I don’t think enough people are upset by the concept that Scooby-Doo speaks English. If a dog ever spoke to me, I would never be okay again. In fact, I think I would enter such a severe state of fight or flight, I would panic-murder the dog just to be certain I would never hear it speak again. It is fucked up that the Mystery Gang recklessly exposes Scooby-Doo to others as if that isn’t a crime against humanity. They carelessly parade around this gargantuan beast of a hound that moves its dog mouth and says things like, “ruh roh, Raggy” and, “Scooby-Dooby-Doo” as if that isn’t going to unravel the minds and lives of those who hear him speak English out loud.
A lot of people say they would be psyched if they encountered a talking dog, and I think that’s because they haven’t considered what it would actually be like to be alone in a room with one, and have it say, “hey, I was thinkin’ about heading over to Josh’s later if you wanna come.” In that moment you would be petrified beyond recovery, because everything you understood to be true would be in question. Even if the dog said something super nice, like, “I just want you to know that I love being your dog, and I think you’re a very special and kind person” it wouldn’t make it any less upsetting, because the DOG is TALKING; implying that nothing is real, and yet everything is, and that overwhelming realization is enough to cause anyone to cry out to a vague-deity, and bring them to their knees in unspeakable horror.
I’ve had my share of traumas I didn’t think I’d be able to recover from; they manifest as intrusive thoughts and images that terrorize me when I least expect it, but in time have dulled and become manageable to live with. That being said, I cannot fathom how infinitely haunted I would be by a dog speaking to me. No amount of time could pass where I would no longer be consumed by the thought of it. It would taint every aspect of my life, slowly destroying my interpersonal relationships and forcing me to implode until my untimely self-destruction.
Anyways, Scooby-Doo doesn’t accurately depict the reality of talking dogs, and it isn’t fair that we’re all just okay with that.
Maddy Isenbarger is finishing up her degree in Film Studies, and just trying to stay alive long enough to hold hands with Frances McDormand on day. You can find her screeching into the abyss of the World Wide Web on Twitter: @maddymoiselle.