There are times when the book is not worth the candle. The Ted Nugent game violation story is one of those times. As I thought about publishing a story in The Pines Review, my small literary journal, about Nugent’s transgression I sought advice from a number of people, including members of the Board of Directors of the NRA, members of various outdoor writer organizations, friends whose opinions I value, and so forth. The comments and suggestions were varied and they ranged from “burn the SOB,” to “leave him alone because he paid the fine.”
I also did some reading. I read accounts of other, much more famous, and a lot of not-so-famous who did similar things. Not all of them were “burned” but a few were—including a friend of mine from the Deep South. I also sought advice in the writings of a couple of philosophers and what I finally arrived at is that Ted Nugent is not worth the trouble, i.e. the book is not worth the candle.
Our candle is the public support of hunting, fishing, the Second Amendment, and of course the book is the publication of the missteps of someone who has a very loud voice, and frequently makes an ass out of himself with his outrageous commentary. But, buried in all of the bravado and BS that pours from Ted Nugent is more than a kernel of truth about the value of hunting helping young people have a better respect for nature and to extrapolate from that, the workings of our society (with its problems). I don’t know exactly how many young people Nugent reaches, but I do know he does reach a significant number and in reaching them if they learn the value of family, nature and develop a spiritual relationship with nature, well, I’m not willing to wreck that by catering to the antis who, of course, will relish any wrong done by the more visible members of our community. I don’t want to burn that candle. But, if Mr. Nugent pulls another stupid stunt like he did in California then the gloves will come off and I would be happy to lead the pack of dogs that tear after him.
Simple, once shame on you (Nugent) twice, shame on me (us). So now Ted is on the skyline and he’s drawn two targets on himself. One target is for the antis and the other is for his brethren in the community of hunters. Let’s really believe that in time he’ll manage to erase both of those targets.
I am blessed with having a lot of friends and a few of them are truly “best” friends. That tiny group of people includes Chas Clifton (author of natureblog) and now, for the past three years, Chas has made the long drive to North Dakota to hunt sharptail grouse with me. This year I added a new name to my list of friends, Holly Heyser, who flew out here to join us on the hunt. You can read a wonderful account of the hunt on Holly’s blog. http://norcalcazadora.blogspot.com I wish I had been able to show the two of them more birds because I know they are here. I don’t always find them but there have been days when I’ve managed to flush half-dozen coveys in a single morning. It happens, just not this time. But having the two of them around for the long weekend was wonderful. We had great conversations, my wife Michelle, fixed great meals after each day’s hunting and best of all Holly got to meet Cookie and learn that I wasn’t making anything up about what a great dog Cookie is. Of course, Holly also fell for my bad dog, Rosie, which I’ll never understand.
Read Holly’s blog on the hunting weekend. It’s a good read.
It is now time for me to get back to work on the next issue of the Review. I’m running a little behind schedule so I’ve got to get back on it. Almost finished.
10 months ago