Unless, for reasons best known to yourself, you’re a true aficionado of triple salchows and midair snowboard-grabs, the past few evenings may have found you switching back and forth between the Olympics broadcast on NBC and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA. And you may have concluded (as AdFreak did) that the dogs are more engaging than the athletes. It’s not because modern Olympic athletes are overbred, overpampered and overspecialized creatures with massive egos. That description applies equally well to the dogs. (If “Champion” were part of your name, you wouldn’t have a small ego, either.) The difference is that we don’t hear the dogs being interviewed when they’ve won a round in the competition. The Olympic athletes don’t sound stupid or obnoxious, for the most part. They just sound boring, which is to be expected of people who’ve spent most of their waking hours during the past few years trying to perfect a particular athletic maneuver. If anything, the banality of what they say is made all the more conspicuous by its contrast to the physical marvels they perform. The dogs might not have anything interesting to say, either, but we don’t have occasion to find out for sure. This week, at least, it seems a triumph of evolution that dogs ended up barking rather than speaking.
—Posted by Mark Dolliver