From Hero to Goat

Alas.  The American ethos has reared its sometimes ugly head once again.  Within the short span of one week, Susan Boyle and Bo Obama have gone from heroes to goats.

Word in the cyber world has it that Ms. Boyle got a makeover, eyebrow wax included, donned designer duds and even  succumbed to the pressure of being a star by having public hissy fits.  One reader, from England,  even left a comment on this site’s post “Divas and Dogs” that he personally witnessed a meltdown by Ms. Boyle in a shoppe.  ‘ Tis truly a cruel world that builds up its heroes to the point that they inevitably must change to sustain their hero worship.  Of course the real effect is to chase away all the adoration that came before.  Not very fair either.

In the case of Bo Obama, the transition from hero to goat is much more understandable, given that he IS a dog.  Now you all know how much I admire, respect and generally adore the Obamas.  But in all honesty, our President and his Lady O. are products of  well-heeled, ivy entrenched educations and, being such productive and successful members of the community, have very strict guidelines about raising a family.  In bringing up their children, Barack and Lady O. expect the same adherence to values as they do from the world at large.  You might characterize their demeanor as “tightassed”.  This is all well and good because children actually flourish when various rules and parameters are in place.

However, as if children aren’t surprising and shocking enough, now the Obamas have brought into their family a dog.  If you ever thought that children do unexpected things, multiply that silliness and shock value by a factor of ten to understand the behavior of dogs.  Last week at a “press conference” with children, Lady O. took many questions on Bo.  Exhibiting real surprise, she commented that one night, after the family was in bed at 10:00 P.M., suddenly they heard Bo barking.  They all got up because they thought that Bo’s vocal exercises meant that someone was there (What?  Didn’t the Obamas know that the Secret Service would be way ahead of the game if someone WAS there?).  Not surprisingly, no one was there, and Lady O. could not put two and two together  as to why Bo was barking.   She stated to the children in the audience, “Can you imagine a dog barking at NOTHING?”  My dear Lady O.: that is the crux of the matter, i.e. most of the time THERE IS NO REASON for any of the many crazy dog behaviors.  Bad boy, Bo:  you woke the family for absolutely no good reason.  I am still chuckling about this media event.

All in all, Susan Boyle and Bo have had very short shelf lives as heroes.  Perhaps now that reality has somewhat settled in, we can admit that the lesson to be learned is NOT to elevate people and dogs to hero status in the first place.  Disappointment will always result.  Instead, appreciate what they have to offer and go with the flow, even if that requires us to alter our initial opinions of their circumstances.  “Everything in moderation” will prevent the fall to goat status.

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