Monday, December 15, 2008

Profound thoughts on the nature of dogs

With a four year old son, I get to watch a lot of cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals, toys or vehicles. And I've noticed one odd pattern: the least anthropomorphic is always the dog. Mickey Mouse has Pluto; Tigger and Pooh have Buster; and so on. The dog often has near-human intelligence, but can only communicate in barks. Even in Toy Story, the dog is... just a dog.

Also of interest is that all of the cartoon serials eventually get around to two dog-centric stories. The first is the one where everybody else is frustrated because they can't understand the dog's barks. And the other is the one where everybody else is forming a band and the dog follows the others around becoming increasingly sad because he can't play an instrument. That one invariably ends with the band discovering that they can't keep time, and the dog discovering that he can be part of the band because he can play the drums.

So the message we're teaching our children about music is clear: there is a creature in this world that has near-human intelligence and the bare minimum of musical ability, but will always follow your band around with fierce loyalty. And it's called a "drummer".

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