Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Photo: Stephanie Keith (Getty Images)

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show sucks. We’ve known this for more than a century now, but are reminded of just how deep its failings go when seeing the results of this year’s awards. Amidst a field filled with excellent creatures, including hilarious whippets and boxers, a tiny war was fought between two diametrically opposed contestants. On one paw was Daniel, a gorgeously groomed and maniacally cute golden retriever that represented honest, hard-working, sometimes literally blue-collared dogs across the world; on the other was Siba, a fucked-up looking standard poodle that appeared to have been created through a secret deep state project meant to combine a feather duster and box of matchsticks with a pinch of dog genetics.

We regret to inform you that the rich man’s choice, Siba, ended up winning.

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Look at Siba and see the injustice for yourself. This is no dog. This is a travesty, though one perpetuated, we might add, through no fault of her own. Siba resembles a canine Marie Antoinette, her hair puffed up into a giant fur globe and her ears groomed into two long stalks that direct the eyes down toward dainty, stick-like legs anchored by ludicrous hair-spheres. Her nails have never seen a day of hard work in their life.

Even her proper name is absurd. “Siba” is just a smokescreen meant to make her more relatable. The Six Million Dollar Poodle is better known as “GCHP CH Stone Run Afternoon Tea,” the kind of name only aristocratic freaks endlessly splicing vials of dog semen in the basements of their rural estates could possibly have dreamed up.

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The people’s choice, sweet dopey Golden Retriever Daniel, was a challenge to Stone Run Afternoon Tea’s decadence and the crowd knew this. Listen to them cheer their champion as he jogs across the field. Look at the photos of his still-identifiably canine face as it smiles out at the world. This is a true winner. And he was robbed.

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This will not stand. The majority are behind Daniel, seeing in his innocent brown eyes and shaggy coat a hero of the people in place of an over-engineered affront to nature. A class war is brewing. Even now we can hear the guillotines creaking out of storage, their blades being sharpened as the masses plan to avenge the results.

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Until the day comes when the system that propped Siba up is finally dismantled, we look to Daniel for inspiration. Here he is, trotting just a few steps ahead of the masses, wagging his fluffy tail toward a better, more just world for dogs and humans alike. No matter how long and frightening the coming fight may be, his shiny fur will provide a beacon for us to follow through the darkness. In his mouth, a ribbon; in his eyes, a view toward equality.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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