Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Briefly noted with Poodle Bitch: Jennifer Aniston's agonizing decision; Bo Obama ends world hunger and violence with a puppy; loving Ben Gibbard

People magazine has a "People Pets" section, in which appears allegedly interesting articles about celebrities and their companion animals (here referred to as "pets"). On Monday, they carried a story about the famous human performer Jennifer Aniston and her new dog, Sophie. Specifically, the reason why Sophie got her name.

As Ms. Aniston tells it, the fabulously wealthy performer wanted to adopt three dogs, but could not, for some reason. She felt comfortable only taking one dog home. This was an excruciating decision for Ms. Aniston.
"We were [at the shelter] for three hours. I was almost walking out with three puppies," she told Jay Leno in a Friday appearance on The Tonight Show. "That's why we named her Sophie, because it was [like] Sophie's Choice. I was crying – it was so hard."

Excuse Poodle Bitch for a moment, while she wipes away a tear.

Ms. Aniston, one of the stars of the ampersanded film "Marley & Me," clearly knows about the genuine emotional attachments that can exist between humans and animals. So her anguish was no doubt as genuine as that which she expressed on screen, when she had to emote alongside several Labrador Retriever actors who were nearly her equal.

Yet, Poodle Bitch wonders about the sensitivity of comparing the adoption of a dog to the choice of an albeit fictional woman who had to decide which of her two small human children a Nazi doctor was going to take immediately to the gas chamber, and which would be allowed to live in a concentration camp. That is the terrible decision at the heart of the novel Sophie's Choice. After all, human women have special attachments to their human offspring -- they have carried them in their bellies for nine months, nursed them, raised them from babyhood to childhood, borne witness to their first steps, their first words, their first poo on the toilet.

Ms. Aniston is a fabulously wealthy actress on a lark.

Perhaps Poodle Bitch is being too hard on Ms. Aniston. Perhaps a "Sophie's Choice" has come to mean something else, something slightly less agonizing, in the intervening years since the publication of William Styron's novel. Here is urban dictionary:
From the novel and film of the same name, an impossibly difficult choice, especially when forced onto someone. The choice is between two unbearable options, and it's essentially a no-win situation.

It is NOT a difficult choice. It's a choice between two options that will results in the destruction of the option not chosen. A difficult choice is just called a difficult choice, IT HAS NO NAME because it doesn't deserve one for the dramatic effect.

Poodle Bitch cannot look inside Ms. Aniston's heart and see what kind of anguish she must have felt over having to choose between three different dogs to adopt. Perhaps what she felt is exactly the same as what she would have felt had she been forced to choose which of her human children to send to the gas chamber. Or, perhaps, this was simply the most unbearable choice she's ever had to face in her life.

But in that case, Poodle Bitch is perplexed by something else that Ms. Aniston said during her interview:
The adorable puppy made sure she stood out from the pack. "Sophie came right up to us," said Aniston. "That was sort of a big indicator – they choose you." She then shared photos of the tiny pooch, who seems to be loving her new life.

If in fact young Sophie "chose" Ms. Aniston, where was the agonizing decision? Where was the "Sophie's Choice"? Did Ms. Aniston not want Sophie, yet was forced into taking her? Poodle Bitch is starting to wonder whether Ms. Aniston deserves the benefit of the doubt. She is starting to wonder if perhaps the adoption of the puppy Sophie wasn't part of a larger promotional push for her latest film, a comedy that apparently makes fun of hippies.

Poodle Bitch wonders why it is that Jennifer Aniston tried so hard to resist this adorable face.

Regardless, Poodle Bitch wishes Sophie all the best in her new life, which is most certainly going to be better than the lives of either Jan or Eva Zawistowski.

