Mass hysteria

No, I’m not talking about “Mass” as in church. I’m talking about “mass” as in many, many people. Check it this chronicle of bizarre events from Dark Roasted Blend:

Things supposedly started innocently enough. Kashasha, near Lake Victoria in Tanzania in 1962: One girl in a boarding school there told another girl a joke. Maybe, “Have you heard the one about?” or “A Jew, an Indian, and Herbert Hoover walk into a bar …” or “Take my wife, please … ” Whatever the setup, the delivery, or punch line, the result was laughter. Whether it was a giggle, a guffaw, a chortle, a snort is irrelevant. The listener found it funny.

But then things went dark, weird, and creepy: one girl laughed, but then so did another, and then another, and then another, and then another.

These are extreme cases, but large numbers of people can be afflicted with all kinds of non-rational behaviors. Sometimes we even see this in church! For me, I’m thinking of the giant queue I’ll be standing in on July 11, when I pony up my cash with all the other drones to get the latest Apple product.

I have nothing particularly wise or clever to say here, other than to wonder if it’s worth thinking about this phenomenon as look look around our culture and even our churches.

Image credit: Mario Sanchez Nevado. Article via Boing Boing.

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