A Very Interesting Paragraph From …

… today’s Wall Street Journal:

Once upon a time, Americans got dogs for their sheep. Now they get sheep for their dogs. “I never dreamed it would go this far,” says Ms. Foster, 56 years old.

The article, by Michael M. Phillips, is headlined “In a Tale That Wags Dog Owners, They Rent Flocks for Bored Collies,” and is interesting throughout.

Also interesting in today’s Journal is a review of the book Fame by Tom Payne:

He’s interested in stardom’s parabolic trajectory, the tendency of the mass media to elevate certain individuals to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune, only to bring them crashing down to earth at the slightest sign of hubris. “We build ’em up and we knock ’em down,” says the tabloid editor played by Michael Keaton in The Paper. Mr. Payne wants to know why.

His answer is that the brutal treatment meted out to errant starlets like Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse is a form of human sacrifice. Just as the Greeks and Romans would slaughter animals to propitiate the gods – a substitute for more primitive forms of sacrifice, according to the author – so the citizens of modern, democratic societies have an almost insatiable thirst for seeing celebrities devoured by the tabloid wolves.

The review is not overwhelmingly positive; it was written by Toby Young.

Another David

Wasn't there a South Park episode about this?

Ian Kemmish

Starlets like who and who?

They will be bored-er collies.

How ya gonna keep 'em down in Olympia, after they've seen the farm?


Schadenfreude and envy seem more likely than a need for ritual sacrifice.


Yeah. This was literally the plot of a South Park episode.


Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

Everyone wants their kids to have Einstein's genius.
But everyone should not wish for hyperintelligent dogs.

Border Collies are the geniuses of the dog world breed to be independent problem solvers, bounding high energy and super enthusiasm, and that would make Thomas Edison jealous. A smart border collie could function as much as a US Senator in casting strict party line loyalty votes.

And a bored genius kept indoors, left for 12 hours alone, and underemployed are bound to vent in pathological ways. The equivalent of alcohol and drug seeking, obscession compulsion, anxiety disorder and depression, but of the canine variety.

For city dwellers, try to raise genius kids, but get a dumb dog. They are the happiest (the dog, not the kids).


It's important to note that the WSJ article deals necessarily in generalities. Not all border collies are as described. My 18-month-old has trained into a perfectly good house dog. My schedule doesn't allow for his exercise every day - more like every 2-3 days. Charlie can be left alone without getting into trouble of any kind (ground rules were laid down early). I can vouch for two more households with border collies that are likewise.

Dr J

Ahhhh your tax cuts for the rich at work, renting sheep for their bored dogs - see, that improves the enconomy!