Half-Mind Weblog

Flying Booger's Hash House Harrier Weblog Archives

Recent Comments




© 2004-2019 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

The Half-Mind Weblog is a Gang of Six™ Production

Witch Hunt in SoCal (Part II)

A better title for these posts might have been Fear & Loathing in San Diego, but what the hell . . . I’m sticking with Witch Hunt in SoCal, because that’s what it is.

A few days have passed since the initial hysteria, which I blogged about here.  Hashers have pulled photos and personal information from most Southern California H3 sites, and commentary on the SoCal Hash List, at the request of the hashers involved, has mostly died out.

But I just revisited the vigilante forum, Scared Monkeys, where the condemnation of hashing and hashers continues unabated.  Anti-hashing hysteria has by now spread far beyond the bed-wetters’ little forum: case in point is this post to an area blog (click on the image to go to the site, and be sure to scroll down and read the comments):

Click image to read article

Of course local media have been busy fanning hash hysteria, witness the following articles (again, click on the images to read the original articles, and be sure to scroll down to read the comments):

Click image to read article

Click image to read entire article

The second article (immediately above) contains some of the “incriminating” photos taken from a local hash website.

This all started with an internet search.  A local news outlet published the names of the accused’s mother and step-father.  One of the Scared Monkey vigilantes Googled the names and followed links to a couple of San Diego area hashing websites (and, sadly, the Half-Mind Catalog USA H3 Contact Directory, which I started back in 1995).  From those websites the vigilante learned the mom and step-dad’s hash names, email addresses, the street address of their home, and their phone numbers.  The witch hunt was on, with fellow vigilantes quick to imagine the worst about hashing and to associate it with sexual predators and murder.  Thanks to information published on the Scared Monkeys forum, someone vandalized the mom and step-dad’s house, and, as you can see from one of the articles above, the mom is likely to lose her job (if she hasn’t already).

If, 20-plus years ago, you were to pick up a copy of Magic’s World HHH Directory, you’d have gotten a pretty good idea of what hashing was about.  You’d have learned about the history and traditions of hare & hounds running, the origins and spread of hashing, and oh by the way you’d have a great directory of hashing clubs around the world.

If, on the other hand, all you know about hashing is what you read on the internet, you might be misinformed.  Too many hash kennel websites stress drinking, nudity, and sex.  Drinking, nudity, and sex is what the Scared Monkey vigilantes discovered when they started surfing H3 sites, and that’s what they’re reacting to.

Back in ’93 or ’94, someone set up a home page for the Chicago H3.  The self-appointed webmaster thought it would be funny to link hashers’ names to pop-up porn photos. I wrote a rant about it, titled Who Speaks for the Hash? Back then it wasn’t uncommon for hashers to BS about hashing at work, or tell co-workers what their hash names were.  Even in the early days of hash websites, though, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine curious bosses (or ex-spouses with axes to grind) using search engines to look up hash names.  For Chicago hashers, the consequences of one immature webmaster’s actions could have been severe.

These days few of us would talk about hashing at work or share our hash names outside the hash (right, people?), and I doubt very much that the mom and step-dad in San Diego did.  But they were listed as contacts on a hashing website that also contained material they probably wouldn’t have wanted their names associated with, had they thought about it beforehand, and now it’s bitten them on their asses.

I know, it’s not right, and I am most definitely not taking the side of the vigilantes.  But here’s what I’m saying (and have been saying it for years, as you’ll see from many of my past rants):

The picture of hashing we paint on the net is the picture of hashing the public sees.  We can depict ourselves as a club in the long tradition of hare & hounds runnning.  We can depict ourselves as a drinking club with a running problem.  We can depict ourselves as a group of alcoholic swingers.  It’s up to us.

Responsible hashers don’t usually talk up drinking, nudity, and sex.  When they talk about hashing, they talk about the fun of running and solving trail, the camaraderie of circles and on-afters. You look at hashing websites put up by older, more responsible hashers, and you’ll see simple, useful information:  calendars of upcoming runs, directions to start locations, contacts for interested virgins and visitors, maybe some basic hash history.

The old Chicago H3 website is long gone (members rebelled and appointed a new webmaster years ago).  But similar H3 websites are everywhere.  Less responsible (and often younger) hashers like to brag about things that rarely if ever happen at the hash.  They would have you believe the typical hasher gets puking drunk at every hash, that naked men and women run through the forest together, frequently stopping to fuck.  Or maybe to puke, followed by fucking.  All too often, these irresponsible hashers are the ones who put up hash websites.  They think bragging about drinking and sex is a recruiting tool.

The whole idea of recruiting new hashers through online advertising — especially misleading advertising, which is exactly what many hashing websites are — is anathema to me.  Hashing is for like-minded people.  You talk up drinking, nudity, and sex to strangers, some of them are going to show up with false expectations, thinking hashing is something other than what it is.  There are like-minded people out there, plenty of them, and we want them in the hash.  But you don’t recruit them unless you know them, and you sound them out beforehand.  You vet them first, then invite them.

To my mind, hashing websites should be information resources for fellow hashers.  They shouldn’t be recruiting tools, and they shouldn’t be aimed at the non-hashing public.  If you belong to a hash kennel, look up the website and see what’s there.  If you see things that shouldn’t be there, call the webmaster and tell him about it.  If he (or she) won’t take it down, call for a mismanagement meeting.  Do what they did in Chicago, and take control of your website.

[This is a little bit off topic, but frankly, I'm worried about HashSpace.  How long before non-hashers find their way in?  I love HashSpace and don't want it to change, but I'm worried it's not secure enough.   And I doubt very much that the HashSpace members who posted all those nude photos have the permission of the hashers shown.]

Just to be clear, I’m absolutely against changing hashing to accommodate the puritans around us.  I don’t give a shit what hashers do, or don’t do, out in the woods, away from the public eye.  I’ve probably done most of those things myself, and I don’t regret doing them (although in this age of cell phone cameras and video recorders, I’ll never do them again).

But I’ve always been a strong advocate of keeping hashing out of the public eye and under the radar of society, the media, and law enforcement.  Why?  Because of the shit going down in San Diego, that’s why.  Because some asshole put a bunch of shit on a San Diego area website that never should have been there in the first place, just to show off.

Who speaks for the hash?  You do.  I do.  We all do.  Let’s be careful what we say.

- Flying Booger’s the guy Joe McCarthy was talking about . . .

© 2010, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.

About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


2 comments to Witch Hunt in SoCal (Part II)

  • Dr FuqsALot

    Thanks FB.

    The excitement of hashing does lead some people to exaggerate the nudity/drunkeness/sex.
    And it is true that the upside-down world of hashing encourages some of that. And it is true
    that some people come to hashing hoping to find a “Swingers lite” or somesuch. My experience in 4 years is that those people don’t stick around.

    Who sticks around are the people that love the trail, love some beer, and love the socializing of the Circle and the On-After.

    I agree that those who are sticking around need to keep a check on the sometimes over-eager beginners, without quashing that exuberance.

  • Thank you Booger for playing Lorax and speaking for the “trees”.
    On On,
    Smoking Wiener

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge
This site is using OpenAvatar based on