One of the enduring traits of American-style capitalism lies in its unique ability to use an event or individual – however dubious, trivial or cosmically unimportant said individual or event may be – as a means to make a buck. I’m not book-learned enough to say with historic certainty that America pioneered the use of the minor-celebrity endorsement. But if we didn’t invent it, then we have certainly elevated the practice to an art form. And perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of hunting and fishing. I never have figured out how shooting a nice buck or hooking a record fish gives someone an instant patina of wisdom and legitimacy, but you’d need a few terabytes of hard-drive space to catalog all the formerly unknown Jimbos who say they couldn’t have done it without said product(s).
Of course that’s nothing new, but sometimes the effort to wring a buck from a random event is so obviously craven and weird it transcends mere cynicism and instead makes you wonder what these people were smoking.
Don’t believe me? Then check out this website.
From what I can gather (the website look like it was constructed in a junior high computer lab) this is a one-stop shopping destination put together by a Mr. Bill Coursey. Coursey is the gentleman who gained brief worldwide fame by fearlessly slaying the ferocious 1,100-pound wild boar known as “Son of Hogzilla.” Until, of course, the truth came out and it was revealed the “wild boar” in question was in fact a rather placid domestic hog who had the bad karma to be A. monstrously huge, B. good at escaping his pen, and C. living in the vicinity of Mr. Coursey.
Kirk Deeter chronicles the story here.
It’s a free country and I certainly don’t begrudge Mr. Coursey the right to make money in any way he sees fit, but (and I’m being charitable here) I’m not sure his “fame” is a good fit for his business model. Maybe I’m wrong, but I fail to see the connection between a half-ton of dead barnyard porker and, say, perusing the 2008 collection at the Playboy Store Bunny Shop website (which is one of the sites you can visit and shop at via Mr. Coursey’s site).
Here’s my question: what WOULD be an appropriate endorsement or business association for a man of Mr. Coursey’s “fame?” My advice is to leave the online shopping to others and instead parlay a deal with an organization that monitors our congressional budgetary process. Any others?