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Major Guess

June 25, 2015

Reader alert: This rambling post is explained, in part, by the fact that, like a lot of other folks, we’re just sitting around waiting for the legislative session to conclude. And on this particular topic, we find it hilarious that reporters and others are actually wondering what’s happening in negotiations, which are supposed to be on-going.  Do people really think negotiations are occurring? Don’t they know that the leaders are just running out the clock? They can’t give lawmakers bill language and have them pick it apart. This is especially true in the raucous Assembly conference. So, the leaders pretend the details are still being hashed out. They’ll wait until the last minute to release the bills and then they’ll have a vote. It happens every year, but things are especially theatric this year.

Now for our latest post, which is lurid, revealing and strangely plaintiff in the end.

A long time ago, we were having a conversation with a prominent person about another prominent person who was in the news because he and his wife were revealed to be involved in, gasp, the swinger scene.  No kidding.

We made a comment to our friend. It was flippant, cast off. We said something sympathetic to their plight in being held up to ridicule in the tabs. We said the individual in question is an ass, but that he and his wife didn’t deserve to be humiliated. We said: “To each, his own and fuck the NY Post.”

We weren’t anticipating a substantive reply. But what we got really surprised us. The other person, a really well-known individual, proceeded to speak at length about the activity in question. How people get involved. What actually happens at the gatherings. The fact that it isn’t “strangers hooking up” but real relationships that develop among “like-minded, open-minded couples.”

We listened politely and tried, as best we could, to keep our jaws from dropping open. It was, hit us over the head with it, obvious that either this person did his PhD thesis on wife swapping, or he was an enthusiast for, and veteran of, said activity.

After we had a moment to process things and collect ourselves, (we’re like Canadian Geese in mating matters) we had this weird, almost non-sequitur thought: Isn’t it funny how one little comment from us had prompted such an intensely animated monologue – one that was so clearly and remarkably biographical.

Now to the point. This risqué intro is a way for us to comment on a news development from yesterday. As we do, you, dear reader, are probably going to have a reaction like we did when our friend first talked to us so authoritatively about free love. You’re going to suspect and then conclude that we know a little too much about the pastime in question. We hope you don’t think less of us as a result. We understand, of course, that our predilections aren’t shared by all.  We hope you’re like us in thinking: To each, his own.

At issue is a series of comments by a top State Police official, named ironically for the circumstances of a here-to-date hapless manhunt, Major Guess.  Here are his comments:

“Just about every cabin or outbuilding in the North Country has one or more shotguns or weapons,” State Police Major Chuck Guess said Wednesday.

…Area hunters “put an inordinate amount of weapons, ammunition and other tools in these shared, seasonal hunting camps and cabins,” Guess told an afternoon news conference in Cadyville.

“You would think that they’d have some sort of inventory, but our investigation has led us to conclude that, in fact, a number of people cycle through these camps and cabins, and they do not have a definite number of weapons, so they cannot tell us what is missing and what is not.”

What we have to say about these comments is this: It’s all complete and total, unadulterated bullshit. It’s a caricature of upstate outdoorsmen. It’s ridiculously wrong.

In this regard, nobody leaves their firearms in their hunting camp. That’s a ridiculous proposition. It never occurs for a simple reason. Outdoorsmen value their firearms. They don’t leave them behind in remote, communal hunting cabins for others to use and abuse. They don’t leave them behind inviting someone to break in and steal them.  It simply isn’t done. Ever.

Similarly, nobody leaves ammo in a cabin. This isn’t quite the same blanket rule of never, no way, preposterously impossible. Instead, it’s more of a really unlikely kind of thing.  That’s because you don’t want to leave ammo in anything but a temperature-controlled dry environment. It can go bad if left in a damp place. And ammo is pretty damn expensive nowadays.

Now we know what you’re thinking – you NT2 people are really worked up about this and it’s pretty obvious that you’ve either done ethnographic research on Adirondackers, or, plain and simple, you’re rednecks.

