December 19, 2012

"How to Be OK Pursuing Happiness as a Warm Friend To a Puppy Not of One's Own but By Borrowing Your Neighbor's Best Friend and Taking Him to Dog Parks Where He Can Make Lots of Friends of His Own."

The title of the book Meade says he would write if he "wanted to write a book motivated purely out of my love for humanity."

It's based on the clich├ęs ("all true"): "If you want a friend, get a dog" and "If you want a friend, be a friend." Also, there were those self-help best sellers from the 60's and 70's "How To Be Your Own Best Friend" and "I'm OK - You're OK" plus, the classic Charles Schulz' "Happiness is a Warm Puppy."
What's stopping me from writing it is I just don't have that much love for humanity. I'd write it for caninity but of course canines don't read. And besides, they don't need self help — they need our help.

Bob Marley spoke some harsh but true truth when he said: “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.”

And he was right!
That's from the comments thread about the cartoon "I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You," by Yumi Sakugawa, which I love. It's spurred a lot of conversation. For example, Meade and I got into a long conversation after he quoted commenter Skyler's remark that the cartoon was "pathetic." Wasn't it only that the character in the cartoon was pathetic — and why was that? — and not the cartoon itself as a work of art? Are comics art? Are comics comical? What is art? It's art because it made us have this conversation about it. Whatever happened to works of art that found their completion in all the many conversations they inspired?

ADDED: I just found 2 Yumi Sakugawa books on Amazon for $1.99: "There Is No Right Way To Meditate"  and "Special Message For You Hand-Delivered To You In The Universe." I read some of "There Is No Right Way" out loud to Meade:
10 Ways to Get Rid of Your Bad Mood

1. Have your doppelganger extract your bad mood from your chest so he/she can make fun sculptures with it.

2. Paint out your bad mood. When you're finished with your painting, set it on fire...
Meade said: "This is where Yoko Ono meets Chip Ahoy."

44 comments:

shiloh said...

A friend in need is a friend indeed.

People, people who need people ...

ricpic said...

There's always the danger of abandoning Zeus when a classy Barbet enters the picture. We all want to move up in zee monde, no?

Bob Ellison said...

I'm working on art right now, and if you're a script-writer, let me know.

edutcher said...

Oh, go ahead, write it.

Fortune favors the brave.

Who dares, wins.

No guts, no glory.

And imagine how proud you'll be when, under your name, is the credit - "Photos by Ann Althouse".

garage mahal said...

Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in. --Mark Twain

Nonapod said...

It's true, humans suck and dog's don't judge you.

Mick Havoc said...

"Garage Johnson is RIGHT!"

Patrick said...

Wasn't it only that the character in the cartoon was pathetic — and why was that? — and not the cartoon itself as a work of art? Are comics art? Are comics comical? What is art? It's art because it made us have this conversation about it. Whatever happened to works of art that found their completion in all the many conversations they inspired?

Is this just a long way of saying "Cafe Open Thread?

dreams said...

I remember buying and reading the book "I'm Ok - You're Ok". I remember a book about each person supposedly having three personalities, the adult, the parent and the child personality with all three fluctuating at any given time with hopefully the adult personality dominating indicating a more healthy and mature person. I think that was the book and if it is that is all I remember from reading it. That would have had to have been in the seventies.

jimbino said...

Owning a dog or cat is a form of practicing slavery.

Someday it will be prohibited and we will wonder how it is that otherwise sentient creatures, like Thomas Jefferson, owned pets.

Owning a dog or cat confers a private pleasure that visits negative externalities on the rest of society. Domestic animals spread dozens of serious zoonoses that include rabies, hepatitis and toxoplasmosis. They also wipe out song birds.

Not as bad as kids, since society at large is not annoyed by dogs and cats in supermarket aisles, doesn't (yet) pay for pet tax-credits, pet health care, pet breeding and birth, pet circumcisions, pet birth-control or abortions, and pet mis-education, or suffer pet crime. And Thomas Jefferson, as far as we know, never illicitly bred with a cat or dog.

