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Written Up With Paul: Bad Dog, Worse PR

Bob Barker spent his career urging a daytime television audience watching “The Price is Right” to spay and neuter their pets and help maintain the animal population. Has anyone checked if Halo is fixed? I ask because this aloof, pathetic, disquieting genderless K9 should be vehemently prohibited from establishing a lineage of its own. #StopHaloEC

On the morning of November 3rd, Tom Menino’s intimate funeral procession briefly passed Emmanuel College and the Muddy River, one destination on a final, grand tour of the city. We must have all expected a duck boat outfitted as his hearse; we were cold and anxious like before an oncoming parade. Most of us knew well enough not to act like it, though.

The beloved former mayor’s motorcade consisted of no more than eight vehicles driven by a network of family and friends, and a truck filled with hundreds of flowers in the bed. Silencing all, the procession was attended by occasionally gaudy but earnest and respectful students and faculty (me included; nary was there an utterance of a single “Boston Strong”, thank God). We made light of the afternoon and it was genial.

Among our midst were a few hokey DIY signs with hand painted messages of affection such as “you will be missed but never forgotten” surrounded by disproportionately shaped hearts and the acronym “EC” several times over. Halo was there like a plush alternative to Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story, and so was a photographer with an expensive camera. It never occurred to me that I ask if she was working for the school. Should I have had to? Why did she need photos? Of what? Six out of the seven photos taken at Mr. Menino’s procession that were posted to Emmanuel’s official Facebook page are of students in a branding show of support. Why were we there? Who were we there for?

Judge harshly when solidarity is used as an opportunity for promotion.

It’s all the more grating to me because of Halo. Our mascot is not a member of the community, but a corporate expression of it. Some unfortunate person(s) must don the suit at Freshman Orientation and sports games, riling up spirit and translating the experience of how we feel into a cathartic sense of validation for all. But don’t tell me Halo was there to comfort and brighten us. This time, as unnerving as ever, the stoic, soulless and awkward mascot Halo intended to convey human empathy and diversify online content to appeal to incoming students and their parents. What a (s)ham.

Tom Menino was a major public figure, but in spite of his renown can we come together for fifteen minutes without paying respect to our own bottom line? Talk about indecency.

I’ll stop short of calling for Halo to be euthanized, but I’ll be damned if Sarah McLachlan and the MSPCA try to adopt it out to another home. Halo will probably take up the entire frame of the family holiday photo that year, wearing an ill-fitting “Saints Pride” t-shirt and flashing a thumbs-up with that extraordinarily swollen paw.

Paul Rowley is a staff writer and regular columnist for The Hub. E-mail him at and follow him on Twitter @almanacalism

Posted by on November 10, 2014. Filed under Around Campus,Opinions & Editorials,Written Up with Paul. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Written Up With Paul: Bad Dog, Worse PR

  1. Paul Rowley

    December 7, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Almanacalism .