After all, that’s why he was up here in the first place; to guard against the wolves, who, in those halcyon days, pretty much ruled the vast forested lands west of the Urals. It would make perfect sense for him to descend to town to warn the people of the imminent threat. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
So the boy ran through town crying that the wolves were coming for the sheep, and the people grabbed their spears and hayforks, rushing the meadow.
But here were no wolves to be seen, much less killed, so they went back home, where the exhausted boy was having a warm meal and a beer as a reward for having warned the local folk. Indeed the plans worked so well that he did it again the next week, and yet again just before the harvest festival. He was not the brightest boy in town, which is why he got sent off with the sheep so often.
But by then the town’s people weren’t responding so much, and when the snows began to fall, nobody paid the boy any attention at all. Which is when the wolves came and killed the flocks and ran in the streets of the village, eating dogs and babies in the howling blizzards of a starving winter.
Naomi Klein, in her tome “The Shock Doctrine,” argues that any disaster, natural or manmade, offers the leaders of the nation or other power broker an opportunity to make vast changes while the people are still numb from the event. Thus the “Patriot Act” and the massive police power grab that is the Homeland Security apparat, neither of which could have been done through the normal channels of politics.
Since her publication all elements of the political struggle have used crisis, often self manufactured for specific goals, to force action and achieve change in their favor. Our governance by “Continuing Resolution,” last winters face off over tax breaks for millionaires versus the expiration of unemployment benefits and middle class tax reductions, and last Spring’s GOP decision to stage a fight over the national debt limit, which needs be raised by next week or the feces hits the fan, all testify to the danger of a world class economic collapse.
But the people now distrust the reports of pending disaster, having been fooled too often in the recent past, and most of us believe that something will save the day, and if it doesn’t, maybe it won’t be as bad as promised. A fog of popular apathy clouds the future, and most of just wait to see what happens next.
It doesn’t really make much difference if you believe in wolves, as long as the wolves do.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. He can be reached at email@example.com.