'And Now We Shall Do Manly Things': 5 stories from a writer exploring hunting culture

Journalist and city-dweller Craig J. Heimbuch explores America's romance with hunting in his new book "And Now We Shall Do Manly Things."

3. Dad vs. uncle

Hunters in Texas Bryan Doherty/Brownsville Herald/AP

Heimbuch practiced shooting when he was younger with his father and his uncle, who would often get competitive with each other. His cousin's, his uncle's sons, were better at shooting than Heimbuch, and Heimbuch says his uncle would sometimes tease him in a friendly way. "'What's the matter, city boy?' he asked. 'Got to be hanging out of a car window, going forty miles an hour to hit anything?' Yes, Uncle Mark, growing up in the pressed khaki suburbs I am indeed more comfortable doing a drive-by than shooting at some secondhand bowling pins in Grandma's backyard."

3 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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