Sic Temper Canis
The summer of 2005 seems as endless as Abel Gance's Napoléon. The Bitch passes the time staying fit with the Abraham Lincoln workout -- a regimen of rail-splitting, log-cabin-building, ceiling-walking, and Union-preserving -- making cafecito Popsicles, and of course sleeping. But the thus-far Marfan-syndrome-free dog is not the only newshound passing the hot days on snooze control.
The August 18 edition of the Miami Herald was more somnolent than usual in the question-asking, healthy-skepticism department. A cheery piece celebrated the return of Lucky, a Yorkshire terrier puppy, to the Pembroke Pines Petland from which he had been stolen earlier in the week. A man from Miami claiming to have purchased Lucky in Hialeah for $700 apparently realized he was holding a hot dog and turned the Yorkie over to the employees of the largest puppy-selling chain in America. Lucky was reportedly sold later the same day (being dognapped requiring little recovery time) to a family of five who paid $1800 for him.
Another pup will quickly take Lucky's place in Petland's sales bins, to the despair of those who advocate for canine welfare. Most if not all dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, huge factory farms where thousands of dogs are doomed to lives in small cages and incessant breeding. A quick call to the Pembroke Petland confirmed The Bitch's suspicion that Lucky didn't arrive at the store in the back seat of a loving breeder's SUV.
Manager Anthony Santoro says Lucky -- who is only eight weeks old -- came from a commercial operation in Texas. Santoro, a genuinely nice, simply naive fellow, reports Yorkies are the store's best-selling puppy, with twelve to fifteen moving through the shop each month.
"Yorkies generally have a hyperactive side as puppies," Santoro offers. "They're not really the best around small children."
"I can't tell you how many Yorkies that we get were bought at pet stores," sighs Sarah Adams of United Yorkie Rescue, who could really use $1800 for her nonprofit group's efforts. "What a lot of this boils down to is that people see the cute little face of a Yorkshire terrier and love the idea of a 'lap dog' and buy them without putting any research into the breed. Pet stores initiate impulse buys because people fall in love with the puppies they see and have to have them now."
Exert your human capacity for compassion and curiosity: Check out the Yorkie rescue Website (one of many breed-specific Internet resources) at www.unitedyorkierescue.org; learn more about where pet store dogs come from at the forum www.nopuppymills.com.
The same day, a Herald story headlined "From Bubbles to Beauty" babbled about how Procter & Gamble is trying to transform its profile in the Latin American community from purveyor of soap to bestower of feminine pulchritude.
"Procter & Gamble wants women ... to think of it as a beauty company rather than just the maker of laundry detergent," the story boosts on P&G's behalf. The Bitch thinks of the Amway-suing company as the one that caved to the demands of insane religious fanatics who insisted its quaint crescent-moon-and-stars logo conjured up Satan, and as the Cincinnati-based home of a defiant "We will test all of our products on the ulcerated eyes and open sores of animals until the end of time" Midwestern, can-do attitude toward the furred and feathered population.
According to the story: "Latin American women place a high priority on beauty products and anything designed to enhance their appearance. The only thing that falls higher than appearance on their priority list is family." The source for this historic revelation? "Research by P&G." (The company wouldn't respond to The Bitch's inquiries about the number or nationality of the women polled for this data; no one in P&G's three-single-spaced-pages list of "media relations" specialists would speak with her at all.)
"It's the way that they express themselves. If she looks good on the outside, she feels good inside,'' quoth Michelle de Aldrey, vice president of hair care and color, speaking to the Herald on behalf of the thirteen-year-old-girl dwelling in the hearts of all Latinas.
Damn, isn't it already hard enough in Miami for a chica to earn props -- and an income -- based on something beyond the superficial without the Aqua Lady shoring up South Florida's entrenched culture of the male gaze?