Shouting Thomas said...

Whatever happened to works of art that found their completion in all the many conversations they inspired?

Internet chat boards.

The key to generating hits is getting a bunch of morons to gas on endlessly about their political opinions. The more screeching flame wars the better.

There's hardly room for anything else.

Michael K said...

"Owning a dog or cat confers a private pleasure that visits negative externalities on the rest of society. Domestic animals spread dozens of serious zoonoses that include rabies, hepatitis and toxoplasmosis. They also wipe out song birds."

Basset hounds are completely uninterested in song birds. Cats, on the other hand, are dangerous wild animals.

Meade said...

Chapter 1: Get Involved!

Meade said...

Chapter 2: Is Jimbino the Right Friend For You?

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm dying to go to the pound and get a pup, Meade, but I don't know if my life will allow me to stay put enough to take care of it.

My Springer Spaniel passed away a few years ago.

What's an Old Dawg without a pup?

Bob Ellison said...

Speaking of, or with, dogs.

Nonapod said...

Owning a dog or cat is a form of practicing slavery.

Someday it will be prohibited and we will wonder how it is that otherwise sentient creatures, like Thomas Jefferson, owned pets.


I guess that's the basic PETA argument. Certainly if you apply such a broad definition of sentiency to dogs and cats and afforded them the same rights as human beings you would then have to extend that to a lot of other creatures including certain species of birds (definitely parrots and corvids), most primates, ungulates, and carnivora, and possibly even some invertebrates like cephalopods and maybe even salticidae.

Shouting Thomas said...

Apropos my remarks about internet chat boards...

About six months ago, I started friending musicians in the Woodstock area, because for the first time in years I was playing a lot in the area.

I friended them because I wanted to talk about music, music technology and the local music scene.

Result... endless political rants and just about no music.

Inga said...

I have a very good Navy Mom friend who lives in Austin, who is very active in that organization, they do some very good work. Her Facebook page is full of the featured dogs and some touching stories of rescues.

I visited her in Austin a few months back and we took her therapy dog to a local brain injury rehab unit, dogs and humans connect, was very touching.

We used to have a retired gray hound in a rehab unit I worked in. That was a poor choice for a rehab dog, he was skittish and timid, scared of getting his paws run over by a wheelchair wheel. Then we got a cat. She used to go into the dying patients rooms and sit with them, she always seemed to know which ones were dying or about to die.

Inga said...

My 1:26 comment to Meade.

MadisonMan said...

Owning a dog or cat is a form of practicing slavery.

Someday it will be prohibited and we will wonder how it is that otherwise sentient creatures, like Thomas Jefferson, owned pets.

So when the ETs come to Earth in their spaceships, and they are revealed to be dogs, and they see how their kin on Earth are treated (Slavery!!!), humans will be in deep (dog) doodoo.

Fritz said...

Dogs are not so much domesticated as co-evolved with humans. Compared to their wolf ancestors, dogs are somewhat "retarded"; stuck in a more juvenile condition physically and intellectually, a prolonged puppyhood. Wolves make lousy pets and companions because they take life too seriously.

Dogs are really not fit to run free in the wild; the true wolves would make short work of most of them. Around people, wild dogs can survive the way wolves became dogs, eating the garbage that humans don't, and picking off other domesticated animals and stray children.

Dogs have a unique ability to read human actions. Point, and a dog looks where you point (mostly); a wolf looks at your hand. And it's genetic, not learned behavior. They even watch your eyes to see what you're looking at.

The alternative to keeping dogs pets and companions is to not have dogs, and I don't want to live in that world.

Cats on the other hand, would do quite well without us, and the only thing that keeps them from ripping out our throats at night is the convenience, that we feed them, keep the place warm and change the litter box

mccullough said...

Happiness is a warm friend.

creeley23 said...

Are comics art?

I was going to mention art critic, Robert Hughes, and his championing of R. Crumb as a true and great artist, but I can see (#2 Google hit) Althouse has already been there.

creeley23 said...

