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David R. Glier

Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject: Insights on war -from an odd source!         Reply with quote

This is something off of another forum I frequent, about a topic a completely unrelated to our hobbies and studies.
Yet, as I read and re-read it, I couldn't help thinking that the story was oddly similar to what we think medieval war must have been like. It's much more personal and tactile than so many things we read in books... So, I'm posting it here, and I'll shut up now so you can decide for yourself.

I reiterate: I ACHE!

I've been skinning deer for two days. My hands feel like they've been beat with a baseball bat, from grabbing and pulling and tearing the hides off the carcasses... My back and arms are killing me, from pulling bodies out of the back of pickups and SUVs, hauling them onto the dock, throwing them out of the way when they piled up too deep, picking them up and putting them on meathooks when the dumb hunters cut the tendons off so we can't use the hoists... My nose is still full of smell of deer in rut and blood and diesel fumes. My poor Ka-BAR cut through so many sets of hides that even though it's one of the best knives you can buy, and even though it was almost as sharp as a razor two days ago, right now it's not much sharper than a butter knife.

This is what the opening weekend of Gun Season looks like at work. Our little buisness is the best deer processor in ten states, bar none, and accordingly we're pretty popular! We've taken animals from 28 of the contiguous states, Canida and Alaska. Opening Weekiend is a combination of a three block long tailgate party, a gun and knife show, an obsticle course and a medieval battlefield, with blood, guts and chaos thrown in. The locals come from all around the city just to stand and watch. Cops drop in to talk about guns and how to sharpen their knives during quiet hours. When it gets bad, there's bodies stacked three, four of five high just because we don't have anywhere else to put them, and you can climb them like stairs. Sometimes there's so many bodies lying around that you can't even walk -you have to jump from clear spot to clear spot. After about four hours, even though allmost all the blood was drained out in the woods somewhere, we go through so many that there's so much blood that we have to spread salt everywhere to keep our footing. We fill 55 gallon drums and dumptster-sized combos with hooves, heads and hides that eventualy go to the glue factory. There's nothing else in the world like it oustide a Second-World slaughterhouse.

You'd have to be there to believe it... but here's a sampling I was able to take when we weren't very busy.
I don't *think* there's anything actualy objectionable in the pictures, but be aware of the content.

Deer Season

It's a hell of a thing, but I'm glad it's only here for three weekends out of the year. X___X

See what I mean? The level of physicality involed, the interaction with so *many* dead bodies, what happens to the battlefeild, what happens to *you* while you're standing in the middle of it, and how desensitized you become to all of it... those are things we really don't think about. (I don't think this guy was thinking about it, either Wink )
This kind of thing is valuable, I think.
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Mikko Kuusirati

Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 984

PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2004 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quite tactile, yes. Atmospherical, even. Happy

I would say some writers get pretty darn close to the level of sheer physical tactility, though - for ex, try David Gemmel's Legend, or R. E. Howard's Shadow of the Vulture (especially the latter).

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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