Saturday, October 4, 2014

In Defense of Dog Shit
Originally privately commissioned

Dog shit is one of the most underrated contributors to human culture and experience.  Like many donations made to the rich tapestry of life on this planet by our animal friends it is often scorned and dismissed, simply because we judge everything by the standards of a human effort -- including shits.

It is said that you cannot enjoy the good of people without the not-so-good.  Dark days lend definition and contrast to those days of pure joy.  And in this way perhaps you cannot love our canine companions without loving their shit.  There may well be times when you wish dogs could be trained to use a toilet like all self-respecting species. I mean, if they can be taught to skateboard, and all the other kinds of bollocks you can find on youtube, it should be possible.  But would we really want to even if we could?  

Donning those plastic bags as gloves teaches us much needed humility.  Dodging in a particularly well-bombed area can provide an activity as carefree as a little girls' hopscotch game.  Dull, grey roads, endlessly reproduced by the lifelessness of modern capitalism, are doused with flickers of life in a dazzling array of colours.  And every time we set eyes on one of the little turds, we are faced with the lies we tell ourselves.  For not only does our shit, in fact, stink, but it does not go away when we flush it -- it careens around impressive u-bends into complicated sewer systems, but it's fate of having nowhere particularly desirable to go is the same as those piles you find discarded at the bus stop.  The dog is connected to her surroundings, and she knows it. For her, there is no bullshit -- only dogshit.

In its marginalisation, in its unfortunate ability to be associated with all that is bad and terrible, dogshit has also ballooned greatly our literary language.  Say, for example, that you have a manager who seems singlehandedly to prove the complete unjustness of our society.  You could say that he has shit for brains. Or you could raise it to the level of creative escapism from your inane, debilitating work, by saying you have come across dogshits with more brains than him.  He could be compared to a canine extraction floating to the top of a tank of previously unsullied water.  You could say that his utter fecklessness, his overblown sense of self-importance and stupid bloody laugh are a shower of dog shit that speckles the workplace even during those many hours when he hasn't the decency to show up and actually attempt to do anything of worth.

If you remain unconvinced that dog 'crap' (as prudes call it) is both a philosophers' dream topic and a source of endless wonder and fascination, see this website. It has a .eu country code domain, and if the Europeans are paying their respects to the little brown mountains, you should take note before the rest of the yanks catch on: (you'll also find many images of goats, if you're into that sort of thing).

I would like to end with a take on an old Marx Brothers joke. Outside of a dog, a book is a mans best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too utterly stuffed with dogshit to find any room to read.