Nine-year-old boys who go fishing would be proud enough to pose with a foot-long catch of one scale or another. Not this boy. The Anchorage Daily News is featuring Paul Patkotak, the youngest boy in memory “credited with a kill”–of a whale. He “delivered the killing blow to a 32-foot bowhead whale in Barrow recently,” the paper writes, “a singular, hands-on hunting lesson from the boy’s Inupiat uncles.” I guess because the hunters were natives we’re supposed to be less offended that another whale was slaughtered, though that sort of argument sounds too similar to justifications of genital mutilation under the banner of “local customs.” The shot of a 9-year-old boy posing before the whale he killed conjures up something more pornographic than prideful, however “traditional.”
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