This guest episode was nice for a change - Nathan Carson did a good job.
When I read the four short stories in 'The Parenticide Club' (among which Oil of Dog), at first I was a bit puzzled. Were these tales cheap shocks, were they meant as morbid jokes or were they cynical satire? A quick look at the internet (and Joshi's work The Weird Tale) showed me that opinions are divided on this. After listening to the episode I agree it is most plausible to read it as cynical social commentary - at least as to the (in my opinion) best of these stories, Oil of Dog. Though I also had to smile at the provocative understatement in the first sentence of An Imperfect Conflagration: 'Early one June morning in 1872 I murdered my father—an act which made a deep impression on me at the time.'
I've come to the conclusion that I liked the stories, regardless of the sadistic plots. When reading, on a certain moment I had to think of De Sade, on another of Quentin Tarantino, on another of Max und Moritz (see for example https://static.dw.com/image/18806085_303.jpg).
Finally I want to quote Joshi on The Parenticide Club on Bierce's play with the reader: 'Bierce can't lose: if we are revolted, then he can merely chuckle and heap contempt upon us for our squeamishness; if we laugh, we stand self-condemned as sadists.' I hope he isn't right...
Satire isn't normally a mode that I really enjoy -- Kurt Vonnegut hasn't really spoken to me since I stopped being a teenager, for example. But I did like this story a lot and I really want to do more Bierce on the show. "A Psychological Shipwreck" is certainly in our future, though I don't know when that will be.