Opinion » The Rant

The Rant (November 6, 2014)

That Wallenda guy, hunting and fishing rights, Chris Christie, Ebola, and ISIS.


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  • Arindam Banerjee | Dreamstime.com
  • Nik Wallenda

I wish that man would stop walking on that high wire. That Nik Wallenda guy who just this past Sunday walked between two 50-story Chicago skyscrapers not once, but twice, the second time blindfolded. That stuff gives me horrible nightmares. And next, he told NBC, "I'm working on recreating my great-grandfather's greatest walk, which was over Tallulah Gorge, Georgia — 600 feet high, 1,000 feet long. He did two headstands on the wire. I've never done a headstand on the wire in public, and I'm training for that. I want to recreate that walk."

The guy does this with no net, so logic would have it that if he falls, he would fall 50 stories and splatter all over whatever surface is underneath him. I can't even watch two seconds of the clip without coming very close to throwing up and my legs turning ice cold and cramping.

Why do people want to do things like this? And why must every television commercial for prescription medication feature someone standing on the tiny peak of a very tall mountain — like climbing up into the clouds on a mountain is going to cure erectile dysfunction or high blood pressure. I think it would do the exact opposite to me.

I just don't get it. Just like I don't get the new measure that was on Mississippi's ballot during the election this week: the Mississippi Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment. I love the way that is worded, but I really don't understand why they are having to vote on that. I can't hunt or fish because a) I would never be able to shoot an animal, even for food and b) the last time I went fishing the only thing I caught was a little baby trout, and I still haven't reconciled the guilt from having ruined the little fellow's day by ripping his mouth up with a hook. There he was minding his own business and trying to be a good young trout and swimming the beautiful river with the sun shining on it and bam! Hook in the mouth. I definitely wouldn't want someone to do that to me.

But the vote... This is what I read about it that piqued my interest: Specifically, the language of the ballot initiative declares "hunting, fishing, and the harvesting of wildlife, including by the use of traditional methods, is a constitutional right, subject only to such regulations and restrictions that promote wildlife conservation and management as the Legislature may prescribe by general law."

This is so far up the chain of importance that it has to be a "constitutional right?" I think I must be missing something. Don't you just go get a license and some guns and some minnows and fishing rods and go out and do it? So what happens if it is voted down? Not that it will be, but if it is, does that mean Mississippians will no longer have the constitutional right to hunt and fish? Will hunting and fishing in Mississippi be outlawed? Uh, Bass Pro Shop moving into the Pyramid, what say you about this? Even the national spokespersons for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the National Humane Society say this is unnecessary and that it's just political jockeying and a waste of voters' time.

The article did go on to offer information on more legitimate election concerns including that you have to have a proper photo I.D. to vote. But it didn't mention whether a hunting or fishing license would suffice.

There are so many things in the world that baffle me. People walking on high wires 50 stories in the air, people having to vote on whether it's a constitutional right to hunt and fish in Mississippi. My real concern here is whether it is legal to hunt in restaurants and bars as long as you're not drinking. Wait, I think that's a Tennessee law. Oh, well.

I'm actually happy about the Mississippi Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment because I'd rather ponder that one than think about the actual people who are running for office — not just in Mississippi but everywhere.

I've turned my back on politics because it's just too much to think about. Half the people running for office or who are in office already shouldn't even be allowed to have a hunting or fishing license, much less run the government. Why is it that so many people running for office now are just plain nuts? I used to actually like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his outspokenness and not taking any crap off anyone, but this latest stunt with him telling a protestor to "sit down and shut up" was just obnoxious and ruined his credibility for me.

And the new thing, from what I can gather, is that many of the candidates are using Ebola and ISIS in their platforms to try to scare people into voting for them. They are saying that if they are elected, they will stop both before we all die from one or the other. I say, just take away everyone's hunting and fishing privileges and we'll all be fine. Unless someone kills a moose with Ebola, or ISIS converts Americans into fishermen, what's the big deal? It wouldn't be as bad as watching that guy walk on that high wire.

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