Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What's Your Herd?

As I was going over the newspapers, very fat on the weekend, I couldn't help marvelling at the fashion sections. Spots are "in", as in those of the leopard, a creature becoming scarcer as hunters pursue its skin. Coats, bags, skirts, boots are to have spots, but also stripes and swirls in spots. These patterns will indeed be everywhere, from $20 to $1000 or so, depending on what store you patronize, which is an odd word when you reflect on how very much they patronize you. You are, of course, being herded once again, depending on your age, wealth, where you live, and so on and on. You belong to many herds.

At the centre of this issue is the need to belong. First at home, then in the schoolyard, in Tim Hortons or McDonald's, in your church of choice, we must belong, and belong to the right grouping. On a larger level, wars are fought and "enemy" identities exterminated. And still, we believe in free will and intelligent choice. We look with scorn or pity on flocks of sheep or herds of cattle, following anything but freedom or any choice of their own, either as individuals or groups. Really, what is the difference between us and them?

This is not all bad, of course. We have the comfort, the security, of not being exposed. We have our philanthropists, our hospitals, our jails for our support and protection. It is natural to identify (and to identify with) your herd. As for myself, God Save the Queen, I say!


At 3:49 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Sorry Don, sent this to the wrong Post...this is the one where I want to say:

I like to point out that we only have two choices in life...to surrender (profound acceptance) or resist (try to control) and if the latter we will always get more of what we are resisting. At end of day the only choice may be what will 'use' us. As Shaw said, ''I want to give myself to a purpose consdered a mighty one, to be throughly used up when I die". I think he was saying to give yourself to the "herd" that is up to something worth dying for and participate full out until we do.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

Recently found your blog, Don, and enjoying your posts (as a republican Aussie!)

I'm a little more optimistic about the herd mentality. There is a strength in community, as you point out. Look what we can achieve together? What a great institution is the family! 'Two is better than one, because if one falls the other can help them up'.

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very punk rock, Don. God Save The Queen indeed.

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