The Trouble With Sheep

I’m sure you’re all aware by now that I’m not much of a “people person,” but although I usually come away disappointed at how stubbornly close-minded most people are, I still manage to get along with them okay in one-on-one encounters. However, it’s when their numbers start increasing, and that “groupthink” thing begins to take over, that I really become more and more uncomfortable.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the “groupthink” thing has been acting to make this one of the strangest election seasons I can recall, but it wasn’t until I read Pied Type’s Campaign of shame post that I began thinking about just how much this behavior reminds me of herd behavior in of animals. And that’s when I remembered this really great movie quote:

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

Agent “Kay” – Men In Black

And a new word I discovered recently that had been coined to describe people with the “groupthink” mentality:

Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a term of disparagement, in which people are likened to sheep.

It is often used to denote persons who voluntarily acquiesce to a perceived authority or suggestion without sufficient research to understand fully the ramifications involved in that decision, and thus undermine their own human individuality or in other cases give up certain rights. The implication of sheeple is that as a collective, people believe or do whatever they are told, especially if told so by a perceived authority figure believed to be trustworthy, without critically thinking about it or doing adequate research to be sure that it is an accurate representation of the real world around them. The term is generally used in a political, social, and sometimes in a spiritual sense.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Combining that with my thoughts on the frightening things that have been said and done by so many involved in this years campaign, my mind fills with the craziest images:

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And finally, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my very favorite songs as well:

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out! There may be dogs about

I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem!

What do you get for pretending the dangers not real?
Meek and obedient, you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel

What a surprise! A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream!

The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by
With bright knives He releaseth my soul
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
He converteth me to lamb cutlets
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger
When cometh the day we lowly ones
Through quiet reflection and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we’ll make the buggers eyes water!

Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity unto the dream

Have you heard the news? The dogs are dead!
You better stay home and do as you’re told!
Get out of the road if you want to grow old!

I want ice water.

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19 thoughts on “The Trouble With Sheep

    • I’m so glad you liked this post. I worked on it for days and was afraid that it had become just a bit to convoluted! And I’ve been trying for months to find a way to work Pink Floyd’s Sheep into a post. πŸ˜€

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  1. I’d heard the word “sheeple” before but it hadn’t occurred to me how appropriate it is for this election season. All those obnoxious ads are predicated on the idea that voters will be sheeple. Ugh.

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    • Precisely. I’d thought of the way parties act as if they “own” certain demographics a long time ago, when I noticed that the African-American communities I grew up in consistently voted for Democrats regardless of the issues or the candidates. They were who I thought of when I first learned about “sheeple.” It was your post that helped me to see how it also applied, across the board, to the current political climate. Thanks. πŸ˜€

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  2. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#83) « What's On My PC

  3. Mass stupidity, yeah, I can feel it all around me. Makes me feel all icky. Is it catching though? It seems sticky, like tar. It oozes out of the television set and gets on the furniture. One of these days my dog is going to freak out and start eating it. Imagine what that’s going to make the back yard look like when she passes it. Hey, I’ve got to clean all of that up! Not cool.

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    • Do people really what those ads? Or do they just change the channel like I do? Maybe the real fools are the guys who’ve been conned into believing that spending millions on these ads can make a difference. That’s actually a rather comforting thought. Definitely more comforting than the thought of cleaning up after a dog.

      Yeah, I think I’ll just choose to believe that.

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  4. Yes, it can be scary when mass of people think… because they don’t usually think logical or rationally. Thanks for sharing a new word, a good one.

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  5. IzaakMak,
    I have enjoyed reading, rereading and listening to Pink Floyd…Love David Gilmour and the cartoons…LMFAO!!! I learned 2 new words for icing on the cake, too!
    I am not comfortable around large groups but I try to do things with family. Small steps.
    I saw the posting you had recommended to Dreamwalker, reminded me of an old song by Spirit….I am heading over there.
    BTW: Hope you do not mind if I Subscribe to your space here. I am enjoying your wisdom.
    Rx

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    • Thank you so much Raven. I’m just trying, in my own humble way, to “use great comedy to pry open the eyes of the intentionally blind” as so many of those I admire have done before me. I only wish I could also follow their lead and learn to do my thing “live” as well. That might help with that whole “urban hermit” issue.

      The Spirit song you’re thinking of was actually the inspiration for that other post, but seemed a little too gentle, ultimately, to use as the exclamation for the point I was trying to make. I hope you enjoy it.

      I absolutely do not mind your subscribing to my blog. I subscribed to yours almost immediately! πŸ˜€

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