Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mass Hysteria

When the Beatles first hit the scene I saw the first example of how mass hysteria operates.   It was upbeat and fun.  Girls wetting themselves screaming.  What guy wouldn't want to be the object of that? Well, when you look on the practical side, maybe not.  But the point is it comes on like a tidal wave through a culture and despite mounting signs that the object of adoration is not the Second Coming, many people still hold to their devotion.  Most likely they don't want to feel foolish by acknowledging that the king has no clothes.

[I'll admit, I'm one of the unsophisticated who likes the early Beatles better than the final Beatles.  I'd never heard anything like it.  It was upbeat and innocent I guess. And often it purely kicked ass---in my mind, being the simple sort.]

All that is fine when it comes to fads and music.  When it comes to people who have armies at their disposal, then that is another matter.  Many dictators have ridden for a time on that wave of hysteria.  Once the image is established and momentum goes in their favor, they can do almost anything, no matter how oppressive to some, and still maintain support.

Is that the case with our president?  I don't really know.  I do know there was a lot of mass hysteria in 2008.  I personally know people who had a religious reverence toward the guy, and still do.   If someone else smokes, they are awful evil people polluting the planet, in the eyes of one dovotee I know.  If Obama smokes she ignores the fact and if confronted, offer excuses about the heavy burden he carries and how it is cute or something. There are those whose adoration knows no bounds.

Many of the ones who had unrealistic expectations, like that he would make gasoline cheap and maybe pick up the tab on the mortgage, are probably less enthused now.

It is illustrative of the dangers to society when people view public figures as if they are somehow more than human beings.  The entertainment industry thrives on that bigger-than-life image.   The danger in real life is that people sit still and allow these super humans to usurp their rights and freedom a bit at a time under the assumption that they know best.  They are smarter and they are fighting for me.  People believe that.  Sad but true.

So, this time around, rather than threats of parties getting out of hand after the election, we have threats of violence if the fallen angel is denied his halo.  I think the fun has largely gone out of believing one person is going to make it all better using other people's money.  They wanted a smiling king who could act cool and talk jive as well as Harvard lingo.  They never learned that we do not do royalty in the USA, and we don't do it because we got very sick of it over 200 years ago.  It violates the precept of the natural rights of man.  We aren't all equal under the law if we elevate some to the level of royalty.

But, I forgot, under different names, that has already been done.  For example, we allow elected officials to create a healthcare scheme which forces people to buy insurance or suffer penalties while exempting themselves.   They are exempt from many other rules as well.

Maybe it is another example of mass hysteria of a different sort that people keep going along with what doesn't work.  If the way things have been approached did work, we would not be fighting forever wars, like Afghanistan, and we wouldn't have areas overrun by gangs, and people would not be graduating high school stupider and stupider each year.  Those things don't just happen by accident.  The direction of the show plays a big part in the end result.

Lately, ours is a play which was written by someone in an opium dream and directed by Jerry Springer.  Not so good.

It's fun to be in accord with all the neighbors and the cool kids on the block, but sometimes people convince themselves to hop on the bus without noticing the destination sign on the front says Idiotville.

This applies to much of life.

What can you do?  Enjoy the ride and run stuff over only when necessary.

Which one of the above will you elect president?



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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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