Friday, December 7, 2012

Life Imitates Art

Rob McCuen, one of the finest musicians and songwriters I know, has a great song called Life Imitates Art.  You can watch it below.  The song was called to mind because of a recent criminal law case imitating art. 

First the Art.  There is a popular line of childrens' books about Carl, a Rottweiler that through various plot devices ends up babysitting a child.  Carl's first babysitting adventure is found in Good Dog, Carl.  In the book a mother tells Carl to watch the baby while she goes out.  Various high jinks ensue.  In the subsequent books the baby (a girl named Madeline) grows but still Carl remains in charge.  They are very enjoyable books for small children.  The pictures are very well done.  Anyone who reads to small children should check out a couple at their local library.

But should life imitate Good Dog, Carl?  For me the answer to that question is no.  But that is just my opinion, man. Others may disagree.  In fact, others apparently do.

NBC News reports on one person who disagrees:  James R. Irvine.  Mr. Irvine, a 41-year-old man living in Palm Coast, Florida, was arrested on charges that he left his pit bull to babysit his 10-month-old while he went out drinking. 

Apparently, Mr. Irvine's girlfriend left him in charge of her child while she was at work.  After not answering several of her calls, Mr. Irvine answered a call by telling her he was "watching the game."  Something about that answer was apparently suspicious because the woman allegedly went to Mr. Irvine's house and found him unable to get in and--in a touch of class--urinating on himself.  Carl does not do that in the books.

Mr. Irvine allegedly admitted to his girlfriend that he had been drink in a bar but told his girlfriend that the baby wasn't alone because their pit bull was watching it.  The baby was found inside the house in a room with a door shut and the dog in front of the door.  So, credit the dog for staying where it was put, I guess. 

This is not a direct imitation because the dog was a pit bull and not a rRottweiler.  Also, although it is unclear I do not think the mother in Good Dog, Carl went out drinking.  Although drinking might why some of the evidence of Carl and Madeline's escapades goes unnoticed.

Anyway I think people should add Good Dog, Carl to the list of artistic efforts that should not be imitated.  Other items on that list include, but are not limited to, Reservoir Dogs, No Country for Old Men, and the Curious George books.


  1. As a matter of fact, in "Carl's Afternoon at the Park," the mother meets a friend of hers and leaves to go drinking (tea).

  2. I would support letting super smart chimps, like that one in that Matthew Broderick movie ("Project X" I think it was called) babysit kids, but dogs just aren't there yet.

  3. Your knowledge of Matthew Broderick movies never ceases to amaze me.


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