Whatever happened to works of art that found their completion in all the many conversations they inspired?

A good question. I'm old enough to remember when a big new movie, or novel, or jazz album or rock album, or art exhibition was the occasion for much conversation, but not so much anymore, in fact hardly at all.

It might be argued that we don't have those works of art anymore because we as audiences don't appreciate them enough to have intelligent conversations about them.

In the Scorcese documentary on her, Fran Lebowitz said that AIDS don't just kill off many of the top dancers, it killed off the highly critical audience attended dance performances and as a result the standards for dance have fallen far below the pre-AIDS level.

edutcher said...

jimbino said...

And Thomas Jefferson, as far as we know, never illicitly bred with a cat or dog.

He didn't with anything or anybody else, either.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Fritz, not true about cats.

I'm cat sitting my daughter's cat while she's been away for almost a year. Her cat was extremely unfriendly at first, hissed at me for the first week, after she came out from under a bed after about 10 days, she quickly became very affectionate.

She won't leave me alone now, which is annoying at times, gets cat hair all over my dark dress slacks, by rubbing herself on my legs, won't stay off of my lap when I'm trying to type on the iPad, she follows me from room to room, if a door is shut between myself and her she will yowl and paw at the door until I open it. She follows me to bed, she won't leave it until I get up. Of course she paws at my head to wake me up to feed her.

She enters some weird ecstatic state, when being pet, loud purring, eyes shut. When I get tired of it and stop, she butts her head into mine to remind me to keep petting.

She actually talks to me, no I'm not a crazy cat lady. The minute I look at her, she responds with a prrrrttt sound which actually has a questioning tone. If I respond she will continue to "talk", it very amusing and sweet.

And cats love you so much that when they catch a mouse they will come to you and drop it at your feet, which she did last week. I thought there may have been a mouse in the house after she kept staring at the space between the counter and the stove, she sat there for hours until she caught it.

What a sweet affectionate little mouse killer, I'm going to miss her.


Mike said...

Shouting, when we get together to jam or write we never talk politics. But then we "friend" in person and not via that damned app invented by the boys at Harvard.

Ann Althouse said...

"I was going to mention art critic, Robert Hughes, and his championing of R. Crumb as a true and great artist, but I can see (#2 Google hit) Althouse has already been there."

Hey, thanks for linking to that old post. I'd forgotten that.

2005... and I don't think my blogging style has changed at all. Isn't that funny (assuming it's true)?

"Hey, did you notice that Hughes and Crumb ducked out of the assembly and ate chicken; they didn't chicken out of the assembly and eat duck."

That's a good one!

Shouting Thomas said...

I like Crumb a lot, but he jumped on the bandwagon with the left and went stratospherically shrill during the election.

Godawful stuff about women voting for Romney being the same as shooting themselves in the head.

Witless and stupid.

Shouting Thomas said...

Mike, my band was all "friended" the old fashioned way.

We actually met in person via jam session and that sort of stuff.

creeley23 said...

I like Crumb a lot, but he jumped on the bandwagon with the left and went stratospherically shrill during the election.

ST: Sigh. Crumb is a fascinating artist whose work I enjoy, but he has always been a thoroughgoing moonbat, aside from his willingness to confront feminists, hippies and New Left craziness.

I take it as a given that most artists have nutty, ill-considered politics and mostly I ignore it until their politics so overwhelms their art and public utterances that I just can't stand it anymore.

Sean Penn has jumped that shark for me, though I watched "Carlitos Way" a few months ago and still was wowed by his performance as an unscrupulous Jewish lawyer.

roesch/voltaire said...

Althouse every now and then you turn up a fresh source-- thanks for the link to Sakugawa, About dogs and friends, and dogs as friends, thanks to my daily walks with our two dogs, over the years, i have gotten to know our neighbors who love to pet Momo and engage in friend talk.

Meade said...

Shouting Thomas said...
"I'm dying to go to the pound and get a pup, Meade, but I don't know if my life will allow me to stay put enough to take care of it."

