Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Because Dog Deux


It was sharing time on Roggin and Simers Squared (KLAC AM 570) this morning, and T.J. Simers shared a story with Fred Roggin and Tracy Simers. Specifically, he shared an editorial written by Joe Hawk of the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The editorial began as follows:

I have a confession to make, one that I am embarrassed to share: On Sept. 11, 2001, one of the most horrific days in U.S. history, when terrorists turned our pompous belief in national security upside down with hijacked air attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans, I did not shed a tear. Not one.

And I have yet to in the nearly six years that have passed, although the magnitude of death and the global significance of the tragedy certainly is not lost on me.

Back in May 2006, standing in a cold, clinical veterinarian's examination room with my 19-year-old Shetland sheepdog, Bart Simpson, lying on a counter, a tube inserted into his tiny body to inject a chemical that would send him to eternal rest -- a decision I knew I had to make when he wouldn't eat even a nibble of cooked hot dog or lap up a drop of water -- I cried. Uncontrollably.

And I do every time I think of him, although I'm trying my best to hold back welling tears as I write this.

The editorial was given the title "Vick deserves harshest sentence," but T.J. Simers (as well as Tracy Simers) ended up focusing on the first two paragraphs more than they did on the rest of the article, basically asking why September 11, and Hawk's personal lack of feelings about it, was in any way involved with Michael Vick. I think that if the article had started with the sad story of Bart Simpson (the dog), they could have lived with it, but a comparison between the deaths of thousands of people and the deaths of several dogs just didn't seem appropriate.

As I noted in the comments to the article (currently inaccessible), Hawk crossed a line in the American civil religion by referring to the 9/11 dead in less than glowing terms.

Then I asked a second question... [LINK ADDED]

[A FEW MINUTES LATER: The page is accessible again. Here's the first part of my comment:

"This column got coverage in Los Angeles on Roggin and Simers Squared on AM 570 (T.J. Simers brought the article up), the general consensus being that the article would have been much more effective without the first two paragraphs on 9/11.

"I realize that Hawk is drawing a distinction between personal pain and general pain that doesn't directly affect you.

"However, I guess that '9/11' has become one of those parts of American civil religion that we just don't discuss in anything other than glowing terms."]

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