"The problem isn't bad classification in general but what happens to humans reclassified as 'mere' animals...Holding on to this temporal/cultural division keeps us in Brooks' territory and in fact in the territory of all conservatives who believe in the homogeneous thing that existed before the mutt."
Check out my super smart animal studies/medievalist friend Karl Steel's take on David Brooks' recent comparison of what he calls "hybrid" Americans to "mutts." (NB he links to the original NYT piece, and another excellent response to it, at the beginning of his post.)http://www.inthemedievalmiddle.com/2013 ... david.html
The perceived offensiveness of Brooks' lame equation of (certain types of) people with (certain types of) dogs - a comparison by which I, for one, would be flattered, having known many admirable "mutts" human and canine - is rooted in the assumption that the latter are by nature (read: species) necessarily inferior. If we accept the implied premise that a "mutt" or "hybrid" is not only inferior but also lacking a certain - how shall we say it? - pedigree, then anyone compared to them must be similarly "less than." So by this we learn that David Brooks is not only a backward, racist, classist piece of shiitake.