As always, the only thing linking the two items mentioned in this post in my mind is that they both start with the same letter of the alphabet.
Seriously, people, I tell you — Linus has got it exactly right. Is there anything that says “comfort” and “cozy” more obviously than a blanket? You can snuggle up (preferably with a pet, if available) in winter and be warm; you can use it as a lighter alternative to a “real” comforter in summer; if you don’t mind it getting dirty you can take it outside for a picnic and / or sunbathing (though personally I mostly use beach towels for that purpose); you can take it to outdoor cultural / entertainment or sports events; and let’s face it, even if not in use, it just adds something to the aura of any room it’s in. I already own more blankets than I can possibly use at any one time, but I’m still tempted to get more whenever I see another one that seems to have my name on it! (And, well — one of my favorites actually does.)
As should become fairly obvious the more this project progresses (if you don’t know this about me already), I’m not much of a person for joining crowds, anyway, but IMHO there’s something particularly detestable about blindly following an “influencer”, “opinion leader” or trend — which is what bandwagons are for the most part: They don’t grow to magnitude on the strength of people who think about the issue at hand and actually make a rational and well-informed decision to join — by which I don’t mean that such people don’t exist (and more power to anybody who actually does try to make rational and well-informed choices at least most of the time), or that on an individual basis, someone having brought due critical thought to a given matter might never (for whatever reasons) come to agree with a bandwagon issue. But bandwagons chiefly feed either on those who just want to be part of the “in” crowd, or whose default mode is “if everybody else is for / against it, they’re probably right”, as well as on those whose emotional responses (typically, fears) are triggered by the bandwagon issue, to an extent sufficient to override their critical thinking. And from internet sh*tstorms. lynch mobs and other forms of mobbing, both off- and online, to anti-vaxxers, COVID deniers and populist politics, bandwagons are invariably hurtful: to those sitting on them (when they’ve been conned into harming themselves) or to someone else; namely, the target whom to hit they have been created in the first place or, for example in the event of populist politics and other mass movements, even to the community at large.
Bandwagons, like most commercials for food rich in sugar and fat, capitalize on a part of our biological makeup that goes all the way back to our Stone Age ancestors. Moreover, bandwagons typically work because those sitting on them suffer either from the start or eventually end up suffering from the cognitive dissonance described in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave; i.e., that it’s them — who have been blinded and led up the garden path — who are actually in the best of all places that nobody should ever want to leave in the first place; and that it’s those who are not sitting on the bandwagon who are just too blind or stupid to recognize this (and must therefore be ridiculed, forcibly converted or, at worst, eliminated). It is therefore extremely unlikely that we’ll ever get rid of them entirely — in fact, they unfortunately seem to have grown in importance again recently — but the simple truth is that over the course of history, a huge number of bad decisions, both by and for the people making them and for their communities, have been products of bandwagons … which is why I’m doing my best to give them as wide a berth as I can once I’ve recognized them for what they are. And I hope and pray that, despite my best efforts to avoid them, I’ll never catch myself sitting on one after all.