"To our human mind, personal friendship represents one of the most cherished values and any social organisation not built upon its basis inspires us with a chilling sense of the inhuman. However, even the simple and innocuous mechanisms of anonymous flocking can turn into something not only inhuman but truly terrible. In human society these mechanisms remain more or less hidden, being superseded by non-anonymous well-organised relationships between individuals, but there is contingency in which they erupt with the uncontrolable power of a volcano and gain complete mastery over man, causing behaviour that can no longer be called human. This horrible recrudescence of the ancient mechanisms of flocking behaviour occurs in mass panic. I was once an unwilling witness of the sudden emergence and rapidly snowballing effect of this process of dehumanization, and if I was not drawn into its vortex it was only because, thanks to my knowledge of flocking behaviour, I had seen the approaching danger sooner than the others and had time to guard against my own reactions. To me there is small pride in the memory ; on the contrary, no one can put much trust in his own self mastery who has ever seen men more courageous than himself, men fundamentally disciplined and self controlled, rushing blindly along, closely huddled, all in the same direction, with eyes protruding, chests heaving, and trampling underfoot everything that comes in their way, exactly like stampeding ungulates, and no more accessible to reason than them. Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression. 1963.
Are we not already in a state of panic and is this not being reinforced and increased on a daily basis by the media. Could it be that this is deliberate, planned and managed. Can looking at animals behaviour help us to understand why the media portray certain events and individuals in a certain manner and at a certain time.
What I intend to do is write a short review of the BBC and ITV news every morning, detailing the previous nights stories and the possible reasons behind them. Where I can I will try to write more in depth features about the way our world appears to be influenced. Are there links behind stories and are they warming us up for future developments, softening us to certain ideals and in the process, dehumanising us collectively or, at least, paving the way. Is someone behind the media ?
There is a theory called syncro-mysticism which I discovered from an excellent blog, Battling the Behemoth. A link is provided. Basically, it analyses celebrity and media behaviour with their metaphoric symbolism within our world. Does the cult of celebrity have more influence on our collective behaviour than we give credit for.
I dont watch very much TV but on occasion watch other programmes. Last night was an example. Thinking the BBC news to begin at 10 I turned on the TV. Instead of the news though, I was treated to the last fifteen minutes of Any Dream will Do. For those who dont know, this a programme in which Andrew Lloyd Webber is choosing a new Joseph from Joe Public. Last night there were about eight Josephs left and one is removed every week through a panel of judges and a Joe Public phone in.
As the programme climaxed, we were treated to each of the would-be biblical Joseph's delivering a small solo performance to Sir ALW and a blonde lady whilst dressed only in a loin cloth. The unexpected twist for the contestants was that their mothers would also be there, unbeknowing to them. Most of the contestants fell to pieces and forgot their lines. Backstage, they were crying and weeping at their perceived exit from the show, it was almost unbearable.
ALW commented that they were a disgrace, the young men being no match for the young ladies on his previous show - How do you solve a problem like Maria. One mother appeared disgusted as she advised "Sir Andrew was right, he had not even bothered to learn his lines
Then, all the Josephs did a routine together, then stood in a triangular grouping for the vote. As each Joseph was saved, he ran from the group to the winners enclosure whilst the camera switched to the relevant mother, each glowing with pride. As each Joseph reached the winners enclosure, they wept and embraced with joy and happiness. Eventually, we were left with two Josephs. One was called Ben. Both had to do a small solo of "He aint heavy he's my brother" . Ben won.
As he raced to the winners, the camera flashed to his mother. She was on her feet cheering and whooping, the lady directly beside her was crying and devastated, obviously the losers mother. The loser was then asked what went wrong and said he felt there must have a conspiracy theory. He then went back to the stage and all the other Josephs danced round him, singing "What are you going to do now Joseph?" He then did a solo and the programme finished.
So, this is a programme in which young men compete to star in a Biblical show. Does ALW's comment about the young ladies on his previous show say something. Is he suggesting we should expect the young men to do better than the ladies. Does the fact they did not somehow influence our unconcious collective thinking. What would Frueud say about the mothers presence and each sons subsequent performance. Could this element alone ensure that a certain type of person wins? Are the young men perhaps overdoing the tears and hugs. Why were these particular two mothers sat directly beside each other, is that coincidence? Does Ben have something to do with conspiracy theories? Does this whole show somehow drag down the moral behind the Biblical story. Why do all the Josephs mock the loser in song. Will the final Joseph be an almost feminine character?
There something big happening with rats. Thats top of the agenda.