Revisting the “lone wolf” label

It’s happened again. Several times, in fact. So rather than present the commentary I’d originally planned for this space, I’m re-running a piece I posted about six months ago. It still applies, more than ever….

Wolf smallAnother piece of human waste crawls out of the darkness to kill innocents, and the media automatically labels him a “lone wolf.” What utter bullshit. We need a new meme, and I think I have one.

Along with many others, I consider the wolf a noble animal, whether it operates on its own or in a pack. Their role in a healthy ecosystem has been well documented. They provide an essential, if grizzly service. For prey, wolves focus on the old, the weak and the diseased, which leaves the stronger, healthier animals to keep the species going.wolf 2 small

Terrorists however — whether homegrown, imported, or excreted by some sort of “religious” leader — do not deserve to be compared to wolves. For that matter, they shouldn’t be compared to any higher life form. Though I’m tempted to lump them in with something crazy, it’s conceivable such an effort might suggest cuteness.

Suggesting that killer cretins are lone wolves goes completely against the established meme which uses the label to connote good guys who refuse to work with a group, and head off to take out bad guys and rescue maidens. There are plenty of examples; Google it.

The province of terrorism is a place too dark and disgusting to offer respite for the rest of us. It’s a place populated by things which squirm in the inky blackness generally labeled as hell. What should we call these dregs of humanity? Certainly not lone wolves. How about:

 maggot“lone maggots”?

It fits, doesn’t it? They root around in the darkness, feeding on garbage, and when they eventually “mature,” they join a larger community of scavenging, parasitic vermin. Is that not apropos? Sharing this scum with the offspring of blowflies almost makes me feel badly for the flies.


Let’s demand that the media, especially the broadcast media, stop labeling terrorist madmen — and madwomen — in a fashion that suggests some sort of romantic heroism. Let’s call these vile creatures what they are: maggots. Use the plural form for pairs and groups; lone maggot works just fine for the individuals.

‘Nuff said.


About joshlangston

Grateful and well-loved husband, happy grandparent, novelist, editor, and teacher. My life plate is full, and I couldn't be happier. Anything else I might add would be anticlimactic. Cheers!
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10 Responses to Revisting the “lone wolf” label

  1. Robin Castillo says:

    Hear hear!

  2. An-l says:

    WOOOOOO,Josh–that’s getting the message across. Hope you send this into Marietta Journal or Atlanta Journal or Washington Post.

  3. Amanda says:

    Here here! Well said…

  4. Susanne says:

    I hope it sticks.

  5. Mark G.Langston says:

    Well stated, and I fully agree!
    Cuz’ Mark

  6. EW!! Vivid image but it sure gets the point across!

  7. pcartist says:

    Maggots it will be. I hate suicide bombers, they should be called homicide terrorist. Media continues to give them a voice. They don’t deserve it and isn’t required to be reported.

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