Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let's hear it for the sheep!

I think my source for this statement is Colin Wilson, but I recall reading somewhere sometime that PoW camps were made much more manageable by separating the alpha prisoners from the rest, and I also seem to recall that the figure given for these alphas was 5% of the total. The alphas are, of course, the naturally dominant leader types who - as soon as they're incarcerated - start plotting escapes and insurrections, and who generally make the lives of the prison guards hell. The remaining 95%, well they're, like, SHEEP, you know, man?

Well yes, maybe, but I'm starting to wonder where this contempt for sheep comes from: left to their own devices sheep graze contentedly, have the occasional frolic, and make baby sheep - who could be offended by that? Well, the wolves for whom the very existence of unambitious, pacific, 'take life as it comes' grass-grazers is an affront. The wolves, of course, are the alphas, the sheep are the rest of humanity, and 'the rest' are treated with such universal disdain, even - after having been successfully brainwashed by the wolves - by their own kind, that it takes an effort of will to see that they might have their virtues.

Some wolves, of course, are well-intentioned towards the sheep, but it has to be said that, whatever their intentions, 99% of human woes are their responsibility. Who starts the wars, without which there would be no PoW camps? Wolves, not sheep. Who owns the businesses which rape and pollute the environment? Wolves, not sheep. Whose political decisions consign some to poverty and some to death? Wolves, not sheep. Sheep have never been allowed to express a single unmanipulated opinion in the entire history of the human species but - if that incredible thing were allowed to happen - it would probably be something along the lines of "we're just fine, so leave us alone".

A world ruled by sheep would be calm, slow and peaceful - a lazy, tranquil paradise, in fact. I would probably need to be kept in a continuous state of artificial sedation in order not to go insane from boredom - a fact which probably shows me to be a wolf myself, or at least a super-sheep - but it has to be said that it would be infinitely preferable to the brutal, bloody chaos that we live in right now. It's never going to happen, of course - the wolves wouldn't allow it.

Is there anything that wolves might profitably learn from sheep? Yes, humility. Will they? What do you think?