POST: Blue Man Group. Is it bad to think as one?

 Photo by Darbe Rotach

Photo by Darbe Rotach

As I sit and attempt to recreate my experience, I find it extremely difficult.  It's not difficult because the show was without value or content, but rather because the Blue Man Group was an extraterrestrial experience.  The “aliens” swallow balls of clay and paint to create oral art.  They throw toilet paper at the audience as strobe lights flash and percussion is played.  These antics seem playful and childish but I have spent days searching for deeper thinking in a show where the players never opened their mouths to say a word yet still interacted with the audience.

 Photo by Ken Howard

Photo by Ken Howard

One would think it frightening to blindly follow a mute blue man, but as they pulled people from the audience there was no resistance. A man with no idea of where he was going was led back stage, where he was suited up, hung upside down, dowsed in paint, and slammed against a canvas.  Shortly before this a woman randomly selected from the audience is drawn on stage and she mimics the movements of the performers without instruction, just by following mere visual cues.  I sit in awe but as free a thinker as I am, I even conform as a screen flashes instructions for the audience and it hits me.  The show does illicit a type of thought, but one that a child of a capitalist country is not used to, group thought.  It is for this reason that the show seemed so queer, yet I was happy and at peace.

Often in life we are encouraged to think for ourselves, to be individuals.  However, can we truly have independent thoughts?  Do our morals truly come from us or are they merely thoughts embedded by those who nurture us?  We seek to form unique identities, yet as social organisms we rarely break from groups, asking for friends on facebook and longing for followers on twitter.

I hear my generation condemning cults and breaking from organized religion because the idea of blindly following is creepy and archaic, so we'd much rather join the group of progressive thinkers and non-conformist. But, even in nonconformity we conform it seems.  

I pose this question to the reader, can we truly ever be defined outside of a group (be it defined by our interests, our race, our socio-political standings)?  
Is it a bad thing to be content in thinking as one?  
In what situations are we willing to be sheep, and who would we allow to be our shepherd?