddity in some circles.

I was wandering around a local gun show this morning, and found some Glock43 magazines WITH the pinky extension. I'd been looking for these off/on for a couple months, so I grabbed all three on the display.

As my card was being swiped, one of the fellows at the booth asked if they were stocking stuffers. 
"No, they're for me", I informed him. "I find the 43 a little too snappy to go without the extension, and I need several of them to shoot BUG matches."

I think he was a little taken aback. 

Then he said they had a Shield if I wanted to see it. I thanked him but declined, and then added that I did see that S&W has come out with a ported Performance Center version of that gun now though, that I might be interested in later.

He paused a little,  taken aback again, I think.

Still trying, he then offered that they had an Ammo sale for Pre-Black Friday, if I needed more 9mm, at only x dollars a box. Again, I thanked him, but declined, explaining that I usually buy my Ammo online, a thousand rounds at a time.

I don't think he knew how to process all of that - especially coming from a woman who was acting alone (without husband in tow). I smiled, signed for my purchase and left.

I'm starting to take what I do for granted - especially considering all the shooting gal pals I now have - scattered across the country though they may be. I forget what sometimes rare birds we still are. I think this poor man thought he was seeing pink elephants or something - LOL. It gave me a bit of a giggle.

And yes, those magazines were a bit of a splurge, considering my new "kid-in-college" efforts at frugality. But I rationalized that I had "paid" for them by foregoing a pedicure these past 4 months.
Don't try to understand that, guys. It's a girl thing - just go with it ;-)



Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Blind Date ... or ... Waiting for Ashley Longworth


In case nobody's noticed, my driving goal this fall has been to learn crossbow hunting, and take my first deer.
No, don't get excited - I'm still waiting.

         Me.................Waiting.

I've only ever been rifle hunting for deer before, and only about 4 seasons, and unsuccessfully at that. You can read about my last attempt about 2 years ago, here.


I just wanted to give an update since I haven't had much to write about lately except politics, and too much of that puts me in a bad mood.

After about three times this Autumn, being "guided" by a local archery friend on private property, I struck out on my own yesterday morning on public land. So I've kicked over another personal boundary - I went deer hunting by myself. 

That doesn't mean that I knew what I was doing, but I got up at 4:30 of my own accord, and struck out into pitch dark state Wildlife Management Area - alone. It was rather intimidating. I'm not a fan of the dark, and I didn't want to use a flashlight for fear of advertising my presence. But I overcame my apprehension, and DID it. That in and of itself is an accomplishment for me (I know it's small, but I'm all about baby steps)

I haven't taken my deer yet, but I've at least learned a few things. Here are a few observations from my first four experiences crossbow hunting.

-Squirrels live to fake me out - I think it's in the Squirrel Union Contract. I bet they have meeting halls up the big oaks where they drink acorn beer and laugh at me.

-Chipmunks make an awful lot of leaf noise for being so small. I think they would have unions like squirrels, except they're too high on bath salts to have a meeting.

-Woodpeckers are weird - they chase each other around tree trunks, and then batter their heads into the wood for entertainment. Maybe they borrowed the bath salts from the chipmunks.

-Camo can have a downside if a deer at a dead run doesn't see you. Let's just say I nearly added a real-life verse to "Grandma got run over by a (rein)deer"!

-The funnel-like device designed to help women answer the call of nature is not helpful if it makes you "scent mark" more of your own self than the leaves on the ground. I'll stick with the tried and true that has worked for me for 50-plus years, thanks anyway.

-Your designated "spot" doesn't look the same at O-dark-thirty AM. How many times can you walk past a place before you recognize it? HELLO, Everybody in the area - I'M HERE! D'oh.

And okay, so it wasn't really a "blind" I was using yesterday either, so much as a semi-concealed spot on a stool. I'm not very good at this and I'm still learning. But the deer I was expecting to show up for this solo "date" never did appear. It reminded me of being stood up for a blind date. ("Blind" date - get it? Okay, never mind) How many hours does one wait before giving up? After 3 hours I started bargaining with myself. Give it another hour, and then you can go have bacon and eggs, I told my rumbly tumbly. I might as well have just left at that point, because the 40 more minutes I stuck it out were wiggly, and fidgety, and therefore, I'm sure, useless to my cause. Ah well.

During the 40 minute fidget-phase, my mind started to wander and I started thinking about the old TV show "The Waltons". It occurred to me that I was pretty much Miss Emily Baldwin - pitifully waiting - but ever hopeful - for her long lost beau Ashley Longworth. Except this was a "beau" I wanted to kill and eat. Kinda puts a bit of a Black Widow/ Hannibal Lecter twist on the Waltons' theme, doesn't it LOL!

So, I gave up waiting for my first deer yesterday, but I'll be back out again in a few days. (And without the funnel device - that went in the garbage) I admit that I'm getting a little discouraged. Taking one's first deer is a milestone that 12-yr olds easily achieve, yet this 52-year old hasn't managed it yet. And to top it off, when I got home, Facebook announced that a former classmate's 7-yr old had taken a Bear, of all things.  *sigh* This being a LateBloomer can be a bit hard on the ego, LOL.

But all in all, it was still a pleasant little sit in the woods, and was probably healthier for me than a similar sit on the couch on a Saturday morning. So there's that - LOL.  I choose to believe that my deer is out there somewhere.

Just call me Miss Emily. 
And now I'm going to go have a slug of "The Recipe" :-)