Thursday, June 15, 2017

wrapped in a wet sheet

In the long-ago -- and in the present for all I know -- mental patients were wrapped tightly in wet sheets as a means of stilling their writhings. A wet sheet ... imagine that. Immovable ... it scares the shit out of me just to think of it.

This morning, a friend sent along a news story about the Southern Baptist convention in Phoenix. The gathering finally reached a quasi-agreement that "alt-right" (largely white supremicism beyond the boundaries of more camouflaged or taciturn conservatism) was not tolerated by Christian constituents such as themselves.

Honest to goodness, gatherings like that -- or like the Taliban -- scare the pants off me in the same way that any large-scale-gathering does. A wet sheet. Large gatherings of people, with or without a religious overhang, tend to segue into group-think-stupidity that wraps all and sundry into an immovable whiteness. It does not encourage imagination or breadth or creativity ... it imposes the will of the many. Christ, it feels good! If we all ascribe to the tenets, then the tenets must be true. Scaaaaarey.

LaRochefoucauld, for all the arrogance an aristocratic backdrop can confer, was closer to being right when his maxim observed approximately, "The intelligence of the mass/throng is inversely proportionate to its number."

Groups can accomplish some very good things, perhaps, but preying on the human propensity to bask in the agreement of the many and hence divest the individual of responsibility is despicable ... and scary.

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