Anorak News | Mourning Sickness

Mourning Sickness

by | 23rd, February 2004

‘WE know you are upset. Spot, the White House dog, was a good ‘un. But his time was up.

‘I never met her, but I just know I’ll miss her terribly’

If it makes you feel any beer, we’ve opened a book of condolences for you to sign. The queue to do so already stretches for 17 miles, but the wait is worth it.

We’re also getting together a petition for there to be a Spot statue and land-post on the spare plinth on Trafalgar Square.

And we’ve written to the home secretary and Cherie Blair demanding the Government open an inquiry into how Spot really died.

But there is a fly in our balm. The Telegraph reports that The Institute for the Study of Civil Society (Civitas) says we are all emoting too much.

Patrick West, author of the group’s report – Conspicuous Compassion: why sometimes it really is cruel – says we are suffering from “mourning sickness”.

We employ the “lapel loutism” of empathy ribbons (Spot’s is a tasteful blue bow) as signs that we really do care so very much – well, enough to wear a ribbon.

The report criticises “ill-informed sentiments that pour from the mouths of attention-seeking actors, singers and artists.” (Kerry McFadden and Jennie Bond will be reading from the Book of Spot at a candle-lit ceremony in his honour this Sunday.)

And he talks of the “compassion inflation”: lengthening the period of silence. What was one minute, became two, became three for the victims of September 11 and five for the victims of the Ladbroke Grove rail crash.

Mindful of this, organisers of the Spot The Dog Memorial Fund have decided to stagger the period of silence, and only ask that you are quiet for thirty seconds each day for the next two weeks.

Anyone heard speaking during the moments of silence will be arrested, taken to a central London department store and shown pictures of Princess Diana until they crack like an old bone.

Spot would have wanted it so…’

Posted: 23rd, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink