Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Herd Mentality

I'm cutting short my hiatus because I wanted to present this article:

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Fans of No. 5 Gonzaga have been asked to stop yelling "Brokeback Mountain" at opposing players.

The reference to the recent movie about homosexual cowboys was chanted by some fans during Monday's game against Saint Mary's, and is apparently intended to suggest an opposing player is gay.

The chants were the subject of several classroom discussions over the past week, and the faculty advisers for the Kennel Club booster group urged students this week to avoid "inappropriate chants" during the Bulldogs' Saturday game against Stanford, which was nationally televised on ESPN.


"Many faculty members have brought up the discussion in their classes," he said. "They find none of the students have been comfortable with the chant, and that's a good sign."

So, to recap, a homophobic chant broke out at a basketball game, but after multiple discussions with what we may assume are representative amounts of the student body, no one was comfortable with the chant to begin with.

Here's the scenario: some guy on impulse starts his 'Brokeback Mountain' chant. A couple people around him find it to be a decent insult toward the other team and start in with him. Before too long, the whole section is chanting. It is only later that anyone really thinks about HOW the chant is insulting. They just wanted to get swept up in the moment and make someone on the other side mad. One who doesn't immediately chant is a party pooper, a troublemaker, a weenie. At that moment, consequences don't matter. It is only later that all realize that the party pooper was right. It is only later that hundreds of people realize how derogatory (and why don't we add 'hateful') they were truly being.

This is why the collective mind can be so dangerous. This is how the most destructive movements in our world's history began. Get the propaganda to be flashy and juicy enough and no one will want to think about what it really means. Put enough style and finesse into a cause and no one will care about actual substance. Put hate in a fancy dress and no one will notice.

Get some key people on board and the herd will follow.

'But it's just a basketball chant,' right? It's also indicative of how people with minds of their own get sucked into the collective mind. Leave your reason at the door and follow us. Squash your second thoughts. This is a movement based on fear of being ostracized, not necessarily on loving what is right. Chant first, question the chant later. Murder, oppress, and demean now, 'navel-gaze' later.

Jesus was crucified for not thinking with the herd. His kingdom was not the world's kingdom. God's kingdom was not Caesar's kingdom.

Thank God that he was such a party-pooper.