The International Writers Magazine: Reason and Argument
On Dogs in Manhattan
If you want to win over people to your argument, it has to be done on the basis of reason, and not by ranting and threats. In this spirit, I have to concede a point to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its proposal to ban ownership of dogs, which are considered to be as loathsome as swine in the Muslim religion.
I wish that rule could be adopted on the Upper East Side of New York, where the dogs are fouling the sidewalks at an alarming rate and killing trees with their waste.
Uggh, what is the equivalent of getting all dressed up to go out and have a beautiful day, only to first thing be confronted by some filthy beast wearing a little coat and booties, all squinched up and struggling to deposit a load of abomination on the sidewalk, with his adoring owner proudly supervising the whole nasty process!
Sometimes the owners don’t pick after their little darlings, leaving the pedestrian with a gruesome spectacle to behold. Indeed, this nasty show has been internalized by neurotic New Yorkers to the extent that a nut-job retail scion who was busted for sex with a minor child had his East Side mansion described in The Post as having a bronze statue of a defecating dog, complete with a little brass dog dropping. That’s how nuts New Yorkers are: monuments to dog shit! I hope this revolting little artifact gets discovered by some future archeologist, who can use it to document how boring and useless most contemporary people are.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in Iran, but if they tried to ban dogs in New York City, it would be the French Revolution all over again, complete with head chopping. New Yorkers are ferocious in their affection for these mutts. Most dog owners are women, and they are using them as a substitute for the man or the kid that they are missing in their lives. That’s why the dogs are handled so peculiarly, and why they are so peculiar. While they are at it, I would be happy if the authorities banned children as well.
||I know I am out of the mainstream. God, do I ever! People never hesitate to remind me how weird I am. I have trouble relating to society’s core values. This morning my girlfriend, the indomitable Magpie, came running to me with the latest Charlie Sheen update. Breathlessly she told me, “Charlie Sheen got thrown off the set of an interview show because the staff of the show said he smelled too awful. Not just his body, but his breathe too!”
I’m glad the freakin middle class has found a new bogeyman to chase after. It lets Fidel Castro, who this week honorably retired from his function as America’s designated scarecrow. Charlie Sheen possesses all the requisite qualities for acting as a lightning rod for right-thinking Americans. He’s a hophead who lives in a ménage à trois while his legal wife is hospitalized for rehab, and he can’t find the time to bathe. He should move to France, where they don’t even have a word in the French language for soap.
In a land of antiseptic moralists, who are terrified over issues of personal hygiene to the point where I can’t figure out why they don’t just wrap themselves in plastic wrap, Charlie Sheen stinks out as a monument of demonic insalubrity. What did you expect? The guy’s a comedian. Lenny Bruce died sitting on the toilet, naked, with a needle stuck in his arm. The only difference is, Bruce at least had a dynamic stage act. When Charlie Sheen tried to take his act on the road, he bombed out. I’m not knocking him. He was pulling down two mil per episode before he pulled the plug on himself.
If the viewing audience is waiting to see normal, well-behaved artists in their entertainment recreation, it’s not going to happen, OK? That is why you watch them, because they have personalities. Otherwise, go watch a mirror. This body odor issue reminds me of the Japanese movie “Realm of the Senses”, wherein the girl, reeking from an extended sex marathon with her boyfriend, goes to see a professor whom she sometimes screws for money, and he throws her out for stinking so foully.
The same thing used to happen to me when I had my leather boutique. I used to show up at my business stinking unbearably from an all-nighter of night clubs, drinking, drug use and sex, but nobody expected any better of me.
Anyway, now I am under the scrutiny of the middle class. I’m Magpie’s East Side Dog. She determines when I am to have a bath, and what drugs I am permitted to consume, and in what quantities (some things are non-negotiable).
The middle class has extended to me many opportunities to expiate my past sins and start anew. All I had to do was repent, condemn my past behavior and turn over a new leaf, and in return I would not only be forgiven my previous transgressions but future ones as well. Caught again soliciting sex in a men’s public lavatory? He backslid, is all. Nobody’s perfect, and he’s really trying to make a fresh start.
It’s being saved by Jesus all over again, but it’s gone secular. All the elements of ballbreaking fundamentalist morality are present, but in a nondenominational wrapping, with the added wrinkle of a network of “rehab” clinics so that you can reform in the ambiance of a cult setting. Basically, it seems to this observer that American-style moralism seems to be morphing with communist self-criticism to create an international über-jerk who stands transfixed in a techno disco checking his emails and then goes home to wank himself off, a far cry from what I grew up to expect out of life.
A long time ago, Frank Zappa, who is still huge among artistic and intellectual elites in Europe, but has been deleted in America, recorded a catchy little pop song called “Plastic People”, complaining about Nixon-era Middle Americans in LA. Compared with what you got today, those goofballs were balls of fire bursting with personality. The inexorable trend toward even more tacky, stultifying homogeneity going forward makes me happy that if I don’t go out, I know I won’t be missing anything.
© Dean Borok May 2011
What’s Wrong With This Picture? - Dean Borok
The only way you can appreciate American politics is through Alice’s looking glass.