Alas, that’s not true, at least, not of all of us in our group. There are educated and cultured people in our midst, and a lady, too.  That said, to a person, we’ve always felt more in common with rural folks than the accomplished, educated, fancy-ass, smart people we’ve now dealt with for decades in business and government.

Getting to the real point now, at last…

Why did Major Guess (Can’t they find anyone else to do the briefings?) say what he said? To what end? What purpose?

Well, we assume that it’s to alert people in the surrounding area to be even more vigilant. We assume it’s to justify the continuing massive expense of the manhunt. We assume it’s to remind those conducting the search of the seriousness of their endeavor. Yes, yes indeed, there are a number of valid reasons why he might have said what he said. We hope it’s not to provide cover for a more insidious possibility – that someone in the prison system provided a firearm.

Rejecting that last possibility, we ask again: Why did the Major have to resort to such bullshit to achieve his worthy goal? Couldn’t he have simply said:  “These are dangerous men who may be armed. It’s imperative that everyone be on alert and be careful.” Wouldn’t that have been enough? Wouldn’t that have done the trick, filled the bill?

Ah, but the nagging thing, the maddening thing is that from the beginning, the Dannemora story has been characterized by bullshit, layers and layers and layers of it. And it continues unabated.

It continues today with the Post claiming that the woman involved had sex at least 100 times in a utility closest with one of the bad guys or both who escaped. The source?  It’s an ex-con who didn’t see it, he just surmised it.

Can we say this? Fuck the Post – 100 times, fuck the Post. This isn’t journalism at all. It’s ridicule. It’s picking on a hapless woman who is someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s mother.

Let us repeat what we said in an earlier post –  No, she’s no church lady. She isn’t sharp. Nor is she attractive. But, damn it, she doesn’t deserve such excoriation and ridicule.

Think of the worst crime you can imagine. Pedophile. ISIS decapitator. Serial killer.

Now compare the coverage any such scourge receives to the savaging coverage this person, Joyce Mitchell, has received. It pales in comparison.

Is that right? Is that something we should just shrug at? Are we nuts? Are we riding some silly hobbyhorse with this?  Or do we have a point?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 25, 2015 2:01 PM

    What are you saying? You rednecks share your wives, but not your guns? LOL. Keep up the good work. Provocative stuff.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    June 25, 2015 2:02 PM

    Using the lurid to criticize the lurid is sure to be lost on the people at the Post.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    June 25, 2015 2:04 PM

    Check out Major Charles Guess’s bio. He’s a Rush-Henrietta grad, a truly impressive person, but I agree, his comments were weird.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    June 25, 2015 2:17 PM

    I have a hard time feeling sympathy for the woman, but I agree that the coverage is excessive. But that’s the Post. They don’t care. Whatever sells papers — that’s their attitude and you’re never going to change it.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    June 25, 2015 2:44 PM

    It’s going on two weeks at $1 million per day. When do they conclude that they got away?

  6. RedneckNowQnsB4 permalink
    June 25, 2015 3:47 PM

    Does Major Guess (a name worthy of Dickens and evocative of Major Major in Catch-22) know any hunters who leave their firearms and ammo in isolated cabins when no one is there? Not likely. So his comment brings his judgment into question. BTW, they’re CANADA geese.

  7. Bob Sarbane permalink
    June 28, 2015 12:36 PM

    I’m not disagreeing with all your points, but as an Adirondacker I can tell you it is very common to leave firearms in hunting cabins, with ammunition. Not the good guns like a .308 or .30-06 or other deer gun, but a cheap 20 gauge (value less than $100) and a few 20ga shells are not uncommon at all. They are used for squirrels and racoons around the cabin site and are therefore seen as part of the cabin’s furniture and equipment. What I found odd, however, was that anyone who knows anything about guns would know a 20ga is of very limited usefulness against a man at any distance over 50 yards, certainly a man wearing body armor like a deputy. At even 50 yards it is little better than a pellet gun. Maybe it was all he had, but for the escapee to be making weak shots and coughing while trying to conceal after a week on the run doesn’t sound right unless he was so sleep/food deprived he was loopy. Otherwise, someone needs to dig a little to get to what really happened.

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