Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Frickin' Sheepdogs

Sheep dogs are someone’s property and they help control other property. It sounds like a liberal’s fantasy of society. You know, the flock carefully tended and controlled with the sheep dog doing the master’s bidding.
Yeah, over at SnarkyBytes there's a discussion brewing about that offensive "Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs" metaphor.

I can see why cops like the metaphor, it plays directly to the self-image they're encouraged to hold. But I've never understood why so many other people defend it. Every time it comes up, especially if the writer has the temerity to criticize it, people come out of the woodwork to tear into the writer as if Grossman had written the Gospels rather than a self-serving little analogy.

And nobody ever seems to ask, where's the shepherd in the metaphor? Sheepdogs don't work for themselves.

5 comments:

Craig Cavanaugh said...

They defend it because there's an unsettling image when they look in the mirror, which they'd rather not acknowledge. As to the question, the answer is too painful for them. It shatters their false premises under which they exist. Nobody wants to look like a fool... "The Emperor's New Clothes" like. Funny how relevant those old stories are, ain't it?

Matt said...

A well trained sheepdog knows there are more than just sheep and wolves in the world. When sheepdogs forget their place and threaten the sheep and shepherd, they are disposed of.

Tam said...

I really think that way the heck too much gets read into this little analogy. By both sides.

(Not that I'm any kind of Grossman groupie in the first place: He's done some good work, but some of his basic premises are just flat wrong. For instance, he actually treats S.L.A. Marshall's 'studies' as something other than the blatant self-serving fiction they were.)

Anonymous said...

Guess I'm more the scruffy old barn cat. Ignore the sheep, avoid the wolf, fuck with the sheepdog when I can get away with it, and go about my business.


kel

Brass said...

I am not an animal. I do not operate on instinct. I am a rational human being, created in the image and likeness of God, and I treat my fellow man as I would want to be treated. If they harm innocents, I stop them. It's quite simple.