Thursday, August 17, 2006

Class Act

Bear BaitingFrom the Merry Wives of Windsor:

SLENDER. Why do your dogs bark so? Be there bears i' th' town?

ANNE. I think there are, sir; I heard them talk'd of.

SLENDER. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England. You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not?

ANNE. Ay, indeed, sir.

SLENDER. That's meat and drink to me now. I have seen Sackerson loose twenty times, and have taken him by the chain; but I warrant you, the women have so cried and shriek'd at it that it pass'd; but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em; they are very ill-favour'd rough things.
A few centuries later, such activity is frowned upon, as Troy Gentry is accused of killing a tame bear:
Authorities allege that [country music star] Gentry purchased the bear from Greenly, a wildlife photographer and hunting guide, then killed it with a bow and arrow in an enclosed pen on Greenly's property in October 2004.

The government alleges that Gentry and Greenly tagged the bear with a Minnesota hunting license and registered the animal with the state Department of Natural Resources as a wild kill.

Gentry allegedly paid about $4,650 for the bear, named Cubby. The bear's death was videotaped, and the tape later edited so Gentry appeared to shoot the animal in a "fair chase" hunting situation, the government alleges.
The Elizabethans at least had the dignity to sell tickets when they killed chained bears, and didn't pretend it was anything but cruelty.

Via Jesus' General, who offers Gentry some sage advice.