Sunday, August 14, 2011

Somebody's Obviously Not Doing Laundry

Okay, Sunday. My day off. A job that I brought home with me on the go, several loads of laundry to do, leftover chicken wings to reheat for breakfast and several errands to run. If I stop to take a bath I may clean the washroom while I'm at it. Days are busy. No rest for the wicked.

Somebody obviously doesn't have enough to do. They call each other to get several hundred friends together on a moments notice to have a pillow fight in the street, or dance at an airport, or sing in a mall.

They call these seemingly impromptu gatherings Flashmobs.

And now, we find those who-don't-play-well-with-the-other-kids-on-the-playground have adopted the technique to instigate riots and lootings en masse. Phhhft. One looter, interviewed recently with a bandana over his face stated, "It's nuffin', it's like Christmas, innit?"

Officials are thinking of taking away cell phone use to curb such violent gatherings. One commentator likened it to taking away telephones twenty years ago. Pretty silly.

I must admit I was taken in when the phenomena began. It was like improv art. The greatest thing was the expression on the surprised public faces. But surely these singers and dancers and pillow fighters would have stopped to think about where their seemingly innocent and sometimes pointless antics would lead.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Obviously they all need something else to do. Like laundry.


  1. Oh Rand, Rand, I love it when you get controversial. I don't know how you can even begin to equate flashmobs, or the way they operate, with rioters!?!

    I love the flashmob phenomenon generally, but that's not even the point. Flashmobs may be organized over social media, over a substantial period of time, but they certainly do not tweet or text each other "on a moments notice" to suddenly go and perform complex synchronized choreography or brilliant choir arrangements of the Halleluiah Chorus! These things are so obviously planned weeks in advance, including the time, date and place, and thoroughly rehearsed.

    Improv art? They're not improv and have never pretended to be. That's the whole delightful appeal of it - they look "impromptu" for only the first few seconds when the first two or three people get up to sing or dance, but as soon as thirty or more people join in, in perfect harmony, everyone catches on immediately to what is happening.

    That is where the astonished looks come from, as onlookers quickly realize that the "ordinary" people that were just standing next to them a moment ago are in fact part of a brilliantly organized and well planned "show" happening all around them.

    How does any of this resemble or relate to riot-lovers texting or tweeting each other on the spot to go burn down buildings or break windows?

    Pointless antics? Although I admit that the pillow fight kind of thing is generally pointless, genuinely talented performers bringing their stuff to the streets is, and always has been, a beautiful thing.

    But you would rather they did their laundry?? Wotta party poop! :-)

  2. Loved your comments Ken. You'll note I used the qualifiers "seemingly impromptu gatherings" and "like improv art" in my posting. Shame, shame for you taking my words out of context... lol.

    Taking your professional standing as an actor and artist into consideration, I must pose one question. What about the poor people that are late and rushing to get food for their sick child before the stores close at the mall, or the traveler at the airport who is late for his flight: both finding themselves suddenly in the midst of a gang of frantically dancing or singing people jumping helter skelter into their way? (Okay, that was a long question.) They never show those poor people on the YouTube posts, do they? Oh no, they just show the delighted ones.

    So yes. Maybe if these people were doing their laundry and keeping art in galleries, theaters and other appropriate venues where they belong: at regulated times for people to see when they can fit them into their schedules... then maybe they wouldn't be giving these hoodlums ideas.

    Ha! Run rings around you logically, didn't I?

  3. The down side of flash mobs swirls around a lack of respect for anything and anyone.. We live in a cement mixer these days that blends poverty, disillusionment, depression, lack of hope, lack of vision and just plain “no place to go. The recipe drives some to anger and petty rebellion. All that energy has no place to rev up and live. The only outlet is violence. Young people have always lived on the edge of anarchy until life takes a firm hold and paints a road in front of them that leads to contribution, faithfulness and a sense of duty. Let’s call it adult hood.

    The violence is misdirected energy that just needs a place to burn brightly. There isn’t a clear direction that these young people can see or imagine. You need dreams and hope and these life builders are just not available to many right now. The problem is much deeper then unruly children acting bad for bad’s sake. The tap on the trickle down society is at the moment, shut off.

  4. Amen, brother Mike. We live in constipated times...