Mass Stupidity

Here's an excerpt from an old episode of This American Life.  (By "old" I mean within the past couple of months.)  Just to give some context, Ira was talking here about this group of actors in a play who were tired of doing the same old rote song and dance (literally), and so they tried experimenting with their roles, all ending with each of the actors being totally exhausted.  In this story, Ira hits the nail squarely on the head of something I have wondered for some time:  why is everything more awesome with people than without?
"And the next day they did a lousy show; incredibly low energy.  And here's the disturbing thing:  the audience LOVED it.  They couldn't tell at all...which either means that, you know, A) they are such solid performers and this material – the River Dance material – is so solid, that even on their worst day they are pretty good, or B) – and it's kind of ugly to say, but I'm just going to say it – when you and I and a lot of people, when we get together in a mass group, when we get together in an audience, when we're sitting in a theater in an audience, we just get stupid."


Eliza said...

Fantastic episode. And excerpt.

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Lauren Kay House © 2011