Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Random Thoughts That Have Nothing to Do with the Election or Star Wars

:: UK talk show host Alan Titchmarsh got Cesar Millan to admit that he uses spike and shock collars and even punches dogs. Sooner or later, you find out that most people are frauds, it seems like. I know training dogs can be hard, but bullying them into a state of learned helplessness is not the same thing as training I've seen dogs that have had shock collars; I've heard them yelp in pain and I've seen the patches of bare skin they leave behind, and I think you have to be some kind of special asshole to use that on a dog. That's cruel. And Cesar Millan isn't just cruel, he's also apparently a liar.

:: I didn't see this a lot in the news about Hurricane Sandy, but did you know that there was an alert issued at New York's Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant? An NRC alert, which is the second level on their four-point emergency scale. If you're curious, the fourth level is substantial core damage with possible loss of containment. They were about halfway through the exact same coolant circulation problem as Fukishima, but they were able to stop it. So just imagine how that could have gone down.

I take back everything good I ever said about nuclear power. I know I've done that already, but I feel like I can't do it enough.

:: If you're interested, you can now read back issues of OMNI Magazine for free at the Internet Archive.

:: The Muppets 2 starts filming in January. That just makes me very happy. Lots of the creative team returning from the previous movie. So when I asked before how a new Muppets movie was coming along, that's how. (Hope they change the title, though. But if not, who cares, it's more Muppets!)


Roger Owen Green said...

I did link to an article about the nuke in my Sandy story, but it was in passing.

Autumn said...

I have to say after watching the Cesar video, I think the reporter is way out of line. My sister's Boxer was out of control about jumping up on people and she tried the touch thing (what you call punching) and it didn't hurt the dog at all but it got it to calm down. Obviously it's not something to try with little dogs. And I don't like the idea of spike or shock collars but that just means I don't use them. I use a lot of his books and that's why I have a well behaved, potty trained 5 month old puppy who doesn't pull on the leash when we walk or jump up on people. Also I don't see how he's a liar at all when he freely admits to his techniques.

SamuraiFrog said...

There's touching (the video where he's supposedly kicking dogs, I see he's just nudging them as a signal, for example), and there's shoving a chicken in a dog's face to stress it out and then smacking it hard. He also doesn't admit to using shock collars; if he does now, he claimed he didn't for years. He does seem to advocate choking and hanging (and partially asphyxiating) dogs to calm them down, which lots of people would be arrested for animal abuse for. I still think he bullies dogs; I interpret it that way. I've seen people in my life try to use the same methods and they don't end up with a trained dog, they end up with a stressed out, unstable, abused animal that eventually snaps.

I have to say, whatever books you're using, I'm glad you put the time and effort into training your dog. I think that's the real problem. Those same people I mention, some of whom I'm related to, don't put in the time and effort, and I think THAT'S the real problem. Lots of people buy or adopt a dog and think it's going to be easier than it is, or that it's the same thing as raising a child and you can, like, reason with an animal, and they don't put in the effort and then think they have a badly behaved dog or there's something wrong with it, and shows like The Dog Whisperer tend to create the impression that there's some kind of quick, flashy, magic solution. (Even if Millan says it's work, the editing of a TV show creates the impression of quickness--the same way people seem to think they can redecorate a room in their house overnight now.)

Autumn said...

I agree and don't have much patience with the show, it's fluffed up and generally makes it look like if you just learned to speak with your dog, they will stop all their bad habits. I can't really defend him since I only have his books to go by, but I appreciate how they stress the time and effort it takes to train a puppy and how you can't hope for great results if you also want to balance a full time job and a social life. Lucky me, I'm jobless so it really was a breeze to train her (well, minus the lost cause of our chewed up stair case railing and one needs to be replaced carpet). I didn't mean to jump down your throat, I just get angry when the internet at whole decides to dislike someone and everyone suddenly changes their mind about them, which I see a lot of people doing in this case. Complete with "Yeah, I tried his methods and my dog still doesn't behave, he's a fraud" when it's usually their own fault.

That was an apology, btw.

SamuraiFrog said...

I appreciate it, but it's not necessary. Believe me, I understand frustration with the internet groupthink.

But thank you, sincerely.