Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Going to the dogs.

When I was in graduate school, I remember one of my fellow students mentioning that raising the subject of dogs is a known tactic among community organizers when public meetings are not going the way they want them to. Dogs raise strong emotions for and against that hardly ever correlate to issues that community organizers might be working on - like affordable housing, stopping Wal-Mart, etc. So when a meeting needs to collapse or a decision needs to be postponed, someone just needs to say something about dogs - it doesn't matter whether for or against. Suddenly the meeting will shift topics, and a completely new set of allegiances and divisions will form.
Steve Harrison of Blacksburg, Va., quoted by Jon Carroll in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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