Monday, September 22, 2008

GQ's "Dig the New Breeds" Buries Reality and Sense, Should Offend Readers

In the August 2008 issue of GQ, there was a section titled "Dig the New Breeds". Pretty ridiculous- they were touting 3 breeds of dogs, which I presume people had "created" by cross breeding, i.e. the labradoodle, their dogs. That's ridiculous enough in itself, but GQ, perhaps catering to its mimbo readers, seemed to convey that hot new breeds were like the new style of shoes.

I wrote a letter to them, and I am too lazy and dont have time to edit it for Blog-ish content so read below and see images I scanned from that issue here (they're all pixelly within a blog post, but I included at the bottom here anyway):

Dear GQ,

When I read “Dig the New Breeds” in your August 2008 “Manual: Look Sharp, Live Smart” section, I was surprised to see such a backwards-thinking article in GQ. What it actually conveyed was that animals are no different from fad fashion accessories like the Yorkies and Chihuahuas Paris Hilton and Britney Spears buy at pet stores and tote around in their purses. You even put a price range on each as well as list these “most sought-after dogs of the moment” with “the watch, the car, and the girl”. I consulted my three best guy friends, all subscribers, and they were equally turned off by this piece. They and, I would hope, the majority of GQ readers are not as shallow as such rhetoric would suggest, and are, instead, more in tune with contemporary humane issues, and thus do not view animals as property only to be discarded when it is no longer “of the moment”.

In addition, there was no mention of ways to acquire any breed of dog from a reputable source and not from a puppy mill, which, thanks to intelligent celebrities like Oprah, is now more widely known for the inhumane and shady business it really is.

This would have been a more helpful and worthwhile piece had you mentioned the thousands of animal shelters across the country, which usually have pure breed dogs up for adoption, as well as pure breed rescue groups.

In fact, promoting the purchase of a particular breed of dog undermines the unique qualities any individual dog would have. This may be taken as an insult to readers who have adopted their dog from a shelter, including pit bulls, because they were drawn to its personality and the shelter staff was helpful in finding a companion animal that fit with their lifestyle. After reading your piece, however, a person may order a new Staffordshire Terrier, assuming it will fit with their lifestyle based on a couple lines from the Performance report and exude the Star Power behaviors in your descriptions. Not only does this promote irresponsible decisions, it also undermines the importance of behavior training.

“Dig the New Breeds” conveys that GQ is out of touch with prominent issues, when many other features in your magazine would suggest differently. While GQ often produces thoughtful, socially conscious articles each month, this Pets section was more a show of social ignorance and insult to its more sophisticated readers.

I look forward to GQ redeeming itself by highlighting the intelligence, compassion, and yes, sex appeal of a man who adopts a dog.
-Courtney Kistler
New York, NY

1 comment:

Courtney K. said...

They didnt publish it- they didn't even respond. I guess that's why it's here...
It's cool- glad to show people those 2 pages, though, as I could not find them online, actually.