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Lured like a Trout

11, July 2012

Top Twitter Trend right now is #ASG which was meaningless to me.

It took just two clicks to discover it is an acronym for “All Star Game” and that is a euphemism for some North American Baseball competition with highlights broadcast by Broadband.

The brash confident commentator expertly describes the highlighted hit that is available to watch a continent and several time settings away.

The web page is plastered with advertisements of familiar products and brands glaringly attractive as the broadcaster extols the virtues of the hitter for his team.

Then I realise Glasser is right  – (William – The Reality Therapy and Choice Theory man) – one of our human needs really is’ ‘belonging’ only he talks about ‘love and belonging’. It is a natural urge is to ‘belong’ to something – anything. So when we have energy to spare from our labours we get some of our needs met by identifying with perhaps “The Knicks”* or some other team who are performing in our vicinity, which is worldwide via satellite, cable or broadband. With habituation we feel such a strong connection we might eventually describe it as “love”.

It stands to reason as expounded by Gestalt  psychologians, that two people combining their efforts can achieve more than one alone. So a whole team of players five, seven  eleven or perhaps even hundreds or a nation can succeed against individuals or a disorganised gang. No doubt if we reach back into pre history it was the beings who were best able to combine who had a better chance of survival than isolated or disorganised Beings. So as Darwin discerned those who survive obtain from their ancestors the characteristics that favour survival. Consequently us 20th and 21st century humans are genetically programmed to seek out teams to which we can belong. We are putty ready for moulding by the purveyors of  products associated with ’our team’.

First those purveyors, who seek our money, stimulate our sense of belonging to the team, which we grow to love. To prove and reinforce our loyalty as we might to an intimate lover we keep buying their products, be they match tickets or replica players uniforms. Thus we feel even more part of the ‘team’ than if we just spectated in jeans and a tee shirt!

* New York Knickerbockers, so named to identify with the garments worn by early Dutch Settlers in North America and utilised in the pseudonym of  early nineteenth century writer Washington Irving.


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