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upcoming blog posts and MOB MENTALITY

Upcoming blog topics/mob mentality

I’ve been blogging in my head a lot lately, partly because it’s my habit, but also b/c of the semi-broken computer. I’m not sure I’ll ever write most of my mental entries down, but hopefully, I’ll get the chance to do a couple at least, because they’re topics that really got me going. For instance, I should provide a writing update (basically, nothing new). Also, we went to see BLOOD DIAMOND. It’s so sensational, it definitely deserves a blog entry of its own.

And meanwhile, HBO’s Rome is clearly the best thing on TV right now, with 24 a close second. And best comedy? I still like How I Met Your Mother, but 30 Rock gets funnier every week, so it’s getting close.

Also, out of nowhere, I started thinking about a course I took in college regarding the behavior of crowds – specifically when does a "crowd" turn into a "mob"?

Okay, it wasn’t really out of nowhere, but rather, in relation to a few confrontations I’ve watched from the sidelines on some blogs.

It’s fascinating to study the way in which people surrender their individual identities in exchange for group membership. We all do it, but only up to a point, right? As a member of a political party, for example, I often wince at some of the pronouncements that are supposedly made on my behalf. Do I speak up? Depends on the circumstances – in private, certainly, but in front of the opposition, it can be tricky. But at least, inwardly I wince. And if it gets really out of hand, then I speak up no matter what the circumstances.

Not so when a mob mentality starts to take over. Members are of one mind, completely surrendering their individuality.

Long story short, lately I’ve wondered: Are some of these blog posters wincing? Or do they really agree with everything their allies are saying?

It’s complicated by the inherently deceptive nature of blogs. A blog isn’t a public forum, even though some of them choose to masquerade as such. A blog is more like someone’s living room. So our instincts tell us it’s rude to come there and disagree. So we agree, then suddenly, yikes, did I just agree with that? And even for someone like me, who generally doesn’t post, but just stops by to browse, it can be rather sobering.

Just when you’re looking for a graceful exit, other posters arrive, attacking your host or hostess. What’s the etiquette? No one knows. Meanwhile, people start talking about free speech, and it becomes an us-against-them free for all.

I used to love studying this sort of thing. That’s why I pursued a field major at UC Berkeley – combining a specific group of sociology, philosophy, cultural anthropology and political science classes that were all focused on issues like this one – individuals as part of, or versus, crowds.

But given my instinctive avoidance of crowds, and my general reluctance to join groups, I never dreamed I’d find myself observing this behavior at such close range. (As if I needed another reason to blog hop!)

I’d love to discuss this phenomenon with someone whose personality is the opposite of mine, i.e. someone who, when they see a crowd gathering, just has to go over and find out what’s going on.

Unlike Kate, who slowly, unobtrusively moves in the other direction. La, la, la, la….

What do you think? Are these blog battles just good, clean, 21st century fun? Or does anyone else see cyber-pitchforks and torches?

I’m kidding! ……Really…… Sort of.

BTYL,

Kate

 

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