Saturday, February 14, 2009

Of "bad" guys and bad guys

PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — became a PITA (pain in the ass) for the Westminster Kennel Club dog show this past week, stationing two protesters outside NYC's Madison Square Garden dressed in white Ku Klux Klan hoods and robes. As PETA sees it, the American Kennel Club's focus on purebred dogs and documented bloodlines is no different from the KKK's focus on purebred... uh, KKK members. Or something like that.

PETA has done some good stuff in the name of humane treatment for animals, but we find the dog show position a bit over the top. Maybe that's why the group appointed only two protesters outside the arena?

Elsewhere, Clive Owen appears in The International this week, girding himself for battle with the most despicable, dishonorable, deplorable, disreputable, and diseased industry on earth right now: banking. Once upon a time — say, back in the days when Mary Poppins first hit theaters — banks were trusted institutions and if bankers were hedging bets with money they didn't have at the cost of money they did, no one knew about it. Now, we all do, and pop culture arrives just in time to reflect the harsh reality that what was once solid (i.e. the average retirement account) has melted into air.

With one difference: Clive will kick bad banker butt and good will prevail over evil. It'd be nice to remember here that pop culture also shapes reality... but in this case, we're not holding our breath.


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