The Weird Sheep, the Scape Goat and the Carnival Clown (or Prophet)

The ‘weird sheep’ is a phrase I recently came across in a video interview with Bret & Heather Weinstein where they talked about the concept of the ‘weird sheep’, a theme they develop in their new book ‘A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life’. This intrigued me, because I’d not heard of the term before (at least not phrased exactly like that), yet the idea of it resonated. I had, however, heard of the ‘black sheep’. It’s likely we all know about this because we’ve all got one or two in the family. It could even be me, or you.

1. ‘Weird sheep’ was a great concept to think about. Every society needs those who do not fit the normative roles and expectations of polite society. They are the ones on the margins, those who say weird and wacky things, those who, when they are socially present, others raise a knowing eyebrow to each other, signalling that “we all know they are the odd one and we are the normal ones” = the normal ones who always think they know and see things clearly. But it is the weird one that will alert a complying, self-satisfied and generally happy to maintain the status-quo crowd that something is up, or wrong, or about to go down.

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