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Half-Minds, Harriers, & Hashers

In a blog post, I commented on an email someone sent me about Phil Kirkland’s famous quote: “If you’ve half a mind to try hashing, that’s all you’ll need.” Re-reading the message, something else catches my eye.

The message, addressed to regional and national hash directory webmasters, contains a proposal to adopt a standardized set of internet addresses, or URLs, in an effort to make it easier for hashers to find contacts online.

Here are the relevant paragraphs:

The word “hash” in the URL is important as the link between hashing and half-mind as time passes could be lost.

[. . .]

Recent threads in another forum showed that hash house harriers were a totally new creation from the original harrier organizations that still exist in many countries today where these competitive athletic clubs have websites with harrier clearly in their URL.

“europe.harrier.ch” could easily be interpreted by those of us finely tuned athletes, whose life after harriers became/become hash house harriers, as the more competitive athletic group within Europe managed from Switzerland. Europehhh.harrier.ch or Europehashes.harrier.ch could provide an obvious clarification. A long term strategic view might suggest a completely new URL like “hhh.org.eu” that has direct synergy with hhh.org.uk and somehow aligned with Eurohash.

A few points, if I may:

  • In the first paragraph the writer is talking to Ra and me, telling us the domain name I came up with years ago (that Ra now owns & manages) — half-mind.com — may no longer mean “hashing” to today’s hashers
  • In the second paragraph, the writer references a bit of HHHistory: how A.S. Gispert, Horse Thompson, and Torch Bennett ran with existing Malayan harrier clubs before founding the Kuala Lumpur Hash House Harriers in 1938, and how the first Hash House Harrier club was modeled on those clubs
  • In the third paragraph, the writer tells Likk’mm, the Swiss-based hasher who operates the www.harrier.ch domain and maintains the European Hash Directory, that using the word “harrier” in his URL could confuse either hashers or harriers, since the two things today are entirely different
  • I will just note that this isn’t the first time the writer has tried to tell me (and more recently, Ra) to change the well-established half-mind.com URL to something else
  • Not content with going after half-mind, he’s now after Likk’mm to change his harrier.ch URL as well
  • The writer can go fuck himself

Here are two running club web sites. Can you tell the difference between them?

Swansea Harriers Athletic Club

Summit Hash House Harriers

I think even the most casual hasher would immediately recognize that the first site is not a hashing site. It may say “harrier,” but it’s clearly not a hash group. And even the most casual member of a competitive cross-country running club would immediately know there’s something different about the second site, even though it has the word “harrier” in it’s title.

Everything I read convinces me that the original Hash House Harrier club set up by G was a harrier club. That G’s club evolved over time into something quite different from the harrier clubs it was based on is not in dispute.

But . . . I don’t know a single hasher who doesn’t refer to other hashers as harriers and harriettes. Do you? Our very name contains the word harrier, and no hasher in the world would be confused by a URL containing the word harrier.

Now, might there be members of harrier athletic clubs who could be confused by a URL containing the word harrier? Yeah, but so what? No hasher would be confused, and that’s what matters.

Granted, today’s harrier clubs are not hash house harrier clubs. They are not like us, and if they know of us, they probably don’t want to be like us. Ditto us to them. But we’re harriers too, whether or not they like it. We’re part of the harrier family and have a right to the family name. We’ll always be Hash House Harriers.

As for “half-mind,” does anyone other than the writer quoted above seriously think the phrase is in any danger of losing its association with hashing? Hashers may not remember Phil Kirkland or what he said, but hashers all over the world still refer to their fellow hashers as half-minds, and certainly the Half-Mind Catalog has become an established brand (even, if I dare say it, an icon of hashing).

So I say long live half-mind.com and www.harrier.ch! If hashers can’t figure it out, they’re too dumb to be hashing.

- Flying Booger

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