Another famous dog with an enviable life is Bo Obama, the companion animal of the Obamas, current human residents of the White House. As the "First Dog," Bo could no doubt be using his elevated position to create awareness for, oh, something important like pet adoption. And perhaps that is the message at the heart of this video, although it is so scattershot and ineptly produced that Poodle Bitch isn't entirely sure of what is being said in it:

From what Poodle Bitch can tell, the human girl portrayed in this film lives in some unnamed country where poverty, crime, and violence run rampant. She dreams of having a dog, which will apparently alleviate some of the anxiety that she feels over her current living situation. So she writes to the famous Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who apparently has a dog, and to the famous American leader Barack Obama, who of course has Bo, requesting that they give her a dog of her very own.

Poodle Bitch notes that a dog would be better than a drone dropping bombs on her. But she digresses.

At that point, CGI versions of the dog companions of Misters Obama and Putin start rapping and dancing around, and are soon joined by CGI versions of the world leaders themselves. Poodle Bitch is scratching her head. Right behind her ear.

Even after reading the message posted underneath the YouTube video, Poodle Bitch is confused:
Supper Doggies are pursuing the dream to perform around the world, with the involvement of local communities, focusing on children. Concerned about their future, Super Doggies has focused its attention on the global issue of youth poverty. The Super Doggies are 'good citizens' who want to bring attention to the issue of poverty and work with local communities to highlight their plight. Super Doggies's citizenship principles are founded on the conviction that the arts, business and social initiatives can, together, contribute to making a better world.

That just sounds like a bunch of feel-good words strung together to Poodle Bitch's ear.

Perhaps the lyrics will provide Poodle Bitch with some kind of clue?
Listen to your heart
Now tell me how it sounds.
Now walk like a king with a crown
Everyone alive got a goal to achieve
Focus on your path when you’re following your dream
March like a solider
Never look back
The world is a beast that’s ready to attack
Life is a party and the music don’t change
So I will dance with the sun and the rain


Every day, every day is struggle.
Every day in some way we get stronger.
Every day, every day we should stand up!
Every day in some way we should rise up!

When you look up to the star,
All your dreams may seem too far.
You can turn your make-belief,
Into your reality.
It’s a long road you can win,
When you find the love within.

No, Poodle Bitch is no less confused. The world is going to attack you, so you should march like a soldier, and yet life is a party where you are stuck listening to the same music all the time. But you can still win if you find love within. Or something.

And then at the end, the girl gets her puppy. Poodle Bitch is a firm believer in the importance of the connection that exists between humans and canines, but she wonders if perhaps the little human girl depicted in this video might have been better off if, perhaps, something were done about the poverty and violence with which she lives on a daily basis?

While Poodle Bitch believes in the importance of the connection between humans and canines, she believes that there are some people who can take that connection too far. Animal hoarding, for instance. But Poodle Bitch admits that this story made her wince:
A husband, his wife and her lover have been charged with conspiracy to commit bestiality after using Craigslist to find a dog for the wife to have sex with.
The two men were to watch while [the human woman] had sex with the dog.

Poodle Bitch understands that dogs occasionally give mixed signals to humans. Or, that humans could misinterpret canine actions. For instance, Poodle Bitch would like to assure her human readers that when a dog is "humping" your leg, it is usually in an attempt to assert dominance.

It is not a come-on.

Poodle Bitch does not wish to speak for all dogs, but in her own case, unless you are Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard, she does not have any romantic interest in you.

Poodle Bitch would definitely respond to Ben Gibbard's Craigslist ad.

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

I'm just happy that Anniston woman didn't take it upon herself to adopt a child froma random African nation. Especially seeing that there's plenty of American childrenn that need adopting.

Not quite the same cache though is it?

A crack baby with homicidal tendencies wont garner you public cooing and wimpering at your god-like dogoodery.

So she picked a stray mutt at the local dogs home. A freebie. What's she crying for? She's rich enough to buy the shelter or adopt all the dogs there.

Alas Poodle Bitch. Anniston is exhibiting behaviour paticular to humans called 'playing to the gallery'. The gallery love that stuff.

As seen in the presidential election campaigns.