Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Way Things Were

Dear Baby Vaijayanti,

Thank you for your wonderful introduction to the world of Human Primary School Social Dynamics. It was a very enlightening read and it explains why you return from school looking very relieved.

On the other hand, I was appalled by your complete disregard for canine society. In fact, because of your arrogant dismissal of a supposedly "savage, anyone can do anything" social structure, I have decided to give you a little history lesson.

Before the days of domesticated dogs in middle-class homes, canine society in India existed in a state of anarchy. The canine population consisted almost entirely of local breeds, with a small migrant population made up of dogs forgotten or gifted by foreign travellers (eg Hiuen Tsang, Fa Hien etc.). Then, the Europeans arrived and brought with them Western Culture. One of the concepts of Western Culture that Indians found particularly fascinating was the concept of owning (not pwning. Baby, note the distinction) domesticated animals. Middle-class Indians now saw the owning (again, not pwnage) of domesticated animals as a status symbol. Owing to the increased demand, domesticated canines started arriving in India from the West.

Immediately, a class / culture war began. The Western Dogs (of whom I am a direct descendant), led by the German Shepherds and Alsaciens, began a "purebreed superiority" movement. The German dogs called this the "Sonnenhunde Uber Alles" or "Dogs of the Sun Above All" movement. Local dogs, unless they could exhibit an unmixed bloodline, were cast out to the streets (literally) and were left to devolve into hunter-gatherers. The Germans believed that this was the only way that these dogs of low birth would accept their inferiority. They said that if the mixed-breeds accepted their hunter-gatherer fate, they would be reborn as pure breeds in their next life.

Of course, things are not like that anymore. The common man is now beginning to accept mixed breeds into his home. Many dogs that were outside the social circle have now re-entered it. Not everyone is pleased with this. Some pure-breeds (and their owners) still refuse to accept this new social order. They use a variety of nasty words to demean these dogs. I will not repeat them here as I believe they are not fit for any company, polite or otherwise. I believe that all dogs are born equal and every dog, mixed- or pure-breed, has an equal right to a loving home.

I hope this post cleared a few things up for you.


Puppy Manohar

"You ain't nothing but a hound dog" - Beatles / Others


Fungal Sutra said...

Dear Manohar,
I seriously feel there should be reservations in the police dog squad for other breeds than the labradors. Presently, I have a running nose. Much better than the blocked nose, I think I'm gonna have next week. But in summers, my wet nose is as good as the labs. If not permanent reservation, at least some summer internship course. Pleeeease!

Krish Ashok said...

Would this be the Mongrel Commission for reservations for dogs that have been discriminated over the years?

Anonymous said...

I think the most important similarity between owning and pwnage is that both are private enterprises.

As a 21st century corollary to dreams of Lenin, Engels and all those other commie bastiges, I propose that pwnage should also be state pwned. Abolish private pwnage.

Actually, state owning of pets will also not be a bad idea. Abolish private domestication.