Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday Five: The Mesmeric Magic of Crowds

Following on from last week's Friday Five, I've been thinking about the mesmeric influence of dancing in a club; of the wonderful vibe experienced at a rave. A lot has been written about the brutality of the mob; about how being part of a crowd can make a person lose their individuality and behave in an ugly and anti-social manner. At this point some sort of reference is made to riots, hooliganism and/or the French Revolution. But I think that sometimes crowds can have a beatific influence, and their collective nature can be a force for good. And please stop waving your phone/tablet about and ruining it for everyone else. Aren't you capable of remembering stuff?

5 Times it's good to be part of a crowd:
  1. Music/ dancing - as discussed. Of course one can dance with oneself, but the experience is a lot different if there are 'twenty thousand people standing in a field'
  2. Theatre/film/sport - A live audience is a wonderful thing. The shared emotion makes a film even more memorable - watching Silence of the Lambs in a cinema where the code of conduct was impeccably observed and everybody jumped at the same instant was unforgettable
  3. Battle - That speech of Henry V wouldn't have been so inspiring if no band of brothers were there to listen
  4. Church/vigil - Whatever your belief or religion, if you share it publicly with others through song, prayer, or silence, the feeling of togetherness is indescribable
  5. Rally/ threat - There is power in a union: The people united will never be defeated

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