This theme, runs through human history. Whether it be a code breaker like Alan Turing helping to win the war and then having his balls cut off, or Jesus doing miracles and then getting crucified. Once the mob has made its mind up you are fucked. Everything good you may have done is quickly forgotten by the fickle mob, you become the hunted, the chase is on.
I’ll start this off with something I once actually heard someone say; “We want him inside the tent with us not outside the tent pissing in”. Whilst this may be “management” speak, it refers to a slight problem and that is how to deal with an “outsider”. If you are in the tent, then anyone outside the tent is suspect, but not everyone likes tents.
Society as a whole has a very mixed view on outsiders. On the one hand they are strange creatures, to be pitied and ridiculed, maybe even hunted down and destroyed. On the other hand, they are evocative, mysterious and able to do things that “normal” folk cannot. The strange gunman who drifts in off the high plains, the tortured genius who comes up with a solution despite societal prejudice against him, the freedom fighter who starts a revolution from his prison cell. Outsiders are strangely, hero and villain at one and the same time. And many a teenager has felt sometimes an alien in his or her own world.
Anyone who has the temerity to question the status quo runs the risk of being alienated and excluded; maybe even having the dogs sent after them. They are OK so long as they are solving some crisis but after that they can fuck right off, so that normal folk can get back to their normal sociopolitical conniving. Once the hired gun has killed the corrupt sheriff, the townsfolk seek to do away with him. The outsider becomes the hunted, the mob once welcoming turns nasty and upon him once his usefulness is over.
The townsfolk never consider that tracking down the outsider, ganging up on him, and hunting him down, is in fact bullying. They may even assume that this method might endear themselves with him, because after all how he could possibly not want to be “in the tent” so to speak. The townsfolk are not very self-aware. After a crisis has passed the townsfolk want to restore their social order and not have their power structures threatened so at best, they seek to jettison the outsider like a used condom. Maybe they try to assimilate the outsider but that would be too risky, too unpredictable.
Human society has double standards.
Having cued this up, a simple question:
With whom do I empathise, the townsfolk or the outsider?
Whenever a pack of wolves starts out on a hunt, they seek to isolate the weak and the wounded, from the rest of the herd. They smell the injury, the weakness and seek to exploit it. And pretty soon all the resources of the pack are marshalled, and they focus in. All the attention of the pack is diverted towards, The Hunted. All the attention is focussed on the one target. The pack starts to close in, gathering what evidence it may, stacking it up, sifting it over. They are The Hunters and the weak and powerless are, The Hunted. The hunt is on and they must have their quarry. The Hunted has no resources, whilst The Hunters have many.
That smell of blood, how it drives them on…
But The Hunters focussed on blood, do not know, why they are hunting nor what it is that they really seek. All they can see is the prey and they must feed.
And The Hunted it consults the yūrei and it listens to their whispers. For The Hunted is a forest being.