It’s fun, but I can’t help feeling a bit like Pavlov’s dog… one of the many Pavlov’s dogs there. But as far as crowds go, this one in this particular context is pretty harmless. It’s really not the time or the place to go into crowd psychology matters, is it?
Maybe they don’t even think about it, or maybe they have their own reasons… or maybe it all depends on the individual. I know I have my reasons for jumping when told to jump… For the control freak that I normally am, that’s not so easy to do, not if I think about it. But if I think about it as a voluntary, therefore controlled and selective lack of control… that’s absolutely necessary sometimes in order to unwind, to let go. And much as I try, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I wonder how it must feel to be on the other side of the crowd, the exhilaration the artists must feel. They’re not leading a riot, but still… it is a kind of power.
Have you ever screamed at the top of your lungs in the middle of the street? Have you ever felt like doing it?… Well, I’ve done it once… and felt like doing it again countless times. To be fair, I was at an age when that sort of behaviour could be passed off as youthful eccentricity; also, not living in a small town meant that if there was going to be any reaction to it, that would be “Shut the f*** up, people are trying to sleep.” No one had attacked me, I wasn’t injured or frightened, I was just frustrated, furious, overwhelmed, feeling powerless. So I screamed; then I moved on.
If we had one of those places where you go and throw plates at a wall, I would certainly pay it the occasional visit. But as we don’t have one and I also don’t want my neighbours to call the nice people with the giant butterfly net, I have to settle for quieter, more discrete outlets for my frustration, like everybody else… a sort of silent scream, if you will.
Ah but there are times and places when it’s perfectly acceptable to yell at the top of your lungs and no one will assume you’ve gone mad. Personally, I take advantage of scary rides in amusement parks – I scream as loud as I can when it feels like we’re plummeting into nothingness, and not because I’m afraid or I don’t like it, but because it’s such a good opportunity to purge, to let out all those pent-up screams of frustration, anger or pain.
A concert is as good a place, if you ask me. So I jump and scream and cheer with the rest of them, partly because I’m having fun, and partly because it has been a frustrating year. They all seem so light-hearted… but I wonder, how many of them are doing exactly the same thing?…
To be continued…