Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nazis, emos and bitches

It's supposed to be quite trendy to be reading The Economist these days. I guess with Bush out and Obama in, it's suddenly dawned upon the purveyors of first world hip that it's suddenly cooler to be seen to be smart than to be seen to be stupid. So, I'm putting away my copies of Guns n Ammo and Jugs and accessorizing with copies of The Economist, The New Yorker and The Walrus as my public transit carry-on reading material or I carry them around with me in my hemp man purse and lay them out conspicuously at my table at Starbucks.

From The Economist (h/t borderjack), Shoot the puppy!, a proposal from a Danish member of Parliament:

Flemming Moller, a veterinarian who took over the parliamentary seat vacated when the former prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, went off to run NATO, proposed a logical, if drastic, solution: kill all mongrels. Mr Moller claims this is the only way to eliminate aggressive traits from the doggy gene pool. Only dogs registered in the national stud book have a record of their parentage and genetic traits. Other puppies, he says, could be the products of anything from joyful encounters in leafy suburbs to deliberate breeding by thugs. With some 40,000 mongrels born in Denmark every year, a mass cull of mutts would reach alarming proportions. Mr Moller is prepared for the backlash: “We will surely see lots of press photos of sweet little puppies being put down but we must be determined,” he says unflinchingly.

And this guy's a vet? I wonder what sort of laws he'd try to get passed if he were a people doctor.

From The Walrus, It's a Dog's Life, an article about writing about dogs:

If Grenier suggests that the experience of loving a dog is life-affirming, he means it in the very Gallic sense that life is lived more keenly in the knowledge of death. Dogs help with this, in short, because they generally predecease their owners: “Because dogs inflict the suffering of loss upon us, the French sometimes call them ’beasts of sorrow,’ bĂȘtes de chagrin”

There's some pretty heady titles mentioned in that article - not the usual puppy luv, Lassie come home stuff. Good brain food for while you're scratching the ears of that drooling monster in yer lap.

And finally, from The New Yorker, Rich Bitch, in which writer Toobin uses Leona Helmsley's well-intentioned but poorly executed charitable trust for dogs (not so much anymore) as a vehicle for writing about the changing face of animals' rights under human law.

“What the law is doing is catching up with the idea that people don’t consider their pets property, in the way a car or a chair is,” Hoffman told me. “I am not pumping for my cats to be able to vote for McCain or Obama. I’m not saying they could visit me at the hospital, though that’s probably a pretty good idea. The right category for pets is closer to children, who can’t vote, and can’t own property, but you can’t inflict pain on them, either. The law is catching up with societal beliefs.”

As long as my dogs can't sue me for more belly rubs, I'm okay with that.

7 comments:

Shannanigans said...

Ugh that first one made me po'ed. I owned an aggressive golden retriever once who we had to keep away from certain situations as he was unpredictable. His lineage and genetics could be traced. My mutt now is the sweetest little nuggest on the planet. What a ridiculous argument.

I agree with the last one, and I would demand that my dog come see me in the hospital. And hey, the world might become a better place if our pets did the voting

Social Mange said...

I've been in hospitals that encouraged pet visits (so long as the pets were well-behaved), which assisted the patients in their recovery.

Flemming Moller is a whack case. Pedigree is no guarantee of temperament, and temperament can be subverted with bad training and abuse. Does he have any experience with domestic animals???

And your first paragraph had me truly laughing out loud.

borderjack said...

Ok, I have to come to my own defence! I've been subscribing to the economist for years. I didn't know it was trendy. that sux.

As for 'rich bitch', in death Leona Helmsley became my new hero. I'm really p.o'd about the paltry sums her trustees doled out to animal charities. Her dispositive intent seems so clear. Animal charities are like the poor sisters of charities. They're not the big money charities like like the hospitals her trustees preferred in completely bastardizing Ms. Helmsley's (I think apparent)instructions for the distribution of her estate. Certainly, her dog didn't need millions and millions for its care. But she showed a clear preference for animals over human charities. Since when ought her trustees, who obviously feel differently, decide that her intention is not to benefit animals, but humans? When a woman who had such wealth bequested so much to animals, only to see that taken away by differently-intentioned trustees....i dunno, it's left me speechless.

Fred said...

Joking aside, The Economist is a great magazine. I used to steal my housemate's copies all the time but now with a subscription to The New Yorker ... well, one zine is about all I can handle.

Biscuit said...

I think you should work to find a way for the Economist, the Walrus, Juggs and Guns'n'Ammo to co-exist peacefully on the toilet tank. Maybe it's a kooky dream, Fred, but dreams can come true, if you just believe.

Fred said...

Biscuit, this might be just a rumour but I heard that the last time a copy of Guns 'n Ammo touched a copy of The Economists, it created a small black hole which swallowed up a mid-sized town in South Carolina.

Only a crater remains.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, people will never stop with the gene frenzy. I think I just threw up in my mouth.