Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poodle Bitch does not care for "Dogshaming"

Poodle Bitch has noticed that human beings can often find a great deal of comfort -- or at least humor -- in the humiliation of others. The "Numa Numa Dance" guy. The "Star Wars kid." "Afro Ninja." The "Funky Chicken Teacher." The journalist Jon Ronson has observed that one sure way for humans to achieve internet success is to humiliate themselves.


But, what about those humans who wish to achieve some internet fame while remaining insulated from embarrassment? Poodle Bitch notes that if those humans have companion animals, they can offer those animals as sacrificial lambs to the internet gods, to bear the burden of shame in their place. Poodle Bitch has already written about Denver the "Guilty" dog, shamed by his human companions into appearing in a pathetic and mean-spirited video. Now, there is a new Tumblr called "Dogshaming," in which humans post humiliating photos of their oblivious companion animals "confessing" to "crimes."

Ha, ha.

Poodle Bitch is irritated.

First of all, there is the fact that the dogs themselves do not feel "shame." The dogs are engaging in behaviors that come naturally to them, and responding to cues from their human companions. In the case of the above photo, for instance, you have an image of a dog that feels genuine trauma during storms -- which can be quite confusing and frightening for dogs, with the cacophony of rolling thunder and the flashing of the lightning, and the rain pouring down from nowhere and everywhere all at once -- and so s/he reacts with fear, to such an extent that s/he cannot control bodily functions.

The human thinks this is funny. The trauma of a dog is amusing to this human. So much so, that the human scrawled a note that the dog most likely is unable to read, and had the dog sit beside it, so that a "hilarious" photo could be taken and shared with the entire world.

Poodle Bitch would like to point out that we have no real proof that the animal depicted in the above photo is actually "guilty" of the "crime" described. Human beings are notorious liars. They are notorious pursuers of fame. They are capable of random cruelty and narcissism. They are a strange and fantastic species. The existence of "Dogshaming" is proof of that.

And its growing popularity is further evidence of Poodle Bitch's theory that human beings are losing the ability to empathize, even with members of their own families, and see their companion animals as nothing more than "pets," as possessions to be used in whatever way will bring them the most amusement.

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