“The Most Dangerous Game”

As a general rule of thumb, I don’t hitchhike. And between you and me is the word “and”. But I’m not here in Panera Bread, using their free wi-fi as a way to stick it to Comcast, to talk about you or me or hunting man for sport. Oh wait, I am.

Yes, I’m here to talk about the Most Dangerous Game and I’m not referring to Jumanji. Jumanji, the gripping story of political espionage and a man-ape hybrid is indeed a mostly-fictitious cinema classic. Yet like an albino it pales in comparison to the true subject of this blog post. For those of you who are as well read as an undercooked steak you know of the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. It’s a short story that covers a wide deal on the nature of morality and the interaction between man and his fellow man. Some would say they don’t have time to cover all of this in one blog post but don’t worry I’m not Ron Howard’s film resume, there’s no rush.

The Most Dangerous Game is a tale about a man adrift an open sea on a wayward vessel, who, when he attempts to retrieve his lost pipe, falls overboard and becomes marooned aboard an eccentric island inhabited by a man and his invalid servant who hunt the people who wash ashore. Despite the glaring similarities in plot to Jumanji rest assured the two tales are quite different. Though both feature man eating vine things and Robin Williams being sucked into an unfolding wooden board, the short story weaves a much different thread than the thematically related film does.

Yes, by the end of the story the hunter who was hunting a hunter has been hunted and killed. Thus the novel takes a strong anti-poaching of humans approach. But why? Why should we resign from the most dangerous game? I for one think it is our right as Americans to be able to hunt other men (if you’re not American I’m not sure what to tell you. Frankly I don’t want you reading my blog.) Why shouldn’t Americans be able to hunt each other? Darwin described the world as operating under the principles of natural selection. So let’s make his theory reality. The constitution says we have the right to bear arms, hell, the declaration of independence says all men are endowed with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It never specifies whose life I am endowed with. It never elaborates on whether a man’s pursuit of happiness is limited by his desire to stab a guy in the jugular who “accidentally washes ashore” my island.

The government should not have the power or authority to tell me I can’t lure ships to my island so they crash and I can hunt the survivors.  They have taken a steep 180 degree turn in reducing the civil liberties established by former vice-president and fellow hunter of man Dick Cheney. Cheney himself made a show of support for the movement when he shot his friend in the face with a rifle. He understood what was at stake. Whereas the VP respected man’s right to choose who they kill, Obama has taken a pro-life stance. With Obama in charge, the days of personal freedoms are looking more and more like the time period they cut to in the ending of Jumanji, the past. The future has never looked so grim.

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