10 Best
17.02.2012, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Dogs doing lists #19: In Memoriam W.E.H.

  1. Dogs applauding vigorously as Kanye jumps onto the stage during the opening ceremony of the Grammys and sneers drunkenly into the cameras, “THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED,” as he depresses a plunger that promptly induces the universe to flicker once and cut to a TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES alert featuring a punishing, high-pitched whine.
  2. Dogs interrupting the “In Memoriam” montage as the face of Mick Jagger scrolls past, and raising the house lights as the camera picks out Mick Jagger standing up to protest, “I’M NOT DEAD,” and “I FEEL FINE,” just before the shot zooms out to track slowly over the audience while the microphone captures a few muffled coughs followed by the ringing sound of a shovel connecting forcefully with a skull.
  3. Dogs shedding a single tear containing the entire universe and gesturing solemnly as Whitney Houston slides out through the swirling, saline surface.
  4. Dogs appearing at the waning moments of Etta James’ life to murmur softly, “It is time, Frodo.”
  5. Dogs bursting into an empty auditorium as on stage Walter Benjamin burns the snickering face of Benjamin Franklin on a hundred-dollar bill, intoning, “Not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he wins.”
  6. Dogs returning from beyond the grave to throttle a record executive in his bed while demanding, “DON’T YOU REMEMBER YOU TOLD ME YOU LOVED ME, BABY??” and pausing to stare directly into an unseen camera as music video credits flash SUPERSTAR / THE CARPENTERS / A&M 1971.
  7. Dogs memorializing your devotion to the music industry—your tireless efforts to promote artists through your social networks, your attendance through the years at live performances, your prolific, enthusiastic commenting on music blogs both professional and amateur, your frequent merchandise purchases, and even your idle transcription of song lyrics in your notebook—to an international television audience now gawking at a photograph randomly selected from your Facebook page picturing you in one of your last happy moments, fallen drunkenly on your rear, in a decidedly immodest position, laughing uncontrollably in a gutter.
  8. Dogs repeatedly refusing petitions from Conrad Murray advocating a last minute addition of MY CAREER, MY LIFE, MY PASSION to the “In Memoriam” program.
  9. Dogs somberly stabbing Bobby Brown in the gut as he gasps, “I have nothing— nothing— nothing—” and expires in a crumpled heap of shame and self-loathing.
  10. Dogs extracting Chris Brown’s skeleton from his skin and holding it aloft as the generic, prerecorded song he was lip-synching comes to a close and a projector screen rolls down to display a man-shaped silhouette beside an epitaph reading, “Chris Brown, 1989-2009,” prompting the assembled audience to quietly disperse, duly ashamed.

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