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"Theory of a Dog" by James Krendel-Clark

"Dogs, according to their transcendental philosophy, ought to improve their nature, and to behave better."

-George Santayana, "The Irony of Liberalism"


Like some gullible fool or some credulous bimbo might get addicted to pornography you got addicted to Jesus and quit drugs. In life we try to do the ultimate thing. We listen to crimedog's "smart kids" mixtape but we still get high and eventually OD and die. That's the paradox. This happens over and over these days wtf is up with society am i right? Yes and no. We do this and that and another and it's never quite there. But don't quit, you'll never reach it. God that is. You never quite reach it. Trust me, I've tried everything. I've tried it all. Life is a puzzle well worth solving. One might make the naive utilitarian arguments about pleasure and pain, order and entropy but that's no good, Chesterton's Elfland beats it solid gold. But then again, Buddhism... Still, unlike God, or the perfect Boddhisattva, dog is reliable and not overly effete or spiritual, and that's what I am now writing about that's the kind of thing a man like me enjoys, also beer and sports and voting Republican. 


I am writing about to you the dog, a dog which one day, maybe, you could own. Your dream dog it's the dog of your dreams like the commercials. God is already a dream and a commercial unto you. But I say that a dog you might get it one day, on some obscure mountaintop.


That's what I am writing about. I am devoting my powerful and very busy and important brain to the task of telling you, a naive ignorant person (aren't we all???), that dog is better than God. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little but trust me, this kind of dog will really help you to feel relaxed, like a commercial advertisement or reality TV, but come to life, made real, as it were. Isn't it so frustrating to see all those advertisements and reality TV like dreams but they vanish into air and you can't afford the car, or the medicine, or the sports, or the boob job? Well this will be a dog you can afford because you have to have it, it is a piece of private property that's worth owning, so you will just devote all your industry and save up for it because if anything is worth acquiring as your personal private property (which is after all the foundation of our whole society!! at least in principle) it will be this one perfect time you haven't got a second to lose this is a dog you want this is a dog you need this is a dog that will leap into your arms and smother you with love.



Just when your outre shenanigans have scandalized all of your friends and you're in your study smoking your pipe trying to think what should you do next like James Thurber or Donald Barthelme might conceivably do if you identify with these writers or just admire them vaguely. Just when you've alienated all of your friends by being super eccentric and effete and everyone is so horribly scandalized by what you have done and you're alone again in your study or your library or the solarium pondering existence or you are confessing to a priest or then again trying to decide whether you should reread Heidegger or Sartre or throw out all your Emil Cioran it's too depressing that's actually when it's time for you to buy a dog a cat just wouldn't be enough I am sorry to say a cat would not. Be enough.


From the point of view of a toy-model of the poodle, we can infer that the dog-idea is a model concept for transcendental politics of a heroic nature. From one dog to another, we might argue (cf Chesterton, "Orthodoxy", about which more later) that to own a dog as a "pet", when in fact it is our best friend (cf Schopenhauer on the mistreatment of dogs), is incredibly naive and even a kind of megalomania or mass delusion. Who are we to say that a dog is not a genius? A dog could have ideas worthy of a Napoleon or a Leonardo. In fact, a lot of poodles might be accused of dilettantism. Nevertheless, there are megalomaniacs among them, just like the people. Let me rephrase that. From a kind of toy-world universe dollhouse horror movie point of view the dog-world invites us to consider whether, in the universe, as Chesterton put it, knowledge of sin makes us morally worse, in the sense that it would corrupt a dog to bring it up to the level of a man or. Here I must quibble with Chesterton a bit, for is not a dog loyal and good? Or. Is. Is. Not a dog a moral paragon??? sometimes???)?)?)?)?)??? People like you and I, yes I say that in a familiar way, just like the old lovesongs, the whirr of industry and good old capitalism, the mechanical age, ah, emotions like ice cream, only so many flavors till you've tasted them all, and then you just notice very slight variations on the same few themes, only so many of them count them on one hand basically, you thought that's what life was about now you're not so sure and you're thinking about getting a dog of your own am I right? Nod to indicate yes or bristle angrily because you dislike my writing. Me and you, you and I, we are, after all, mere human mortals hubristically calculating and dogs are contemplating god, most of the time. Yeah, I'm not being sarcastic or pedantic we may be dazzled by the military genius with which we see plans unfold, possible checkmates of enemies games fizzle out to nothing it's on to the next conquest gotta break symmetry cancel it out it's Satanic. Meanwhile the innocent dog is infinitely loyal and we're going to hell. A dog does not disclose its masterful plans again toy model idea, confess to a toy cartoon devil enemy nemesis no!: we just see the dog at play all one all one. Checkmate the fool who does not see the beauty of pure dog breed. Again, or for the first time I don't remember, to quote from Hoyt's book "Your Poodle":


"If the puppy is really young, say two months of age, sit on the floor, hold out your hands, pat the floor gently and say "come" in your friendliest most inviting voice; add baby talk if you are so inclined, and the minute the puppy romps or toddles up to you, pat it and talk to it in a happy, affectionate, really personal manner."


Note the totally non-condescending way you train the puppy to come. Dog eat dog works only in an abstract way like Bruegel's fish eat fish. Dogs are all equal in the eyes of god but only as such. Nevertheless Pavlovian cruelty is not for dog as such. No dog need be abused for the sake of science. It is the human scientist who abuses himself so that we can be given the lightbulb, the computer, the spaceship, Vivek Ramaswamy, Elon Musk, people like that, not themselves scientists really but they are PRODUCTS of science and that is what counts they are PRODUCTS of science that is what. Dog is too noble for such Faustian machinations. Dog is good and that is all you need think about. Don't worry your head with new-fangled ideas.


________


James Krendel-Clark is on Instagram @jkrendelclark


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