April
18th 2008
Damn ye, cur: Richard’s Poor Almanack is spoil’d!

Posted under: American history

Ortho at Baudrillard’s Bastard asks us to help him analyze the image of the peeing dog in many of the iconic prints from the American Revolution.  (There’s one above, to the right of the baby under the table, releasing a stream onto a tea caddy in “A Society of Patroitic Ladies.”)  Just click on the link and check it out–he has assembled an impressive collection of examples from both the Whig and Tory perspetives.  This is the funniest and most clever use of a blog I’ve seen this year.  Once you start seeing the peeing dogs, you just can’t stop!

Seriously, this is awesome doggy bloggy goodness.  Well done, Ortho!  Your future in academia is very bright. 

6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Damn ye, cur: Richard’s Poor Almanack is spoil’d!”

  1. ortho on 18 Apr 2008 at 8:25 am #

    Hi Historiann! Thanks for spreading my query!

  2. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Why Are All Those Dogs Peeing? on 18 Apr 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    [...] Cripes, I love academia! Via Historiann. [...]

  3. Indyanna on 20 Apr 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Pretty remarkable. The “Edenton Tea Party” is a pretty famous print, and I don’t ever recall the alt. beverage choice having been remarked on by contemporaries or scholars. It’s hard to know where to begin for analytic leverage, except perhaps to say that peeing dogs must have haunted the human imagination ever since there were dogs. This reminds me of a fascinating article in some serious but popular science venue somewhere suggesting that it was dogs that selected among groups, and types, of humans in forging the interspecies relationship, conferring on the ones they found “fit” a real adaptive and evolutionary advantage, and thus contributing, perhaps definitively, to the emergence of human culture. Maybe the mid-1700s was an anomalous patch of time when a skanky part of the human/canine culture genome was working its way through the Atlantic world?

    Doing a generic Google Image search on “dogs” and “american revolution” yields nothing but chaos. Sometimes you don’t even get a dog! But see the illustration of the famous Valley Forge legend about Washington returning General Howe’s straying (more probably defecting) pet from the lines outside of Philadelphia. I’m definitely taking this whole question into the classroom on Tuesday!

    Wouldn’t even want to try to intersect this one with the “Big Dog” thread, below…

  4. brian e. on 20 Apr 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Curious indeed. Since you mentioned a “serious but popular science venue,” I will take it that you’re kidding? Chapter One of Darwin’s explains domestication and breeding. Nevertheless, a colleague and I have been working on a project that examines broadsides, pamphlets, and some artwork from the revolution as analogous to the ferocity and proliferation of blogs today. What we have discovered (at least in part) is that much of the Revolutionary art and writing represented a rhetorical stance created for and by the cultural and historical moment. Hence, part of the artwork (whether deliberately or merely subconsciously) would serve as propaganda – though the artists themselves would probably not refer to it as such. Nevertheless, since ad hominem attacks were a central component of the rhetorical pathos and stance of writers and artists on both sides of the debate, one could interpret the “peeing dogs” (more likely “pissing” dogs) as an intertextual commentary – something like an aside or parenthetic statement.

    A thought.

  5. ortho on 21 Apr 2008 at 8:13 pm #

    Indyanna, I hope you share your students’ thoughts with me. I am eager to hear what they think.

    Brian E, thanks for your suggestion.

  6. Indyanna on 21 Apr 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    Ortho,

    Will confer with them on it tomorrow for the first time, but politics is all the rage up/out/back here for at least one more day. They’ll do something on the piss question as an extra credit exercise, and I’ll surely pass any insights along.

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