The Lion and the Lynchmob

Great title for a story, right?

Well, it just so happens that right now as we speak, in our very fickle and funky world, there is a story that matches that title quite well.

I’ve been watching with some twisted burning interest the demise of every aspect of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer’s world as the narrative unfolds in all its digital glory.

I don’t know the man or anyone associated with him, but I do have ties to the state and I know the general landscape and population; it is a land of humble, proud, passive aggressive folks and hard working hunters and fishers.

If I had to estimate at those who were patients of the dentist and aware of his extracurricular activities, I would venture to guess that at least 30% of them would smile pleasantly at the story only to return home or take to social media to express the outrage that such a repugnant hobby had sparked in them.

Not taking into account the residual effects of the  nitrous oxide.

Though I can barely relate to the typical Minnesotan and how any one of them may absorb their home town doctor’s plight, I consider my own opinion as I read post after vengeful post calling for justice for Cecil and the doc’s head on a spike, and I agree with every single one of them.

But I can’t help but wonder why I find all of them so intriguing.

I’m not shocked or alarmed by the voluminous response or the blinding anger behind each word posted about such a magnificent creature being taken so cruelly or the mindless, spineless actions of the lion’s predatory killer.

Nor do I ponder why Dr. Palmer did what he did; I’m able to understand without acceptance such an unspeakable act for which he is solely and justifiably responsible.

Perhaps my intrigue lies within my familiarity of the area; there’s always a delicious pang in the ability to connect events in areas to which one is accustomed.

My perception certainly does not equate to the ability to pay an exorbitant sum of money to hunt down an animal in a foreign land or to be able to spend $50,000 in one pop on any other major activity.

I draw the line at a hundred bucks for a concert ticket.

There is always that dark part of the human psyche – alive and well in all of us – that revels in watching another human’s suffering and downfall; the narcissistic pleasure of superiority that we all possess, yet rarely acknowledge.

Considering the nature of the ‘crime’, I will gladly live up to that finger-pointing and Ralph Wiggum’s ‘HA HA’ if it means that Palmer’s world changing drastically and that for the worse will prevent another big game hunter from repeating the same mistake, and for nations and legal entities to stand up against this rampant poaching and senseless dissemination of these significant creatures’ existence.

So maybe I’m unable to identify one distinctive answer that explains what has drawn me to this disgraceful spectacle.

But whatever it is, I’m glad for it and I hope that that undefinable draw brings far more  attention to Palmer’s fate, as well…and that of the rest of the wild game on the planet and those who are still out to destroy them.