8.3.2021 – that boy called wolf

that boy called wolf
but remember the last time …
there really was a wolf

I was reading an article this morning that titled, “The Anatomy of a Rumor.

The abstract stated, “The rumor that the President was plotting to use election-eve violence as an excuse for massive repression of students and blacks, mass ar­rests, and suspension of Constitu­tional guarantees to keep the dis­senters behind bars… The rumor was really saying that a Reichstag fire was in the works.”

Okay, that wasn’t the real abstract.

The real abstract states, “The rumor had Nixon plotting to use election-eve violence …”

Can’t make this stuff up.

The story was from the Village Voice online archive and had been originally published on November 5, 1970.

You can click on the link and read if for yourself if you want too.

The premise is that, “The original newspaper story explained that Nixon was alarmed by the Bank of America burning, the 11th Street “bomb factory” explosion, the Weatherman blast at police department headquarters, and the sudden wave of bomb scares, and concerned about possible bombing of polling places and other left wing attempts to disrupt the Presidential cam­paign. But the rumor that preceded the story and mushroomed all over the country afterward had Nixon plotting to use election-eve violence as an excuse for massive repression of students and blacks, mass ar­rests, and suspension of Constitu­tional guarantees to keep the dis­senters behind bars. It was a rumor not so much about cancellation of elections as it was about cancellation of the left it­self.”

It is a fascinating read.

The story also had that quote from Attorney General John Mitchell, “This country is going so far to the right you aren’t going to recognize it.”

Mr. Mitchell said that back in 1970.

A case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose I guess.

One short line in the story that I found most chilling was, “The important thing to remember about the story of the boy who cried “wolf” is that there really was a wolf there that last time.

Lots to worry about today.

A lot more voices are crying WOLF than just the one little boy.

So many voices.

So many wolves.

I feel I should be concerned.

I feel I should be aware THAT THAT LAST TIME THERE REALLY WAS A WOLF.

But know what?

Boy do I really find it hard to believe that this is that last time.

The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf

A Shepherd Boy tended his master’s Sheep near a dark forest not far from the village. Soon he found life in the pasture very dull. All he could do to amuse himself was to talk to his dog or play on his shepherd’s pipe.

One day as he sat watching the Sheep and the quiet forest, and thinking what he would do should he see a Wolf, he thought of a plan to amuse himself.

His Master had told him to call for help should a Wolf attack the flock, and the Villagers would drive it away. So now, though he had not seen anything that even looked like a Wolf, he ran toward the village shouting at the top of his voice, “Wolf! Wolf!”

As he expected, the Villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the pasture. But when they got there they found the Boy doubled up with laughter at the trick he had played on them.

A few days later the Shepherd Boy again shouted, “Wolf! Wolf!” Again the Villagers ran to help him, only to be laughed at again.

Then one evening as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, a Wolf really did spring from the underbrush and fall upon the Sheep.

In terror the Boy ran toward the village shouting “Wolf! Wolf!” But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. “He cannot fool us again,” they said.

The Wolf killed a great many of the Boy’s sheep and then slipped away into the forest.

Liars are not believed even when they speak the truth.

The Æsop for Children from the Library of Congress

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