Today at 1-900-HOTDOG, I have completed my examination of “Dogs of Glory,” a Christian children’s song that is pretty good at music, a matter of personal taste in its Christianity, barely passing as kids’ entertainment, and very confused about what a dog acts like. It’s free to read, because the Overlords are running a Columnist Appreciation Week. What a great time for you to enjoy our fare and realize that it was worth the penny a month you could be paying. Heck, I write for the site and I still subscribe monthly.
This was one of the easiest Hot Dog articles I’ve ever written in terms of the jokes flowing, spending no more than a reasonable amount of time landing the completed version, and not being up until dawn finishing the images. At the same time, it was a challenge on two levels.
The first was I thought this was legitimately a nice song, and I wanted to avoid mocking Jim Steager for whatever faith gets him through the day. There’s not a thing wrong with singing a good tune about something that enriches your life. Believe it or not, I try not to be mean with my comedy unless I’m making fun of bonafide assholes (see The O’Reilly Factor for Kids). So I tried to engage with “Dogs of Glory” on a peer level of, “But come on, you know this isn’t a kids’ tune. You just wedged in a refrain that’s fun for the children to sing along with.”
The second hurdle was that even though the running premise of the site is that all these pop culture artifacts hail from a cursed world adjacent to ours, I felt I’d been leaning into the “Archons in meat suits” bit a lot, percentage-wise. It’s there in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in The Hood, and probably a couple others not leaping to mind. I thought a neat idea instead would be “What if it worked and this song did bring him closer to God?” at the cost of diverting the faith of little children Jesus said was so powerful into his own personal golden ticket?
And the more I did that, the more I ran afoul of Problem A, above. Let’s be honest, this song is weird and silly, and not wholly cogent, but Steager’s a talented guitar player who’s done nothing worse than try to share something that enriches his life. The makeup’s well-done! This is a perfectly fine video from the dawn of the YouTube age that’s juuuust odd enough to be Hot Dog material. And why is it odd? Because like this column, it tries to do a few things that quarter its intent, rendering (or rending) it a kids’ song that isn’t for kids, a Christian song that sends a mixed message about a life of faith, and an internet-ancient artifact that, to our eyes now combines low-res video with religion and uncanny anthropomorphism to seem more sinister.
So yeah, I committed again to the Outside Thynges. It seemed kinder than a direct assault on a man’s relationship to his God. In this version, he tried to do a nice thing and it just plain turned weird. I wish I’d been able to, as my screenwriting teacher said, “look between a rock and a hard place to find a banana,” but no option C manifested to me.
Still, it was fun to write about and I think I made a decent rebuttal. Good dogs disobey, too. As the owner of a very smart dog, I like watching him think about whether to heed my commands or not. I can see him growing and making judgments. I just wish he’d listen 100% of the time I tell him to stop bothering the cat.