A case study in violent internet toxicity
"If you don't have nothing nice to say don't say anything?"
Sorry to hear about that. I don't do Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, any of it, and there's a reason I chose to live in such a remote area. Keep doing what you do, your writing is one wonderful treat I allow myself before getting going first thing in the morning, and your recipes are edible beauty, word by word. Looking forward to reading about the rest of your fishing season.
The net is weird. I know little about steelhead other than it's a fish. I assume they taste good. Myself I've more of a problem with catch and release, and tourism that involves flying. I'll search out the vid. Thanks.
Thanks for the thoughtful commentary on the sad state of internet “interaction”. And thank you for the original posting. I enjoy hearing from folks like you who enjoy the outdoors in slightly different ways than I do - it’s an opportunity to learn and vicariously have different experiences.
Keep on truckin’. 👍✌️
I really enjoy receiving your emails. I have learned so much from you, and appreciate the time you take to inform others, as well as inspire others. You inspired me last year (through one of your newsletters), to teach myself to fish for trout. I am a 54 yr old female that didn’t know how to do anything in regards to fishing. Although I have wonderful memories of fishing with my dad, I never did any of the “gross” stuff. I just sat with my pole. Turns out, I am a pretty lucky fisherman. Getting my limits almost immediately. And I remember my dad telling me I was his good luck charm when fishing. I have now learned to gut them, and cook them over the open fire by myself, even though the first time, I bawled for an hour while doing it. Reading newsletters like yours, inspires me to expand my horizons on skills & now with this latest newsletter, inspires me to keep doing what I am doing. Living your life to the fullest, and not really paying attention to the haters, especially the ones that hate because they don’t understand. Just wanted to take a moment to show gratitude for your content. I have no idea how I even crossed paths with you, but sure am glad I did.
Be safe up there and enjoy that delicious salmon!
I lived in Seattle 38 years, so I have deep appreciation for delicious fresh fish. And NOTHING is better than Alaskan Salmon!!!!
Falconry is a famously deep well of conflict and controversy, most of it about topics so obscure only other falconers could know enough to make a stink about it.
So the infighting, mansplaining, disrespecting and objecting come mostly from inside the baseball field. This is bad enough. When outsiders chime in, it’s a free for all.
Unwise, unsolicited observation: I’ve managed to dampen most of the knee-jerk responses to my own posts by weeding my feed of people whose politics are opposite mine. This is a sad state of affairs, I admit, but it does seem that much infighting within any field can be explained (at least these days) as a proxy battle in the culture wars.
There shouldn’t be liberal or conservative fishing and hunting, but of course there is. Everything is is existential commentary on what sort of person you are--there being, evidently, just two kinds now.
Makes me wonder what we ever used to argue about, and whether, maybe, it was always about this?
I tried my hand at steelheading during my time in college on the Santa Cruz coast and found the steelhead community too cult-like for me. I gave it another shot a several years later in the steelhead holy lands of northern Oregon and while I enjoyed the pursuit....the fanaticism once again wasn't very enticing. Those half-dozen fish that end up as bycatch represent a whole season's worth of opportunities for the majority of average steelhead fanatics and I can't help but think that jealously drives their vitriol. Commercial bycatch is a pinprick compared to dams and loss of estuaries for steelhead but I suppose some prefer to hate instead of face the real issues at hand.
The internet and it's veil of relative anonymity have the dubious distinction of giving courage to those who would never have the nerve to confront somebody in person. I'm a bit too proud to have deleted the post myself (fuck'em!)...but I appreciate the sense of integrity in not wishing to benefit from controversy. It's clear that the social media companies profit from turmoil and at some point, I'm not sure social media platforms will be worth the effort for anybody not addicted to the Rage drug. Perhaps it's a part of maturing...in the end the target audience is cut from different (typically younger) cloth. I'll still keep tuning in for now, always looking for new recipes ad good stories!
I never thought I would quote Mike Tyson, but here we are...
"Social media made y'all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it." -Mike Tyson
Anyone who would threaten to rape your child needs to meet Iron Mike!
The internet, esp FB, Twitr, IG are all little more than hate machines. And the most aggressive comments are likely AI. Those that aren’t? Dollars to donuts they don’t have the balls to talk that way to your face
Good piece Hank. As much as my family attempts catch and release, it’s hypocritical to apply that philosophy to Steelhead fishing and then teach your young kids and grandkids to fish with worms and floating cheese, all the while seeing fish swallow the bait and hook and die. We transitioned to artificial early, but it’s still not a perfect process. A little to elite for my tastes. Looking forward to your Fall Upland Game reports.
Aaaahhhh...I have so loved the Hank Shaw community for the camaraderie and sense of adventure. Sad the toxic "bots" have to find their way into this community. Well, know that those who share your respect for nature, and whose live's have benefitted mightily from the teachings and cooking of Hank Shaw, are not surprised.....but this guy hopes you just smile and know the amount of good being generated will cause the "bots to choke on their own toxins"....I am going to thaw some steelhead for dinner tonight!!!! Bret
Sad but true. Can't remember how many times I felt like abandoning SM because of all the crap. Seems we managed fine without it not so many years ago!
But then I've also learned so much and shared and kept closer to family in the USA because of it. Oh dear, what to do?
Thanks for a very informative article and being brave enough to shine a little light on , what we call, civilization.
Kudos for taking the time to patiently educate people 👏
Narcissism pervades most of the Internet society, particularly social media. And the constructs start flying when a narcissist wants to put you down, with a complete of lack of inductive and deductive reasoning forming the foundation of their monologue. It is the cultural epidemic that is literally tearing at the fabric of our society. Thank goodness we know better. ;) Just kidding.
Oh well. Glad to see you kick out of it. There will be no ground gained, nor converts made, when arguing with those that resort to name calling and shocking language. It doesn't work any better now then it did on the Pre-Internet era playground knuckle draggers that used low IQ discourse as their go-to method of conversing.
You do have us, the To The Bone acolytes, upon which to bounce photos, concepts, dilemmas etc. This group seems to have an abnormally high percentage of free thinkers and people that are curious. Like almost 100%!
Which means you win! For now. Please do your best to keep up the good work.
Well said and done Hank!