Bill Whittle has an interesting new way of looking at things in our post-post-modern world: Most people are sheep; some are sheepdogs; and some are wolves. The analogy is one that he received from an old soldier. Furthermore, Bill distinguishes between two main tribes, Pink and Grey:
The Pink Tribe is all about feeling good: feeling good about yourself! Sexually, emotionally, artistically – nothing is off limits, nothing is forbidden, convention is fossilized insanity and everybody gets to do their own thing without regard to consequences, reality, or natural law. We all have our own reality – one small personal reality is called “science,” say – and we Make Our Own Luck and we Visualize Good Things and There Are No Coincidences and Everything Happens for a Reason and You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be and we all have Special Psychic Powers and if something Bad should happen it’s because Someone Bad Made It Happen. A Spell, perhaps.
The Pink Tribe motto, in fact, is the ultimate Zen Koan, the sound of one hand clapping: EVERYBODY IS SPECIAL.
Then, in the other corner, there is the Grey Tribe – the grey of reinforced concrete. This is a Tribe where emotion is repressed because Emotion Clouds Judgment. This is the world of Quadratic Equations and Stress Risers and Loads Torsional, Compressive and Tensile, a place where Reality Can Ruin Your Best Day, the place where Murphy mercilessly picks off the Weak and the Incompetent, where the Speed Limit is 186,282.36 miles per second, where every bridge has a Failure Load and levees come in 50 year, 100 year and 1000 Year Flood Flavors.
The Grey Tribe motto is, near as I can tell, THINGS BREAK SOMETIMES AND PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE MY BRIDGE.
Of course, the world is not so easily categorized. Most of us are a mix of the two tribes. And I think one can take issue with some of Bill's tribe assignations. But the general concept is there, and it seems to make sense.
So the interesting thing is, what happens when you mix both metaphors? What you get are Pink sheep, Grey sheepdogs, and big bad wolves. And this is how they come to view the world:
[T]o say we are responsible for the terrorists in the world is a way to say we can control this wolf. If we believe we made him, then that means we control him. We can unmake him. Such a worldview appeals to the left, because it gives them Godlike Mental Powers. All we have to do is act differently and he will go away. It’s complete moral cowardice, of course – but it’s understandable cowardice. It’s denial, because if all the sins are ours then all we must do is repent and the wolf will go away.
But that’s not what the wolf says. The wolf is not interested in what we do. He does not spare little lambs because they rub up against his leg and make cooing sounds. The wolf wants to swallow us whole. He wants the fight. He wants the war and the conflict. And he will keep on huffing and puffing until one of three things happen: We show him our throat, for him to rip out; or we convert to Islam and become part of his Caliphate; or we head out into the forest with a shotgun and blow his fucking head off.
I made my decision by about 9:30 eastern on September 11th, 2001. I have never regretted it.
[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]