“The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society.”
– Steve Jobs to Rupert “Dirty Digger” Murdoch.
I must make a little confession:
I own not a single Apple product. (No eye-phone or eye-pad. If I were a pirate, would I need an eye-patch?)
I’ve sold my soul to Bill Gates.
I’ve tried to use the operating system on a Mac, and I’m totally lost.
But that said, I think the axis that Jobs described to Mr. Murdoch is quite accurate.
For those of you who don’t live in the United States, Fox News is a bit like a tabloid cable news channel. They spend lots of time on celebrities and police chases, but at night, they bring on commentators. Some of them are just entirely engaged in the politics of destruction.
That’s not to say that other news channels don’t have similar personalities on, but it’s just an overriding aspect of Fox News is they want to bludgeon anyone who disagrees with their essential framework.
It’s not really an argument against the conservatism or libertarianism of the network’s commentators. John Stossel does a fine job without engaging in this sort of commentary without trying to destroy other people. It’s just this desire to use sensationalism as a bludgeon against others that I reject.
But what does this have to do with dogs and this blog?
Well, I think that it’s incumbent upon us who want to have a rational discussion about the very real problems affecting dogs to align ourselves with people who are constructive.
Destructive people, even if they superficially appear to be on our side, are never actually on our side. At some point, their desire to destroy others will be aimed at you. Or their zeal to destroy someone will make you guilty by association.
In my earlier years on the blog, I did do a bit of screed writing.
I can get a bit stroppy at times now, especially in the comments, but I’ve decided that it doesn’t require much thinking to write screeds.
Screeds are by nature destructive. They don’t enlighten anyone. Well, let me rephrase that. They do enlighten people, but the nature of the enlightenment is that the writer has more bad temper than good sense.
That’s why I’ve stopped writing mindless screeds against the kennel clubs and the dog fancy. If I’m going to make a critique of those institution, I need to make an effort to make a critique of the “working dog” community. Because the working dog community has the same issues with egotism that results in the overuse of popular sires and the stratification of gene pools. The two groups might be opposed to each other, but they often share more similarities than one might expect.
If my analogy of Fox News is a little hard to take for ideological reason, let me provide an example of the politics of destruction from a different angle.
I think one of the worst practitioners of destruction is Jeremiah Wright. You know, the pastor whose church President Obama attended. Wright may have had some good points about his ministry, but he most famously engaged in rather hate-filled screeds against the United States. Obama has never said anything quite like this, but because he attended the church, he very nearly lost the nomination for president.
The problem is that there are too many Jeremiah Wrights who appear to be on our side.
And if we want to get real reforms in the dog world, we have to win people over to our side.
We do this through logic and reason– although be a little nasty to these people on the other side is sometimes necessary.
But we won’t get there by going into screeds about which breeds we hate and which breeds we want to go extinct. Nor should we allow ourselves to be associated with that kind of destructive nonsense. Even if that person appears to be on our side, that person is not.
It is because of this desire to dissociate myself with that sort of destructive silliness, I wish that I could change the name of this blog without losing my search engine status.
I don’t even have a particularly good name for it.
But just remember this simple axiom: If you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.