Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 - November 15 - Hunter

Today is St. Antler's Day. It's the holiest of holidays in rural Michigan. Schools shut down because people simply don't come to school - or send their kids in. At the community college I work, we don't observe the day, but traditionally, classrooms are a little less full than on a regular day.

To prepare for St. Antler's Day, people take out and polish their guns and stock up on ammo. They also find a place in the woods to set up a shrine. Some like to set it up outdoors, while others build a little chapel. They set out food for St. Antler, hoping he will come visit in the days leading up to the holiday. Then they go to purchase a license to partake in the festivities. This is all done way in advance, so that people can start celebrating at the crack of dawn. And if they are lucky, St. Antler comes to visit early that day, and they celebrate by firing their guns. Often they are fired aimlessly - especially if St. Antler comes 6-8 beers or more into the day.

For those who do see St. Antler and fire their guns with a good aim to celebrate, they usually take home his carcass, make sure it is checked to be found appropriate by the authorities, then butcher it and stock their freezer with it. Others don't see St. Antler on St. Antler's Day, but they have two holy weeks until the calendar strikes December to court St. Antler. And drink beer. Lots of beer.

So yes, it is hunting season in Michigan. Which means I wish I was in England - more specifically Portishead. Because I love Portishead. The song Hunter is from their third album, 3, which is the darkest of their records to date. And yes, I love it. This is from a filmed performance - Portishead in Portishead - because I think watching these great musician is a treat. Just to see how much it really is about the music - and how their setup allows for maximum communication with each other.

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