Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Do You Care?


Do you care about Ellen DeGeneres’s poodle? You should. The spectacle offered by Ms. DeGeneres’s breakdown on television has bounced by now around the world, and it speaks volumes about us. Here we have a perfect example of so much that’s wrong with America: a lesbian talk show host offering us her tears and outsized public empathy for a creature that no doubt enjoys a better lifestyle than three quarters of the world’s population, in short a public display of neurosis and out-of-synch reality unmatched since Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah Winfrey’s sofa.

For those lucky enough to have missed the still ongoing circus let us recap. A tiff between DeGeneres and a pet adoption agency boiled over into prime time last week on DeGeneres’s talk show with the hostess pleading and sobbing for the return of the dog after the agency had gone in and taken it away from the family to whom she’d given it. More important than the details is the image of an American adult moved by a situation that for most sane persons would have to amount to a huge so-what in the scheme of things.

I know, I know. I can hear you already. I just don’t get it. The grief and suffering of the dog, the lasting trauma of the poor little Hollywood tyke who had undoubtedly bonded already with Iggy. Do I have no heart? I do. I just hope I have more sense.
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