Brief Personal Comment: Trapping and Other Things

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at
Sat Sep 8 08:48:09 MDT 2001

There was a time in my life, a long time ago, when I trapped [animals.]  I
still have a few big traps and have always been able, right to this very
moment, to set a Number 4 Victor Double-Spring with my hands, on partially
bended knee.  When the time comes that I can't, I'll know I'm on my way to
the Spirit World -- but I'm not thinking personally about that right now.
If they don't drink themselves to death, or get killed from external
sources, the people in all of my family lines tend to live into the 90s,
even to the century mark.

A trapper knows traps, trap-sets, and baits and lures.  When I read Joan
Cameron's very long piece early this morning -- one which invokes my name at
various points and seeks to impart to me various beliefs -- I see all of the
things that trappers use.  Your set is not perfect, Joan, since I sense and
spot it -- but, on the whole, it's creatively and shrewdly constructed.  Of
course, I'm not going into it.

Jim Craven and I agree on just about everything when it comes to Native
matters in a socialist context and socialism in a Native context.  Adam
Levenstein and I disagree on parapsychology -- but we certainly agree on a
great many  basic things relating to socialism and  the compelling need for
it [and he's a worthy opponent when we do differ on something.]  Macdonald
Stainsby and I agree on much indeed on many fronts.  In combat with the
Bosses, Joan, you strike me as just the kind of person I'd like as a
colleague [you have a go-for-the jugular instinct that really is intriguing]
and I'd find you especially welcome if you could drag the Boar of
Cornwall -- that Meaty Monster -- into it on our side. This List -- and some
others -- abound with very good, solid people. I am fortunate.

Personally, I've gone through life so far not spending  much  time  at all
stewing around about what this person believes/practices
spiritually/religiously or what they don't -- that's their business, not
mine.  Same with the myriad of beliefs that make up our Left community.

My religious  and spiritual inclinations are an extraordinarily complicated
mix of several basic and substantial tribal beliefs with Jesuit
Catholicism -- a blend of such old origins and complexity [with a few newer
additions] that I could never delineate it in blackboard formulae.  My
personal Left perspective is almost as syncretic and draws heavily from
Native tribalism and Wobbly anarcho-syndicalism and a number of Marxist
variants.  I said  at least once on this List that, on my bookshelves right
here in Idaho, Ignatius of Loyola sits next to my bust of Lenin and his 45
volumes [they very much have a certain militant tenacity in common], and
right across on the other walls of my office are the sketch of Thayendanegea
[Joseph Brant] watching his Mohawk warriors burning out New York settlers;
and the photo of Frank Little, Cherokee Indian and IWW organizer, taken just
before he was lynched at Butte, August 1 1917, by Anaconda killers.

Speaking only for myself, I would not have accomplished whatever I have, if
I'd spent much time at all worrying about whether this person is [or was]
that sort of "ite" or "ist."  If they're on the same Great River with me,
heading toward the Red Dawn -- and they respect my Left perspective -- they
can count on me respecting theirs.

 I don't profess to speak knowledgeably about any of the beliefs of others
if I really know little or nothing about them.  Even if I do, I may say
nothing at all.

As,  so very obviously with all of us, I hear the drums of the class war
ever louder -- and from the very Four Directions.  There comes a point, and
I personally think it's now, when we've spent enough time [for the moment at
least] sharpening our wits on the deepest recesses of one another's souls.
Time to go back to the issues -- and the battles of the Final Conflict [ or
at least one of them.]

Fraternally -

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear]
Hunter Gray

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