Martha My Dear

Some days you wake up feeling overwhelmed by the gross unfairness of the world and frustrated by the inadequacy of your fellow humans. And you wonder what’s to stop you from just staying under the covers for another eight to ten hours. Then you see your dog sitting there beside you, waiting patiently for food and walkies. So you get up. Then, there’s Paul McCartney singing about how much he loves his dog Martha, who looked like an animate dirty mop, and probably smelled terrible and tracked all sorts of muck into the house, but so what she did her dog job just being a dog. Martha earned her place being more that a celebrity pet but a pet celebrity. She lived a long life and I’m sure she was a wonderful dog. And Paul McCartney, as usual, had the right idea to pay tribute to something so important and so often overlooked. In fact, I think maybe it was McCartney and his outspoken love for living things, who really started paving the way towards a more animal-positive culture. Not just as an activist and a vegetarian-before-it-was-cool, but just in talking and singing about his dog he helped elevate pets from being viewed as disposable household things to being seen as valuable family members. Although today’s cultural fad for dog spas and dog birthday parties and dog weddings is stupid as fuck, and fueled more than anything by cold hard capitalism and its urge to ream every economic opening into absurdity, overall the change towards a more elevated animal status is a positive one. They deserve to be sung and praised, because they really do fill a need in our lives that, in my opinion, human beings just aren’t up to. Love with no psychological complexity.


One thought on “Martha My Dear

  1. Useless Trivia:
    While George Harrison looks uncomfortable in this picture (is Ringo holding Martha’s puppy?) his tune “I Remember Jeep” on his All Things Must Pass album was named after Eric Clapton’s dog. Jeep can be seen on the cover of Clapton’s There’s One in Every Crowd album and in one of the promo pics for Clapton’s band Derek & the Dominoes.

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