Friday, June 5, 2009

Bigfooters from the Outside

As you may recall from our post,Anatomy of a Beast, penned by our very own Hermon Joyner; there are outsiders writing about what us bigfooters do and believe.
Add another to the list; Joshua Blu Buhs, the author of a previous book, about fire ants, takes up these questions in “Bigfoot: The Life and Times of a Legend.”
Buhs takes us on a long and windy tour of the early sightings, footprints, fur tufts, droppings and even abductions (at various times, Bigfoot was said to have kidnapped many women and children and at least one man). As amusing as these accounts are, Buhs’s more serious interest lies not in the ape but in the white working-class men who were the beast’s advocates, hoaxers, hunters and most ardent consumers.
His main characters are drifters, loggers and a small-town newspaper reporter in the Pacific Northwest. Buhs argues compellingly that Bigfoot’s heyday in the 1960s and ’70s was a difficult time for white, rural men in Ameri¬ca. They were threatened by women’s rights, civil rights and service-oriented, materialist culture that didn’t value working with one’s hands or backwoods know-how. Believing in Bigfoot was a way to snub effete, skeptical scientists. Hunting him re-engaged their imperiled backcountry survival skills. Sometimes, Buhs writes, they dressed as Bigfoot “to touch their essential selves.” Viewing predator-fantasy through a class lens is fresh and interesting, but Buhs overdoes it. Everybody loves a good monster tale. To the extent that Bigfoot transcended race, gender and geography, we have the human brain to thank. We’ve overcome our natural predators, and so most of our monsters now are de-fanged. We’ve imbued them with romance.

You can read other news sources reviewing this book below.
Sacramento Bee
Southern Oregon's Mail Tribune

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