Sunday, December 7, 2008

Power to the Sheeple

I spend most of November really digging the term Affluenza. In one word it just said sooo much that was on my mind. I have a great affection for words and how they are used. For how they feel when spoken, or the images they produce. Yes, I know I am a huge nerd, I have just come to terms with it.

My husband, whose thinking processes just astound me, introduced me to my new favorite term "sheeple". Sheep+people=sheeple. I had always referred to them as "herders", but I think I like sheeple much better.

It came up in a conversation we were having about a friend of mine who had told me that she hadn't read anything in the past ten years longer than a magazine article. I was telling Brian that I just couldn't conceive of it. Reading is so much a part of my life, to me that would be like choosing to live in black and white when I could be living in color. I couldn't wrap my brain around the choice.

So we started talking about how choosing illiteracy (a non reading lifestyle) makes for perfect sheeple. You are exposed to much fewer original ideas. As soon as he used the term, I had a lightbulb moment and I burst out laughing.

Since I was so curious, I looked up a few definitions and merged them into one I liked...

  • noun. Individuals who have lost all traces of actually individuality, forfieting their right to choose their own way, to wander aimlessly following another individual or group's ideals and beliefs so they can be included in groupthink in their "herd".

  • Allowing the influences of different forms of media and group members to hold great sway in the formation of attitudes, behavior and opnion.

  • To accept the group think as fact without examination.

  • Not only to be told what to do, but to accept the paradigm of thought as absolute thereby removing the weight of personal responsibility.

Sadly, although I think each gender has sheeple, sometimes it seems as though women are just very predisposed to becoming sheeple. Its almost as though all of the things that would make you a "good little girl" in societies eyes also would make you an awesome sheeple. Don't offend anyone, be agreeable, being nice is much more important than being intelligent, don't disagree, pretty>intelligence.

It always seems as though women who are more independent minded wind up being labled with unflattering names that sound alot like witch. Sometimes, well deserved, sometimes because of society's expecations. Well, and many of them were burned as witches in earlier times. Raising two girls, my greatest hope is that they will be their own person, follow their own path, be strong and intelligent (even when their mother doesn't agree). But then I see the other side of it, and I hope that by the time they are mature, things will have changed.


rainbowmummy said...

Oh I love this post and the one you linked really spoke to me. I too used to buy so much stuff. I have started getting a grip on the spending (with things like food shopping) a few months back and this christmas is crazy. We are getting hardly anything, and it's ok. We lost a lot of stuff due to our house. Egg's cupboard was damp and EVERYTHING had to go (4 boxes of toys) and he was so amazing about it. And you know what his play hasn't changed at all. He still has a lot of toys and I am slowly trying to get rid of the toys with batteries (only about three left!) as I am terrified after finding a leaking battery (and it was only two weeks old, in a remote).

There is no way I could give up books. I gave up magazines though. I used to read every single one I could find. Then slowly topped as it was a lot of money, then I chose just one weekly and one cooking and one parenting. I then was down to the one weekly and I looked forward to it. Then they made fun of a child with special needs. Never bought it since. I remember Egg's dad bought me a magazine as a "treat" (not the one that made fun of the child). They truly are the biggest waste of time ever. I simply no longer care about celebrities and the invasion these magazines have on their life.

Wow that was a long comment! I am gald I found your blog, I just wish I could remember how I found it :0)

Rob said...

Here here! Loving the new word sheeple! I have to admit, although I consider myself an avid reader, I've been a sheeple (or sherson) more than once in my life. Here's hoping we all are never afraid to ask questions until we get answers. :)

Melissa said... it! Gotta use it in a sentence this week.

Not being able to read anything longer than a magazine article? That is SAD! She is missing out on so much.

Jennifer said...

I totally get what you are saying. Last year we did it for the first time, and I was really nervous about it. But the kids didn't even seem to notice and they LOVED having all the extra time with us! This year I am not as nervous about it, and it has been FABULOUS, horray for the christmas season actually being relaxing!

Jennifer said...

I think I have definately been a sheeple before. But remember the first step is always recognizing you have a problem....... That is what makes you different, you actually recognize that perhaps this isn't truly you.

Jennifer said...

I know what you mean, and I was really hoping that I didn't come off as judgemental, I just couldn't even IMAGINE it!!! Books are so vivid, its such a different experience. Its like finding out someone has never tasted chocolate....

Btw, I finished Breaking Dawn. Have to email you, I have link to the new first half of the new book written from Edward's persepctive!

Melissa said...

I started to read the 1st half of the new book....but I stopped. She is going to finish it this coming year and I can't decide if I want to wait until it's completely finished. Decisions....decisions!