[FOUNTAIN]Dangers of huntingHunting must be a very attractive sport. With just the right amount of tension and sense of achievement, hunters seem to enjoy a surge of endorphins. Historically, many prominent figures have been addicted to hunting.
Louis XV, who ruled France from 1715 to 1774, is the most notable hunter in history. While he inherited the Crown at age 5 from his great grandfather Louis XIV, a regent ruled the country until he came of age. In 1723, when he became an adult by law, he was officially crowned in Reims Cathedral. On his way back to the palace after the coronation ceremony, he spotted a stag, and his hunter instinct was turned on. The king mounted a horse and followed the game into the woods. The aristocrats, who had accompanied the king, had to wait in a long procession for his return.
It is recorded that Louis XV went hunting 276 days in one year. He was so into hunting that he paid little attention to state affairs. His lavish lifestyle burdened the finances of the once prosperous nation. In the history of France, Louis XV is recorded as one of the least popular kings. His successor Louis XVI was executed by guillotine in 1789 during the French Revolution, but some think that the fall of the absolute monarch originated during the reign of Louis XV.
John George II, who ruled Saxony from 1656 to 1680, had declined the offer of the throne of Bohemia. He turned down the offer for the kingship because there were more deer in Saxony than in Bohemia.
He was so passionate about hunting that he spent a lot of money to build a fence along the border with a neighboring state in order to keep deer on his side. He hunted a total of 42,649 deer in his lifetime. While the Kingdom of Saxony had once exercised undisputable power in German politics, it lost influence during his reign and the rival duchy of Brandenburg took over regional hegemony.
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is under fire after he accidentally shot a 78-year-old lawyer during a quail hunting trip. He became a subject of jokes that he shot an old lawyer instead of bin Laden. The war against terrorism and the Iraq war led by the vice president have also become the targets of ridicule. The incident could negatively affect Mr. Cheney’s political influence.
However, the controversy is unlikely to last very long, as such satire and humor are very much alive in the United States. I hope that the protests of the Muslims outraged by the Muhammad cartoons can be settled with humor.
by Chae In-taek
The writer is a deputy international news editor at the JoongAng Ilbo.