If there is one thing that irks me above all else, it is the presence of taxidermied animals in an apartment, as if they are the must-have interior decorative accoutrement of the vintage-loving, authenticity-seeking hipster.
This isn’t news, of course; it’s been a trend over the last several years. Certain of my Los Angeles acquaintances, for instance, attended a taxidermy class at Soap Plant Wacko/La Luz de Jesus gallery, and I nearly doubled over in laughter. As I thought about it, I soon realized that nothing was more predictable than this foray into the the world of taxidermy. There always existed that redneck component to hipsterdom, particularly in the films of Harmony Korine, who has long celebrated (along with many others) white trash culture.
At any rate, when it comes to the issue of taxidermy’s kitsch quotient, I have a right to this sentiment of annoyance since I am a country boy: I have slain and felt shame. I have felt like a beast myself and wept at the site of a deer struggling against the void (you don’t want to know).
I have plunged mine own two hands into the viscera of a deer, squirrel, goose, duck and fish. I have eaten the heart of a deer. I’ve watched the steam rise out of the guts of a disemboweled carcass. I’ve won a humongous buck knife made of deer antler because of my hunting prowess. I’ve cooked the meat that I myself have slaughtered. One Shot Pangburn—that’s me. I’ve got two mounted bucks at my pop’s home. A dead wood duck is fixed to his wall, too. And, soon, a black mutant pheasant.
I go home and look at those things and I think, “How weird that they are hanging on the wall like that. Did I really kill them? What savagery!” Then I think of the bohemian set who covets those dead animals for their walls, and I wonder what the fuck has happened to civilization. Maybe they’re from the country, too—or at least some of them?
Whatever the case may be, my proposed rule is as follows: “You do not mount that animal head if you yourself have not slain the beast.” It is a fair request. Go to hunter’s safety. Get a permit and sit your ass in a tree stand in the early cold hours and try to get yourself a deer. Slice it’s stomach open. Stick your hand deep into the carcass, still warm, and reach for the windpipe with one hand and with the other, cut that windpipe and drag the guts out of the sonuvabitch!
Then you can put that beastly trophy up on your wall. If this is unacceptable, I will entertain the idea of stalking the pray for you—for a fee, of course. I would even act as your hunting companion, and look on as you stain your hands blood-red and eat the still pulsating heart, then promptly vomit your stomach’s contents onto the animal’s entrails.
I will make of you real men and women. That, or go pick up some roadkill. Get your fuckin’ hands dirty, my darling little bastards!
Want to see a hipster taxidermist in action? Check out the video below.