Here in the Pond, we would prefer it if people cared about our Culture rather than that of animals who, it seems to us, urinate everywhere and, to our noses, smell far worse than we do.
Yet it is impossible not to be stricken by the tears of Ellen DeGeneres. And her feelings for Iggy.
We bear witness in this Pond to crocodile tears every day and we are convinced the selfless emotions that Ms. DeGeneres harbors for animals are genuine.
Why, she has even participated in an American Express TV spot where all the actors, other than her star-encrusted self, were animals.
And we are sure, though we can find no record of it, that she donated all of the proceeds from the spot to a good bestial cause.
Perhaps she used some of the money to buy Iggy from the rather expressively-named pooch rescue agency, Mutts and Moms.
(To my ears, this sounds like a peculiar animal sex DVD from our friends at Vivid Video. But it is Friday and I am a little fraught after a heavy night trying to talk some sense into a cunning and willful schizophrenic. No, silly, not Tony Blair.)
If a female in your family has not yet brought the full details to your attention, please allow me to summarize.
Ellen bought Iggy from Mutts and Moms. Iggy was a little handful.
Her hairdresser liked Iggy. So Ellen wrapped him in a bow, perhaps in the hope that the hairdresser could optimize his shaggy coiffure. The hairdresser has two children. They loved the dog, but made the mistake of being less than 14 years old.
Being 14 allows you to harbor love for hairy singers with questionable odor and principles (many of today’s fourteenies are, indeed, Pink Floyd fans), but it does not allow you to harbor Iggy, who looks like Syd Barrett after a particularly raucous night out in the 70s.
What astounds me is the aggressiveness of the Mutts and Moms jackbooters. They went for a mutt-dive straight to the hairdresser’s house. They yanked the dog back, not bothering to look down to see if there was moral ground beneath them.
The appropriately-named Keith A. Fink, lawyer for the poochofascists, declared: “If she would have told the agency ‘I have a great friend, she’s seen the dog and loves it, can you consider her?’ I know my clients would have.”
How very reasonable of the Finkenclients.
This reasonableness makes me think very carefully about Marina Batkis and Vanessa Chekroun, the owners of Mutts and Moms.
It is my belief that they have a secret former life. No, not that kind of former life. Well, perhaps.
But foremost in my mind is the thought that these ladies spent some very formative part of the lives working for cell phone companies. Or, perhaps, car leasing organizations.
The United States of America is, after all, the Land of the Free. Free Trade, that is.
Yet too many of our commercial transactions have more chains than a San Francisco club on a Thursday night. (Darlings, no one goes clubbing in SF on a Friday. You have to get up early Saturday for your morning hike.)
If you buy a cell phone, you have to pay the cell phone provider (who may have already given your phone records away to a government, or, for all you know, an ex-lover) hundreds of dollars just to break your contract. Even if the cell phone provider has, as has been my experience, given you less service than a mustachioed Muscovite woman at a supermarket checkout.
If you lease a car, you are only allowed to drive it for a certain number of miles a year, or they send their own Marinas and Vanessas around to squeeze some more cash out of you.
And how many times have you, the poor downtrodden victim of your own greed, been forced to do the things that providers of even the most basic services used to do? You want to buy flowers online? Fill in this form, answer these sixteen personal questions, let us send you spam for the rest of your life and maybe, just maybe, we’ll let you send those squitty little pink roses (and you’ll never know what they really look or smell like) to your mother’s funeral.
“We’ll sell you this, as long as you do or don’t do that” doesn’t seem to me to be a very Free Trade concept.
Corporations everywhere should care very deeply about Iggy. They should consider whether it really is good business to put a thousand constraints on those who are supposed to enjoy your product.
Perhaps the most wise and progressive corporation has been the NRA.
You never see anyone in a gun shop telling you who you can or can’t shoot, do you?