In discussions surrounding the recent death of Queen Elizabeth the Second, there were a number of criticisms raised. One of them was that she acted as a powerful propagandist for the British Empire, and as that faded, the Commonwealth. No matter what the government of the UK did, she was the face of the country – a kindly, dignified lady that was treated almost as a papal figure by some. I suppose that’s fitting, given that she was the head of the Church of England. Even if there was nothing to criticize in her own actions, the role she played in putting a friendly face on a not-so-friendly country is worth some discussion, at least.
Likewise, it’s important to discuss the role that dogs play in putting a friendly face on the police. How’s that for a transition? Thematically consistent? I’ll leave that up to you.
I’ve heard of Paw Patrol once or twice over the years, but I never cared enough to look into it. I knew it was some show involving dogs acting like cops, I think? Regardless, nothing could have prepared me for the reality. This video is apparently part of an established tradition of thought-pieces that take this cartoon for children very seriously. More than that, it joins the chorus of voices calling this show downright sinister.
I suppose it might be more accurate to say that it’s part of a sinister societal pattern of media portraying police as hyper-competent heroes, to cover up the horrific reality. This video touches on that aspect of the show, but it also delves into that same reality. Thankfully, the video does not show pictures of the injuries inflicted by police dogs, but the list of described injuries, that include amputations and other life-changing injuries. And for all we talk about the hundreds of police shootings in the United States, police dogs send thousands of people to emergency rooms every year, and you’d better believe they’re disproportionately non-white, and poor.
Maybe things have changed since I left – is adequate medical treatment still out of reach for poor people in the U.S.?
Paw Patrol seems to be an absolutely terrible toy commercial disguised as an even worse show. From what I can tell, it’s worse than the original Transformers or He-Man stuff, but at least those weren’t putting a cutesy face on systemic racism and bloody horror.