The Big Morally-Ambiguous Wolf

Years of english, literature, theology and philosophy couldn’t prepare me for this. Typical upbringing, or years of jedi training, teaches us to look at things objectively. To not let the beliefs and stories of others influence our own judgment. In short, to take emotion out of the equation.

But there’s something about wolves. Little red riding hood. Peter and the wolf. Even Star Fox’s rival. Wolves are inherently evil. Sorry Balto.

So we pass quick judgment on our childhood bedtime stories to create a clear definition of what’s right and what’s wrong. We never stopped to ask about the big bad wolf’s motivation. These were pigs who could construct houses, surely a wolf in this world could purchase bacon from the local Pick ‘N Save. Unless of course bacon is off the menu seeing that pigs are intelligent enough to rule the world over people. But banning bacon should be a crime in and of itself. But I digress.

Jeanie Cagiano, Leo Burnett mastermind behind the Allstate ‘Mayhem’ campaign, uses an interesting storytelling element in her advertisements. Stories have a good guy and a bad guy, but “a good villain is a lovely thing.” 

So looking at the three little pigs, we ask, “Who is the villain?” And rather than blindly believe the first story we’re told, we can ask questions. Exactly like the Open Journalism of the UK’s The Guardian (www.theguardian.co.uk). Of course with more questions, come more ambiguity. And we now ask ourselves, “who’s fault is it?”

Unfortunately for these once-respected heroes, they cried wolf and the world called their bluff.

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