This is the record of an evening of dining on game meat which may have taken place like this:
Berlin, 26.3.2009. In the backyard of Maria, beside the parking lot of the Energie Forum, directly on the Spree, but no view of it. Next S-Bahn station Ostbahnhof. Banal city landscape.
Invitation to join Marek Schovánek, a transformer of the meaning of images, night visionary, and leader of the pack.
Hail to the hunter!
“Green Cosmopolitan” as aperitif. Still no clear picture. Then unfocused on to pixelated and then to noise. It slowly becomes dark, and Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” beams in poisonous green, once cut up, and once mauled by acid (likely not originals!) More green images around this. Photos of everyday environments in heavy baroque frames and painted over with phosphorous. What can be seen in the city scenes and landscape panoramas? One might like to take the pictures from the wall to look into them deeper, and, like in Antonioni’s “Blow-up”, discover a corpse or a spy behind a bush. But the images are toxic.
Commentary from off camera: “The target is moving from left to right. 17 seconds of clear field of fire. Request confirmation! Can you copy?”
Who is the enemy, the opponent, the hunted, and the hunter? For lack of an intelligent analysis of the data, everything becomes a potential target for its own sake. Fire away! Always the same in green, the shot hits the mark.
But what drives the roaring stag in front of the concrete building? What is his purpose? More about this later, since first night vision enhanced vapors lead us to the first course: Select wild mushrooms with fennel on sautéed green beans. The mood becomes more relaxed. Clubs, battle axes, morning stars, and other menacing melee weapons on the walls. Maces and batons that were developed from antique clubs and used man-to-man in the middle ages. Maces had blades and thorns added to them. They could consist entirely of metal or be made of wood with metal fixtures, and these were referred to as morning stars. A well-cooled Grauburgunder proves itself to be the ideal companion to this.
The second course:
Traditional rack of venison tenderized with meat mallets.
Youthful memories awaken. My friends and I ran at the delicate age of eight years old with a rattle in hand over Frisian ranges and frozen graves to drive the game towards the guns of the mayor, the pastor, the pharmacist, the teacher, and the lawyer. We often had to drag a lot of rabbits by the ears a long way across the field. The reward: Two rabbits that had been shot dead and a pheasant. Stags were only for the bigwigs. This condition, kindly paraphrased as “haut gout” is hardly present any more these days. And with it, an intense red wine with a pleasant finish.
The conversation concerns William E. Spicer, an American scientist, and one of the authoritative developers of light amplifying gadgetry based on the principles of photo radiation, and the resulting property of making the nearly invisible appear visible.
With the sweet woodruff pudding and red fruit jelly, there’s nothing else to tell except tall tales. Only a small excerpt of cultivated conversation: “My sixteen-point back then was only wounded, but he was finished off with a heavy heart and with the greatest care for this one-of-a-kind example in Creation. Wasn’t that a grand piece?”
“There is never so much lying done as before an election, during war, and after the hunt.”
Otto von Bismarck
Cheese and fruits:
Green-veined cheese with pineapple and lemons. Why is this so reminiscent of the ancient bludgeoning weapons? Mahogany-colored Amontillado rounds of the taste on the palate. Trophies of horns of all kinds and crossbows made of alpine skis all around the walls. Ski poles become projectiles after the alpine schuss. Multiple laminated skis give the steel cord being stretched the necessary power to reach the target. The manufacturer’s logo, “Head”, which can still be recognized, already says it all: Head shot and exit. The penetrating power is enormous.
Dignified conversations about hunters and gathers. Narratives of the hunt driven through the aisles of Aldi, Lidl, Penny, and so on. The distance hunted down isn’t reflected on the cashier’s receipt, but rather by the lined-up collections of capital bucks. Can a shopping cart be slain by a ski-crossbow?
Yes, Marek Schovánek can do it!
Gutted, split, and bent into its individual pieces, sawn-up and rearranged on wooden plates, we now find it exhibited as a rack of horns on the wall. Are they bargains and “targets of opportunity”, or simply the last possibility to prove one’s self as a hunter in the urban environment?
Now for the conclusion and continuation of conversations in the smoking lounge: With the cigar (Totalmente a mano), Calvados is served in classic ceramic drinking vessels, and these are intended to remind us (with their 3/4 ball shape) of the skulls of the battered enemy that the Normans once drank from.
Loosened by the wisps of smoke and alcohol, on to the finale.
Prehistoric hunters caught the much faster gazelles by running behind them for so long that they would become exhausted and fall to their deaths. People are superior to these animals because they have an average of over 200,000 sweat glands that would cool them off during the long hunt. Most prey animals are not so well equipped and die of heat exhaustion. To make sure, they were placed over the fire again or in the roaster.
Now to the promised roaring stag. He’s already in the cross hairs. What is he doing? Is he possibly calling his relatives, who by the thousand eke out an inappropriate existence from matched sets of couches and armchairs in concrete buildings? Does he call to rally for the revolt, or has the shoulder shot already hit him?
The armor can’t stand up to it any more. Slamming weapons go through as if through butter. That was already present at the time of light infantry, when mobile catapults, also called crossbows, were able to break through the heavy banded armor of the knights. And so, the triumph of long-distance weapons ended not only the dark Middle Ages, but it also reincarnated the era of science in one historically evolutionary turning point. Infrared and ultraviolet light is visible to us now. By amplifying ambient light with night vision devices, microwave scanners, and heat images, new targets are constantly being presented to us. Keep on it and fire. Slay and slay. Collateral damage occurs.
Now the “death halloo” will be called out to end the hunt. That was the evening menu that was advised. A la Carte remains optional to you. And after the last one for the road we hear:
The hunter’s thanks!
Not completely digested, but no bullet in the chamber anymore.
Written by Heiko Daxl, 27 March 2009 Berlin
Translated by Matthew Schneider, 16 April 1009 Berlin, www.schneidertranslation.com
PS: Night vision devices are used by nature researchers, hunters, by the military, the police, by security companies, and also by private persons.