I. This “Month of Animals” entry is about dogs. But it’s also about women. And relationships. I have some advice that touches on all these things, but let me start with a note about some more fallout from my heroic C-SPAN2 appearance
, fallout that just may bring a tear to your eye. You see, last week in Washington, DC (see picture nearby), I met a young man who saw my C-SPAN2 appearance and was inspired by it to take charge of a difficult situation in his life.
An ex of his was spreading false information about him, and he responded by publicly commenting that she shouldn’t be trusted – just ask the football team she was sleeping with. His school responded by bringing him up on disciplinary charges for his aspersions – but, partly inspired by my C-SPAN2 performance, he called some two dozen witnesses to the hearing, including five actual football players his ex had slept with, who attested that he was not slandering his ex and that she was indeed a duplicitous wanton. He was found not guilty.
Just knowing that I made a difference in a few lives like his makes it all worthwhile. Together, we can combat darkness. (And speaking of darkness, let the record show that Catholic-convert Lars von Trier, the favorite film director of the ex I was criticizing on C-SPAN2, was ousted from the Cannes Film Festival for making remarks sympathetic to Hitler
, a perfectly fitting denouement to a career of gratuitous aestheto-sadism -- though von Trier insisted later he was just joking, was expressing his German heritage, and, y’know, can’t really be held responsible for words that come out of his mouth.)
II. But what about a nice woman, seeking a steady boyfriend? Should she buy a dog? A woman I know has been advised by gay men that straight men will be put off by the presence of a dog in her life. I think they are only half-right, and this is the key: Men will be put off by a yappy, bug-eyed, sissy-foo-foo dog that is both intrusive and hard for them to identify with. A manly, low-key yet playful mutt or inspirationally-loyal German shepherd, on the other hand, is a welcome – even enticing – addition to any female abode/life-package (and may be able to catch Frisbees, unlike the sissy-foo-foo dog, with its ear-piercing yelps, ornery yet needy disposition, and chronic breathing problems).
A small dog is acceptable if proportioned such that it looks like a sturdy medium-sized mutt, only smaller. But if the dog looks like a fetus and causes the female owner to refer to herself as “Mommy” in the third person – a bad idea no matter who the owner is and what the romantic circumstances – it can only serve to remind the male that he will now occasionally experience the burdens of fatherhood without any of the attendant (purported) benefits.
III. Take singer Carey Yaruss, a neighbor of mine who just put out a fine CD called Blurt: Carey is a small (and cute) human being with an immense (and mighty-looking, non-sissy, non-alienating) dog named Echo – so called as a mocking homage to the echo cardiogram that wrongly predicted he would have a very short lifespan, twelve lumbering and panting years ago. Not only does Echo live and likely give male pedestrians a great pretext for conversation, he has his own Facebook page on which he talks about things like sleeping and seeing squirrels.
This, of course, I mention in part as a reminder that I was supposed to take a month off of Facebook
before I too go insane, so maybe June will be my delayed quiet month. I’ll keep blogging, though – and it’ll be my “Month of Eugenics,” a good time to reflect that the biologically flawed inhabitants of this world, such as Echo, should not immediately be exterminated, since they may yet produce Facebook pages.
But for the next three days, I’ll be at Brown and entries about animals will continue to post – except for tomorrow, which will be all rock n’ roll. I dedicate it in advance to WBRU.