I was just reminded of a child’s cruel game, if you will, called A Swirly. The victim is forced to kneel in front of a toilet and his head is shoved down into the water, (not their face so much as the top of the head) and then the others flushes the toilet. I have never partaken in such childish torture, but heard of it many years ago as a descriptive phrase about another colleague, (as in he would’ve been tortured thusly.) Not being a torch and pitchfork bearing sort, I recoiled at the description, but could see how the stampede might’ve happened. For it was a very heavy herd ritual, one that left none untouched.
The victim kneels before the bowl, in itself a symbol of the eternal, the digested, and the entrance to the underworld. The top of the victims head is dunked in. The top of the head having huge spiritual importance as the connection point to god (tonsure theory, yammukahs.) And then the Flushing, which must indeed be a very tactile experience, one aimed at cleansing and perhaps thought to pull out the non-conforming spirit.
For the victim it may have humbled their individuality and spirit of non-conformity, or if nothing else it must’ve made a clear message from the Herd. For the torturers it was a very clear lesson in Herd power, and their own connections to the Herd might’ve strengthened. From both sides of the act, deep physical impressions are made. From the Victim, being forced to knees in front of toilet by people you know becomes a submission to the will of the Herd. For the Enactors, there is a feeling of enforcing evolution, of public spiritedness, of being One with the Herd, of self-righteousness and enabled strength of purpose and body. They walk away feeling they had done something right, and that feeling grows to be thoughts along the same lines.
Occasionally, I think, I hope, the torturers repent of their cruelty, but I fear that regardless of any intellectual shift, deep down is that satisfied feeling of enforcing the rules.
The Swirly. I wish I’d never heard of it, but it brings to mind a whole genre of Herd behaviors that are deeply ingrained in the basest of human nature. These things, these mental devices, these rules of the Herd, they are deeper than cultural biases, but they harken to a time of animal ferocity and a cruelty that outstrips any so called lesser animal, these they must be brought into the daylight, or moonlight, and be examined, understood, judged and changed for the sake of evolution.