five steps back

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Slightly behind the trend as always, I was part of my first instant mob yesterday. People with my birth month were sent to meet our contact at Hamburger Harry's in midtown (where I ran into Jen Cooper, a friend from college I hadn't seen in years). We were handed a little slip of paper telling us to be hanging out on the 2nd floor of the Times Square Toys 'R' Us by 7:15. At 7:18, we all clustered around the gigantic mechanical dinosaur in the Jurassic Park exhibit, staring at it in rapt terror (and by "all," I mean at least 300 or 400 people--this mob thing is getting huge); at 7:20, we fell to our knees, waving our hands in subjection to the dinosaur-deity; when it roared, we all screamed and covered our faces in terror. At 7:22 or so, the Toys 'R' Us staff, getting seriously freaked out, turned the dinosaur off, and we dispersed as quickly as we could.

I've seen some complaints about flash-mobs: they're dumb, they have no point, they're not being used for anything. But these pranks are clearly a dry run. It's now possible to mobilize a whole lot of people very quickly, with a little advance notice--it can't be long before the actual political applications of this sort of thing show up.

Otherwise: just preparing for Burning Man--we don't leave for another couple of weeks, but the truck to the desert loads tomorrow afternoon, and we're trying to get as much of our stuff as possible onto it so we don't have to worry about cramming it into our van later.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on August 8, 2003 5:54 PM.

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