Sheepdogs and Wolves

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Guns, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    Reading Dave Grossman's book "On Combat", will write a full review once finished but this statement is what got me interested. I think we can all identify some character in here with ourselves.

    The Sheep go about their lives, vaguely aware that the Wolves exist, hoping that they never have to actually see or encounter one. There are considerably more Sheep than Wolves and the vast majority will live out their days having never seen one, although most will know another sheep that has had such misfortune, but they're not really too bothered, as long nothing happens to them. The Wolves prey on the Sheep, occasionally picking one or two off here and there, usually when it's dark so the majority of the flock don't know about it. The Wolves tend to lurk away in the shadows so the Sheep don't notice them, although they have no problem coming out in the open every now and then as they know the Sheep won't really do anything to stop them if they scare them enough.

    The Sheepdogs however, know that the Wolves exist, they know where they live, sleep, eat and play. They know that the Wolves will prey on any Sheep, but that they prefer the smallest, weakest of the Sheep who can do nothing to protect themselves, and the Sheepdogs hate the Wolves for it. The Sheepdogs however, have a bit of a problem. As much as they want to protect the Sheep, they tend to look a bit like Wolves, and the Sheep don't really like that, and a few don't trust them because of it.

    The Sheepdogs also serve to remind the Sheep that Wolves exist - something they would rather ignore and forget. Most of the Sheep know that the Sheepdogs aren't Wolves and whilst most tolerate, a few welcome them, as long as they never have to actually deal with one. The few remaining older Sheep know that the Sheepdogs are around for a reason and like to see them, because most have seen or experienced over the years what the Wolves can do if there are no Sheepdogs to help them. They also know that the Sheep can become a Sheepdog with the right attitude and a bit of training but the majority of the Sheep don't like to think that they could ever become something that looks like a Wolf and so they distance themselves from the thought.

    The Sheepdogs accept that most of the Sheep don't really like them or want them around, but they hang around on the outskirts of the flock anyway because they know all too well what the Wolves will do if they didn't bother. The Sheepdogs try and walk through and speak to the Sheep, to reassure them that they will do everything they can to keep the Wolves away, but still the Sheep are wary of them.

    Every now and then the Wolves come and the Sheepdogs try to fend them off, most of the time the Wolves leave after seeing the Sheepdogs, but occasionally there'll be one or two Wolves that think they can take the Sheepdogs on and they'll have a go. The Sheep will see the fight between the Wolves and the Sheepdogs and it scares them, with teeth and claws everywhere, it serves to remind most of them that the Sheepdogs can be just as vicious as the Wolves (if not more so) and that they were right to keep a distance from them.

    Even though hardly any Sheep get involved in the melee, most will look on and continue to not trust the Sheepdogs, a few of the Sheep who are saved by the Sheepdogs will be happy as they realise how close they came to becoming supper to the Wolves but they'll mostly keep it to themselves as they know the rest of the Sheep don't like to hear too much about it because it scares them. One or two of the Sheep might get injured by the Wolves despite the best efforts of the Sheepdogs, a few will occasionally blame the Sheepdogs for not protecting them enough, some will blame the Sheepdogs for their injuries after they had stepped in to protect them and fought with the Wolves on the Sheep's behalf in the first place.

    Despite this though, the Sheepdogs continue to try and protect the flock, all too aware that the Sheep don't really like them or want them around, no matter how often they try and tell them that the Wolves are about and that the Sheepdogs are there to try and help them.

    So which are you?
  2. I used to own a sheepdog. Any wolf caught wandering nearby would have been promptly shagged to death.
  3. Feck me Guns, have sheep been hiding something from us? That's a great analogy but what is the book actually about?
  4. I think the psychology of the opening post is very accurate.

    I used to think of it as the sheep have the "good" gene.

    The wolves have the "evil" gene.

    Sheepdogs have both.
  5. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    He is a ex US Army Lt Col who is now doing research on psychological effects of combat, trauma etc.

    Once I have got through it will write it up. My friend is due to join the Calgery police from GMP and it is required reading prior to getting their.

    His work covers how to train killers, how inner evil can be released. Also the effects this has on you. His On Combat work is about how to cope with the stress, reducing PTSD. As I said yet to get in to the book so will write when I know more.
  6. I've seen some documentaries and stuff about his research. Very clever (and sensible) bloke. Very rare.
  7. Sounds really interesting. Do you think it could be helpful reading for the British army?
  8. No, the average squaddie will shag sheep, sheepdog and wolves then fight them or eat them. :wink:
  9. I dunno what he's on about!
  10. Yeah. Most of his research was about how to reduce PTSD.

    (IIRC) One of his findings was 2% of soldiers never got it. Half of them pyschos, half of them something else. That's prob where he came up with the wolf/sheepdog analogy.

    It's mostly about PTSD though.
  11. What a fantastic analogy. It is just as shame that most, if not all, of the people in control of this paddock we call the United Kingdom are all sheep. Sheep that are willing to stick it to the sheepdogs who are injured from their battles with the wolves.

    Question is, where is the farmer who controls the sheepdogs, and when is he going to shear the sheep and expose them for the weak, pink and shivering pathetic beasts that they are?


  12. :D :D
  13. Taking this as a lead, should there be any other required reading? ( no smut! only useful stuff :p )
  14. Read Grossman's other book. "On Killing", Peter Paret's, "Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age" and E.H. Carr's, "The Twenty Years Crisis, 1919-1939: an Introduction to the Study of International Relations" Kenneth Waltz', "Man, the State, and War".
  15. The book 'On killing' does make good reading, however it makes those who have read it very, very careful about what they say and do with the shrinks after a messy tour.

    To be labelled psychopathic may be ok for a downtown fight but it does no favours for careers.