Broadsheet –

Amy Sutherland has been on the “Today Show” and the most e-mailed N.Y. Times article for a long time now. This Salon article covers this cultural fad.

She said she’s been surprised by the article’s success: “I thought people would get a kick out of it, because it provides actual information they can use. But honestly I’ve been floored by the epic response it created. It’s kind of funny — who knew that people want marital advice mixed in with an animal-behavior story?”

On the other hand, she reflected, maybe it isn’t so surprising. “It hit on two universals. People love animals, and everyone wants marital advice.” And the training approach may especially appeal, she says, because everyone wants easy marital advice: “People don’t want to go to a counselor for every single thing, and not every little thing warrants going to a counselor,” she said. “People are hungry for really simple techniques.” I don’t know what that says about us — that we’re a bunch of slackers? that a lot of people are married to jerks? — but if the piece’s popularity is any indication, she’s probably right.

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