And that brings me to Chapter 3: Foster Foster (or Foster Reagan)

"Being a pet foster family has rewards beyond the essential value of helping a pet in need find a new home. For some, it is a chance to have an animal companion without a lifetime commitment, or to try new companions for an existing pet. For others, it is the special challenge of helping an animal recover from an illness or injury, the trauma of losing a beloved owner or home, or to overcome a behavioral issue. Occasionally, it’s the joy of giving extra TLC to kittens and puppies too young to be adopted."

Crunchy Frog said...

Sean Penn has jumped that shark for me, though I watched "Carlitos Way" a few months ago and still was wowed by his performance as an unscrupulous Jewish lawyer.

Penn is very good at portraying an unsympathetic, self-important prick. From what I have heard, he does a good job of that in the upcoming "Gangster Squad".

Gee, I wonder why that might be.

Methadras said...

ROFL!!! That title could easily be laterally shifted to include children. They aren't yours, you can enjoy them, and then give them back.

Crunchy Frog said...

I like dogs, but I've always been a cat person at heart. Cats have free will; dogs don't. You can be an abusive bastard, and your dog will still love you. It's wired into his DNA.

A cat won't put up with that kind of bullshit. If your cat loves you, it proves you are worthy to be a pet owner.

As an aside, this observation explains my own personal theology. Why did God give us free will? Why did he give us the ability to disobey him, knowing ahead of time that we would?

Because we are cats, not dogs. If we were dogs, we would still love him even if he were a shitty God. It would not glorify him if we were to love him without the ability to do otherwise.

But we are cats. We love God not because it is programmed into us, but because he has proven himself worthy of our love. This gives him the glory that he both craves, and deserves. Our worship is only meaningful because we have the capacity to not worship him.

GOD IS A CAT PERSON.

traditionalguy said...

Crunchy Frog is an Arminin. Free cat will indeed.

Cats are only interested in your house being cooled in the summer and heated in the winter, a sunny spot to lie in, and lots of food. God understands that cats ignore him beyond that.

God loves dogs because he loves faithfulness and loyalty. He is actually hung up on faithfulness and loyalty.

Michael K said...

" Fran Lebowitz said that AIDS don't just kill off many of the top dancers,"

I thought she was killed in a kiln explosion in Animal House.

Michael K said...

"Cats are only interested in your house being cooled in the summer and heated in the winter, a sunny spot to lie in, and lots of food. God understands that cats ignore him beyond that.
"

When I lived in New Hampshire I had a six toed cat, which are pretty common there. He got to be a big bushy cat but got along very well with my golden retriever. They would eat from the same dish at the same time. He would even walk with us when I walked the dog.

One night the forecast was for really cold. Like 20 below zero. The cat wanted to go out. I tried to explain to him that it as too cold but he wouldn't pay attention. The dog lay happily on the floor by the bed all night.

The next morning, I found paw prints on the window ledge.

Dumb cat.

Christy said...

No one owns a cat. Cats own people.

May I direct you to Neil Gaiman's A Dream of a Thousand Cats in Volume 3 of The Sandman collection? Art, imno.

Crunchy Frog said...

I tried to explain to him that it as too cold but he wouldn't pay attention.

You tried to explain something to a cat.

Who's the dumb one?

Chip Ahoy said...

I punished my fish by chasing them around and they don't learn anything. They go right back to their bad behavior.

There was this four-eared cat, in Britain I think, and I'm not making it up or Photoshopping it either. Tru fax that you can check. Just search four-eared cat and bang there will be the gray four-eared cat right there pictured on the front.

So I did Photoshop it to show its enhanced abilities that are enhanced by having four ears instead of the regular two ears. Everyone knows four-eared cats can speak telepathically.

But I had to find it.

So I go "cat" on my own homepage and this shows:

catch a fly
summer yard cat
Cat's Eye nebula
catflap
four-eared cat
beer catastrophe

and then

kitty cymbal orchid
shattered kitty
flying kitty
Pali kitty
kitty in the wash
kitty lineup

and

pussywillow

A few of them are from Althouse photos.