Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dog Days

I have no idea what the fuck this is supposed to be about. I did not realize that giving a dog to a friend was now a criminal act which required some sort of talk-show auto-da-fé, and a long weekend of quiet reflection.

This is the sort of nonsense that makes me nostalgic for the days when Hollywood was up to its neck in coke and booze and silicone hoors. At least you know what the fucking deal is with Charlie Sheen. Now they write about famous people whose mode of misbehavior is spending too much money on pets.

I've been seeing and hearing about this stupid bullshit all week and I still don't understand why. I think I have to go take a Dumpgate; we'll see if some discount journatard can wax rhapsodically about the scandalous aroma for a thousand words and call it a story.


Marius said...

A pedant asks:

"Wax rhapsodically"?

English 'to wax,' like German 'wachsen,' is "to grow into a state (of)." So it requires an adjective to characterize the state into which one waxes. I'm not sure you can use an adverb to accompany it. Maybe I'm wrong.

And of course the DeGeneres episode is enough to drive a sane person nuts. You can ignore the plight of genocide elsewhere; you can overlook the 50 million Americans without health insurance. But you cannot fuck with our animals, or "public opinion" will eat you. Another episode in the goddamn cycle "Easy Moral Outrage."

r@d@r said...

i almost commented off the cuff, but then i moderated myself.

i know what i would prescribe for the morass of american (INO) consumers for whom this is such a priority; but then i would probably disappear and never be heard from again.

i may, in truth, be of that group of people that sometimes prefers dogs, or horses, or fish, or birds, or animals in general to people.....but dude, there's a mothafuckin' LIMIT.

thedevilzone said...

I'm really not trying to start a brawl in the comments section among people I enjoy reading and have no problem with, but I gotta say what I gotta say: I really, really get tired of seeing that Every. Single. Time. some issue comes up involving animals (Michael Vick, for ex.), the response is as predictable as a Republican tumbling out of the closet; namely, "What about (insert current example of humans suffering/causing suffering to each other)?!?!"

These things aren't mutually exclusive, for one thing. You can care about multiple issues at once, and many people do. Secondly, the several minutes altogether most people spend weighing in on Ellen's dog/Michael Vick/the whale that got beached until everyone got together to roll it back into the ocean were not going to be spent worrying about Darfur, Iraq, or the plight of the uninsured. More likely, it would have been spent looking up online porn or stuffing one's face. Sad but true.

In this case, I haven't even paid more than a cursory glance at the whole Ellen brouhaha, but of course I agree it shouldn't be news. Then again, that applies to about 93% of what gets reported nationally, most of which involves useless humans. Why am I, on the East Coast, informed on my homepage about a three-car accident in California? What do I care about an explosion at a dildo factory in Goathump River Junction, Nebraska? Why do I even know who the fuck Anna Nicole Smith was!?!?

Frankly, after years of studying history, only to come to the conclusion that humans are cursed by their warped chimpanzee DNA to do the same violent stupid shit over and over and over until we blow the whole planet up, I find it hard to give more than an abstract shit about humanity on the whole. My dogs make their appreciation known to me every day for the life I've given them. Many of the people I've bent over backwards for just used the opportunity to take advantage of me. I know which species I ultimately prefer.

(steps down off soapbox)

Marius said...

Nobody suggested we should leave animals to their exclusive devices en masse, as a collective regnum, as it were. Of course caring for people and caring for animals aren't exclusive (I do, however, suspect that noisy brouhahas over some animals in the media is reliable evidence that some people, at least, put four-footed mammals ahead of rational bipeds. Which is morally wrong.)

But, as you remarked already, then we should care about animals based on the gravity of their plight, rather than the celebrity status of their owners. Unfortunately, this is not often the case in the headlines or what passes for public opinion these days. Just as a white girl disappearing in Aruba is vastly more likely to be on the news than a black woman in Philly getting killed by her fucked-up boyfriend, so we're more likely to hear the non-story of DeGeneres' non-incident, rather than hard-hitting investigative journalism about, I dunno, the wide-spread barbarity of dog-fighting among the underclasses or the horrific conditions of some animals in farm factories--things like that.

It's not the prioritization of dogs over people that bugs me (although that can become a problem, in some contexts), but the perverse use of glamour as the chief basis for news-worthiness.

Since you're a student of history, may I somewhat concur with your pessimism by quoting Hegel: the only lesson history teaches us is that people don't learn the lessons of history. As a student of Darwin, however, I can't be fooled by talk of canine gratitude, tho'. Those furry critters are just clever survivors--they've learned what works with you, and apply it relentlessly. In a sense, they've learned from their history (otherwise, they'd be dead as a species). But only humans can be grateful.

r@d@r said...

my problem isn't with people caring about animals. i care about animals. as i may have mentioned earlier, i sometimes care more about animals than people.

it's the death threats, i guess, that put me off a bit. even a loose cannon such as myself would tend to draw the line there.

i'm siding with ellen on this one. i'm sorry she had to once again be martyr to the fact that many people in her audience don't realize that she's actually a comedian, and that a lot of her jokes about human stupidity are probably directed at them. [and she's probably the least mean-spirited comedian alive.]

thedevilzone said...

Sorry, fellas, a hard week capped off with a three-day migraine leads to cranky comments.

And to be fair, most of the time when you see a comment complaining about all the attention being given to issue X when issue Y is much more important!!!, it has nothing to do with animals vs. people. Many times when a blogger posts about something a little more lighthearted, the comments have people bitching that we shouldn't be paying attention to this, we should all be paying attention to that. Needless to say, the complainer surely doesn't spend all their free time working nonstop on solving this uber-important problem, they just see it as an easy chance to strike a self-righteous pose (after which they will probably go back to looking up online porn while stuffing their face).

So anyway. That's just something that irritates me in general and happened to come out here. My apologies.

Here, though, I have to offer a rejoinder: some people, at least, put four-footed mammals ahead of rational bipeds. Which is morally wrong.

What if that "rational" biped is Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh? Even misanthropes like myself don't rigorously stick to a "dogs before people" party line (even though there's never really a real-life situation where you're forced to somehow "choose" one over the other in any sense of the word). But I tell ya, if I were driving late at night and saw a wrecked vehicle on the side of the road, with Limbaugh's broken body on one side and the dog he hit on the other, I know which one I'd try to save, and if it makes me morally wrong, well, I'd live with it somehow.

Marius said...

No, that don't make you morally wrong, DZ. That makes you sane. I'd save a dead raccoon over Limpballs in a hit'n'run.

woodguy said...


Wax in this instance, and in the examples you cite, both German and English, is used as a verb, thus the adverb modifier. "to" do anything is a verb form. Not to quibble, but I believe you are incorrect.