Monday, May 21, 2018


Sometimes I just want to get these things in the record in case some of our survivors are intelligent and want to know where it all went wrong:

You may think the editors made it look worse than it is, but uh uh: National Review's Clay Routledge does in fact think we lavish too much affection on animals. He quotes pet insurance statistics and marvels that "there are now even dog spas and resorts" -- not like in the old days, when Grandpa cut open Ole Blue so he could climb inside and get warm during a blizzard!

You may be wondering why Routledge gives a shit, considering that many of National Review's donors probably spend more on yacht maintenance and monkey-gland infusions than us peons spend on pets. The reason is revealed when he gets to the now-traditional Attack on Avocado-Toast-Munching Millennials:
A 2017 survey found that 33 percent of first-time home-buying Millennials say that finding a better space or yard for their dogs influenced their decision to buy a home, while only 25 percent cited marriage or plans for marriage and only 19 percent cited the birth or expected birth of child.
Routledge is clearly trying to engender panic among his geezer subscribers over the decline of white baby births. The young'uns are all crazy about fur-children, like frustrated spinsters in old movies, and it ain't nachurul! And why?
I’d like to focus on two specific possibilities, both of which implicate the individualistic nature of contemporary American culture.
Individualism -- that cursed legacy of the godless Enlightenment!
In our individualistic culture, we often privilege self-esteem over characteristics such as responsibility, loyalty, duty, and sacrifice. We also coddle children and teens to protect them from the social risks and emotional pains of life. But doing so is not without its costs. By teaching our kids to focus primarily on their own happiness, we may be failing to convey that life’s most meaning-providing and socially-fulfilling goals are often stressful, can make us temporarily unhappy, and require concession.
So if you're nice to your dog, and maybe prefer his company to, say, Clay Routledge's, it means you're an emotional cripple -- unable to bond with humans. This is, on its face, horseshit -- I know many people who love their pets and are also good with people, and I bet you do too. But if you're a conservative peddling Our Fallen World narratives, the usual go-to outrages like Rap and Socialism get wearisome and one has to find new things to bitch about.

Also, there's just something so natural about conservatives attacking people for showing unconditional kindness and compassion toward other living creatures.

(P.S. Believe it or not, this isn't the first article like this I've discovered: See my consideration of the Federalist essay, "Having Pets Instead Of Kids Should Be Considered A Psychiatric Disorder." That one's a little long on blood-'n'-soil, as Federalist essays tend to be.)

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