Thursday, August 23, 2007

when two tribes go to war.

Matt expresses his puzzlement at the ability of some folks to get physically violent over something as inane as allegiance to a sports team.

I think it actually makes perfect sense from a sociological and psychological standpoint. Sports teams are a perfect way for some people to claim allegiance to a tribe. It's basically stylized tribal warfare. You have face paint, tribal colors/clothing, flags, fighting songs, and a great herd of people all dressed exactly like you...and then you go to a stadium (a battlefield with beer vendors and arena seating) to watch the best warriors of your tribe go to battle with the best warriors of the Others. Conveniently enough, the Others are easy to identify,because they too have their own colors, flags, and songs.

Such a convenient way to have instant identifiers of Us and Them is deeply satisfying to humans on a primal psychological level. No need to understand circumstances, read situations, or consider nuances--it's as simple as "our color good, their color bad."

Is it a wonder when some folks get a bit caught up in the spirit of things and revert to their neolithic programming in their desire to defend their own tribe?

No comments:

Post a Comment