So. Michael Vick.

There is no picture associated with this post because, try though I might, I could not get either of my dogs to stand still long enough for me to take a picture of their asshole. Also, I felt weird trying to take a picture of a dog’s asshole.

But speaking of dog anuses: Michael Vick is a Steeler!

I’ve dribbled out my opinions over the course of the past two weeks, but for posterity, I’m going to consolidate them all here, according to the argument they were formed to refute. If you’re looking for a well-reasoned think-piece on the nuances and subtleties of the human capacity for forgiveness, keep looking. This isn’t it.

Let’s begin with my favorite: “Why weren’t you complaining when Ben was accused of rape?!!???”

I mean, first of all, Random Internet Person, how do you know I wasn’t?

90% of people asking this are fans who justify their ongoing fandom with the fact that Vick didn’t hurt a human, he hurt dogs. And hurting dogs isn’t nearly as bad as hurting a human. The implication being that hurting a human–in this case, allegedly raping a woman–is really, super terrible. Which, of course, it is.

And yet, they are still fans. Of the team. With the alleged rapist. Nay, they are not only fans, they are Fans Who Have Taken Up the Mantle. They are carrying the “You’re in Steelers Country” banner proudly into an onslaught of people who think that attaching jumper cables to a dog and then throwing the dog into a pool is completely fucking reprehensible, effectively announcing that they are totally fine with both rape allegations and dog electrocution.

So, to you 90%, I ask in retort: Why are YOU still a fan? Have you absolutely no moral ground you aren’t willing to cede for a Sunday afternoon of watching men run into one another repeatedly? My god, what does this question say about you?

The remaining 10% of askers are very busy accusing the Vick haters of being racist. To those 10%, I say . . . actually, yeah, some of them probably are racist, because there are a lot of racist shits in the world who will latch onto anything to justify their complete horribleness. But I’m hazarding that most people opposed to Vick are really more like me, in that they are completely willing to scream swear words at people who admit to personally “dropping a dog” (as in: to hang said dog), regardless of race, color, or creed.

“They’re just dogs! Why isn’t anyone this worked up about [list of all the things they care about more than dogs]?

Here’s the thing. I care about shit. Other people care about other shit. If we would all just act more on behalf of the shit we each care about, I’m willing to bet that pretty much every major concern in the world would be addressed.

But then, the people asking this don’t actually give all that much of a shit about the thing(s) they would rather Vick detractors give a shit about. What they actually give a shit about is justifying their fandom, and pretty much the only way to justify cheering for a person who ripped out every single one of a dog’s teeth is to make the opposition look as bad as possible. And what’s the easiest way for a pedant to make someone look like a monster?

Accuse them of not caring about starving children.

Starving kids. That’s the thing I’ve seen tossed around most frequently as being more shit-worthy than dogs.

Here is a list of some things that suck: starving kids, pedophilia, starving grown-ups, sexual assault, domestic violence, misogyny, racism, bigotry, rainforest depletion, human trafficking, homophobia, human-driven extinction, climate change, cancer, terrorism, incurable disease, mental illness, homeless animals, homeless people, factory farming, war, vivisection, the refugee situation in Syria, underfunded schools, Nickelback, drought, Alzheimer’s, forgotten veterans, sexism, lack of clean drinking water, AIDS, blood diamonds, murder, black market arts trade, genocide, female genital mutilation, torture . . . etc.

Attempting to care equally about every single thing on that list–let alone every single thing in the world that sucks– is ENTIRELY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. We are humans, and we work with a limited set of resources, whether it be money, time, or mental stamina. It is impossible to give equal shits about all of the shit-worthy things in life. And so what we do–let me stress this: WHAT WE ALL DO–is we pick the things that resonate with us, often for reasons that defy logic, and, assuming we are good people, we do what we can for the things that we can.

If we’re assholes, we just sit around asking other people why they aren’t doing more.

“He served his time!”

No. He didn’t. He dealt down to a charge of Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture and served nary one day in jail for picking a dog up by its back legs and beating it on the ground until it was dead.

“You should forgive him.”

Setting aside the fact that I couldn’t forgive him, even if I wanted to (I don’t want to), because he did nothing to me, isn’t that missing the point of forgiveness? Can the terms of forgiveness be dictated by a third party? If I “forgive” someone because someone else tells me to, is that even forgiveness? Doesn’t forgiveness have to be freely given? You keep using this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I suppose I could forgive him for offending every single moral fiber of my being . . . but I choose not to. It offends me. He offends me. I choose not to forgive that offense to my sensibilities and, inasmuch as it sounds like the taunt of a second grader, it remains true that you can’t make me.

“It was 8 years ago. Get over it already.”

I am on my way over to your house with a well-seasoned fighting dog. I’m going to make it fight your puggle, despite the fact that your puggle will, most likely, have no idea what is even going on. I will find this funny, and I will laugh as my dog mauls your puggle.

Once your puggle has been mortally wounded and can no longer entertain me with his pain, I will have no use for him. I will need to get rid of him. I will do this by driving my car around back, next to your above ground pool with the Steelers floatie in it, whereupon I will connect jumper cables–to my car battery and to your nearly-dead puggle’s ears. I will throw your puggle into the pool and laugh as I watch his last salvo, scratching and biting at the pool wall as he is slowly electrocuted.

Then I will tell you I’m sorry, calmly collect my jumper cables, and drive away.

I expect, in eight years time, to receive an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. If I do not receive said invitation, I’m going to be very upset. Because your puggle was just a dog and it’s been eight years, for christ’s sake, and I said I’m sorry. It’s not like I allegedly raped anyone, so get over it already. You should put this much effort into things that really matter.

Like starving children.

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“Cal! Wanna go out?!”

 

No.

 
That’s what I said. And this ^ is what Cal did. 

I interpret it variously as:

“Actually, no. I don’t want to go out. And, frankly, I don’t understand why she (*studiously ignores Karmann, who really wants to go out*) does, either. It’s very hot, and there are people out there. At this time of day traffic will be bad, making it difficult to cross the street, not to mention the cat that’s been tormenting us, invisibly, for the past several days. So no. No I will not be going out there until bedtime pee break, and even then, I’d prefer you instruct dad to make it quick.”

Or,

“Lalalala I can’t hear you lalalalalalalalala”

But also, possibly,

“I guess this means you’re going to start writing that blog thing again? Great. I’m enthused. Tell me more about the impending trip to puppycamp.”