Just found this very funny article by AA Gill on Crufts 2014 in The Sunday Times Culture Supplement reproduced in the comments on Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog. Not sure we should be reproducing it, but what the hell. Don't worry Sunday Times and AA Gill I won't be sending you a bill for the free advertising.
So funny, but its also very sad.
Just come back to add that AA Gill is not known for being very PC, so if very easily offended it might be best not to read on.
'Crufts is the last acceptable face — or perhaps that should be muzzle — of eugenics. It’s all about breeding, the triumph of the fittest, weeding out the runts. But then, a couple of years ago, it all went to the dogs. There was a series of unfortunate inbreeding accidents, undershot jaws, dodgy hips, bulging eyes, fits of rage: less like the canine Aryans, more like the Conservative party. It was dumped by the BBC.
So, as a PR exercise — now Crufts is back on Channel 4 — to show this is less about blood and clean limbs, and much more about anthropomorphism, we were offered lots of tear-jerking stories of cross-species love and selfless friendship; the rescued mutts that rescued their owners right back, just like Pretty Woman, because bitches are always a sure thing.
This dissemination of high sentimentality was precisely what the eugenics needed to make the whole thing authentically fascist. Crufts is now the unholy whelp of Beatrix Potter and Leni Riefenstahl, a four-legged Nuremberg rally, and they’ve brought in a big Wagner heroine, Clare Balding, to give it a jolly, healthy, sporting patina. She is, as ever, intensely personable and radiates a robust empathy for anything canine. She did look uncomfortably like she had just trodden in something foul, but perked up when one of her co-presenters mentioned that this dog show wasn’t a two-horse race.
The filmed sob stories of a vomitous sweetness were a direct steal from The X Factor, and reminded us what a dog show both it and Britain’s Got Talent are. As if to underline the Animal Farm allegory of looking from dogs to men and back to dogs again, and realising they are just the same, the grand winner was a standard poodle with the risible tonsure of its ilk, as bouncingly self-confident as it was self-unaware. Thick on top, high-waisted and jaunty behind, with neat, jiggling little plums, it was inescapably Simon Cowell.'
AA Gill Sunday Times Culture Supplement 16.03.14
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.