Make That Our Chemical Romance
When The Bitch saw a photo of a gothed-out, makeup-wearing, coolly coiffed band and found out the act was called My Chemical Romance, she thought she would probably like its music. Upon learning the band's album, promisingly titled Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, was linked by critics to the emo-core genre of two-chord electric guitar bridges and the types of barks, moans, whines, woofs, yelps, whimpers, growls, and snarls The Bitch associates with a Saturday night at home with her pack and a bottle of Hypnotiq, she wasn't happy. But then she was surprised by how good the Queens, New York rockers sounded, and thrilled when frontman Gerard Way agreed to an interview in conjunction with the band's visit to Miami this week for the Video Music Awards.
So I was sort of worried about the whole emo thing. How did that get started?
We're sort of emo by association. We toured with The Used, who are both emo and big fans of ours, and now people are sometimes surprised when we aren't emo, but I think it's a good thing.
Me too. I know you are a big fan of graphic novels, anime, manga, and the like. What did you think of the comic book characters you were portrayed as in Spin magazine?
Oh, well, speaking for myself ... I thought they were rad! I mean, it's kind of appropriate for My Chemical Romance. We couldn't really be five more normal guys, but when we get onstage, we're sort of transformed into superhero figures. It's every boy's dream; at least it was mine.
What kind of artistic and technical control did you have over the video for "Helena"?
Visuals are a really strong point with us and we were very apprehensive about the video, very apprehensive about losing control of our image because we are a very dark band. But we got to be very specific about the way it would look, from the references to Heathers and Rushmore to the way the girl in the coffin looked.
Are you nervous about how your explosive, spontaneous style is going to come across at the VMAs? 'Cause they're pretty locked down.
We're still in the dark about whether we're performing at the VMAs. We've done enough TV now, but we don't do well with scripted appearances. We're very good at being natural.
Have you ever been mistaken for the Chemical Brothers?
That happened once and very, very earlier in our career. Someone had put "Chemical Brothers" on a flyer for our show, but fortunately only about thirteen people showed up because they knew the Chemical Brothers wouldn't play at a club that small.
My Chemical Romance's video for the single "Helena" is nominated for Best Rock Video, Best New Artist in a Video, the MTV2 Award, and Best Choreography. The video was directed by Marc Webb.
This past Friday www.nbc6.net, the Website of WTVJ-TV (Channel 6), carried a contradictory yet tellingly reflective news flash, with the headline: "Half-Naked Woman Found in Miami Dumpster." The text of the story then went on: "Miami-Dade police say a woman found nude in a Dumpster Friday may be a victim of sexual battery."
Subsequent reports -- on the same station -- said the unfortunate partially clothed (the terminology generally employed by news outfits since forever) female was by, not in, the Dumpster, and that -- oh by the way -- she was alive though unconscious and had been taken to the hospital.
The littermates of the famous can get a raw deal. Being recognized as less attractive and not as talented as their famous brothers and sisters can really hurt when it comes to forging a show-biz career on their own merits. Just look at the Simpsons (Ashleeeeeee vs. Jessica, not Bart vs. Lisa). Charlie O'Connell, however, has managed to slowly carve an identity in Hollywood distinct from brother Jerry.
O'Connell was the most recent object of desire on ABC's The Bachelor, and his reality-show experience has led to a stint with Lily of France as a traveling promoter, which included a jaunt this past weekend to the Dadeland Mall. The Bitch had the opportunity to chat with the disarming, somewhat famous guy and ask him questions like: What do you actually do?
Right now I'm working for Lily of France, promoting True Match, their new bra that has memory foam in it, which is like -- have you ever watched the infomercials at night where they jump on the bed and the red wine doesn't spill? It's got that. It's a pretty cool bra.
Um, isn't it weird for a man to be shilling women's undergarments?
I'm not gonna say weird, because it's one of the greatest jobs I've ever had in my life.
Are you still involved with Sarah Brice, the adorable blonde who received The Bachelor's final rose?
She's at my place right now; we're staying together. She just started her job [as a labor and delivery nurse at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles], so we're excited about that.
So what's next?
After this whole Lily of France thing, I'll figure it out. I've got a couple of offers on the table, but for now I'm still busy. As long as I'm busy enough, but not too busy to play golf, I think I'm headed in the right direction.
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