This subject has crossed the bow of my ship before. I’ve thought, “I should write a post about that…”, but the idea never coalesced into life. Until now…
Maybe I came home spoiling for something to write, that would break the recent log-jam I’ve felt myself in…Maybe I’ve just had enough of people so tightly wound up that they’re shooting diamonds out of their colons. I don’t know for sure, but the log jam is now way down river past me, and it feels great!
Is it just me and my reading of Facebook pages, Blogposts, and Forum posts, or has the world gotten incredibly serious about everything??? Where did simple humor disappear too? When did the ability to laugh at ourselves and our lives take a flaming auger into terra firma? It just seems to me that nearly every page on Facebook has become a ridiculous carnival of fighting, snide comments, and just a total inability to not take the world and ourselves so seriously. Administrators have unpaid, FULL-TIME Jobs just editing and watching over the pages that they create and love visiting. Every comment has potential to be a written beat-down on an otherwise innocent poster…I KNOW that there are people out there, that LIVE too cause chaos and discord from the faceless void of the internet…but some of this goes way beyond that intent. People become absolutely livid if they read something that they don’t agree with, and they immediately attack the poster. It makes me wonder what sort of dog owner are they with such a complete lack of humor? And for that matter, what sort of miserable existence do such people live in everyday?
I know that a lot of trainers with far more experience than I read this blog. (THANK YOU!) I also know that most dog people that I associate with have wonderful senses of humor. Either very goofy personalities,(Big hats, Dressing up dogs in costumes, fart jokes, Larry the Cable guy) or they are very sophisticated funny people with very literate senses of humor.(Drawing on people’s faces while they sleep, dropping off drunk friends naked in the country, and flatulence jokes) I love that about them! I LOOK for their posts and comments because they’re enjoyable to read!!! I can point to any number of places as examples of the opposite extreme, but I’ll highlight just two that pushed me over the edge.
The first one was on a Facebook page that I’ll call, “I love my Dog” (Not the real name, but you get the idea) A young lady posted several charming photo’s of her new puppy, just 9 weeks old. She was obviously smitten with her puppy and just wanted to share her joy with the dog world. Well, the 5th comment she received was this: “Where did you get your puppy?” (Here it comes…)
She replied about the wonderful breeder she had gotten to know and finally chosen her puppy from with care and preparation. You guessed it…She immediately got flamed into a toasty ember by the “WHY DIDN’T YOU RESCUE A SHELTER DOG!!! WHY WOULD YOU BUY FROM A BREEDER!!! IS THAT PUPPY’S SIRE A Schh 3 with OFA’d Hips and 8 generations of Titled dogs???? The post went on for 30 or 40 such replies ad nauseum. It became unreadable very quickly, and robbed her of her joy in having a new puppy.
The second example was my own. I posted a very funny “This happened to me” story on a page that I administrate. It’s a page for a private breeder, and we generally have a very entertaining and close-knit group. It’s a pleasant respite from so many other Facebook pages. The essentials of the story are this: I was outside on the patio of our home/kennel on a pleasant summer evening eating my dinner. It happened to be Ravioli, a favorite vice of my 2 German shepherds. Well, my female Holly suddenly disappeared into the grove of pine trees in the back of the yard. Once there, she started a barking tirade that sounded like she had found Jimmy Hoffa’s body, and that I should come running! Which I did without hesitation. Upon reaching her, she looked at me at did her best “Sit Pretty”. I’d been had. Running back to the table, there was my highly trained and titled male “Hans” with his big beak shoved into my dinner which he had now nearly finished. (He left just enough for Holly to have her share) I had been out maneuvered by these two geniuses and no mistake. What could I do but laugh at them?
So I posted the story. I expected several funny replies of support for the dogs ingenuity, a couple more of empathetic pity, and general good natured humor. Which I got.
What I didn’t expect was the reply of a woman named “Beccie” (I fear for her skills in Spelling). She chewed me out as having undisciplined dogs, and how her dogs had more respect for her from proper training, and why were my dogs allowed around the dinner table in the first place…blah, blah, blah. She actually posted three times, becoming increasingly obnoxious, about my lack of skill in training and more blah,blah,blah…Several regular members of our group came to my defense, before I could, but her reaction demanded a response from me personally. Eventually, recognizing that she just wanted to start turmoil, and being the Admin, I banned her from the page. Hoping that this action would stop the thread. I DID do the proper thing and explained why I gave her the boot to the group. Most everyone agreed. However, (and this is where these things always lead), someone piped up and posted, “Doesn’t she have freedom of speech? Isn’t that censorship?”
Lighten up People!!! Why does politics have to become a part of everything? The reason that there IS NO proper discourse in politics is because a few humorless, opinionated zealots insist on turning every conversation into some political statement. What develops is like a cancer…In a better atmosphere, no one would start out a post with a derivative of this sentence, “Please don’t flame me for this, but…”
After that sort of thing starts, everybody that has something interesting to offer begin to jump ship, because the enjoyment is gone except for those that love arguing and creating problems. This is the point where administrators look furtively about themselves and implore the heavens, “Where AM I, and WHY am I in this Handbasket?”
This problem extends well beyond the confines of Canines and their People. I can’t change the entire world and I won’t try. But I can at least patrol my little corner of the world, and make it a more “Civilized” place. As for those screaming about freedom of speech, and censorship…Whatever happened to the Responsibility of being Civilized? Freedom of speech is a two-way street. Most that would invoke this “Freedom” do their best to shut down the other lane, so I would opine that everybody is best served by just passing each other peacefully with a friendly wave.
In the past, on this very blog, I bewailed the demise of the old arrangement of what was known as “The Salon”. During the 17th and 18th century, the Salon was a gathering of friends and invited guests to the home of an inspiring Host. The purpose of these gatherings was simple. To favorably and pleasantly amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through civil conversation. The over-riding purpose was best defined by the phrase, “aut delectare aut prodesse est”, which means “To Please or to Educate”. I wish we could go back to such sensibilities, at the very least, in the dog-centric world. Sadly, this generations idea of freedom of speech is this: “Clamo mihi clamant, et usque ad consummationem et vos credatis sic conclusit me! “
This essentially means “I’ll yell and scream and shut you down completely until you believe the same way I do!!”
Be aware, in this corner of society, civility will be upheld to a high degree. That is all. Now go out and laugh with your dog!!!!