So I went to the Mob Project's Mob #6 today. I showed up at Harry's Hamburgers by myself, hung around until 7, at which point I received a little slip of paper with further instructions. The first thing I noticed was that a great majority of the people involved were white males in their 20's or 30's, button down shirt, hip glasses, with occasional satchel bag. Weird.
The directions read as follows:
Duration: 6 minutes (Gather at 7:18; disperse at 7:24.)
The Site: Toys R Us (Broadway at 44th St).
By 7:15, situate yourself on the second floor of Toys R Us, away from the Jurassic Park section.
At 7:18, approach the giant animatronic dinosaur. Fill in all around it. It is like a terrible god to you. Stare at it transfixed.
At 7:20, drop to your knees, still staring at the dinosaur. Whenever it roars, moan and cower behind outstretched hands.
At 7:24, disperse. No one should remain in Toys R Us after 7:27.
KEEP THIS SLIP HIDDEN. NO PHOTOS OR INTERVIEWS BETWEEN 7:15 AND 7:20.
What really happened: At 7:15, people started pouring and gathering around the dinosaur. Suddenly, the whole crowd fell to its knees. The dinosaur fell into roaring, we shrieked and hid behind our hands. The place was PACKED with people. I felt like I was on the subway. The people working at the store were very confused, I think. One of them shouted out, "Is anyone making a purchase?"
When I was kneeling, I just really wanted to get up and leave. I felt like this was a waste of the potential of human beings to come together and create something meaningful, exploiting our predisposition towards new paradigms to create something totally useless. A little too postmodern for my tastes. In addition, I felt bad for the Toys 'R' Us people whose store we were clogging up, and whose tourist customers we probably scared the hell out of. But I guess some of them seemed to enjoy it.
Police, or at least extra security, were called, and the mob was given a little bit of help on the way out. There were definitely still people inside at 7:27. But I think there were a lot more people than anyone was expecting. I'm just glad nobody got hurt or arrested or what have you. I mean, it was really crowded!
I ran into some friends from high school and college, and afterwards, a guy who I'd talked to a little while I was waiting at Hamburger Harry's came up to me with a woman and a camera and wanted to ask me a few questions. It looked like a camcorder and they both had accents, so I thought they were just tourists or something. After I had talked to them, they asked me my full name, and I was like "Uh, what is this for?" We're from Reuters, they said.
Damn sneaky TV news bastards. :)
Great pictures at Satan's Laundromat. Other coverage at Fred's Journal, Writing My Name In Water, cce blog, glowlab news and You Listen to Me, Mr. Kick-Ass. (She's got a couple posts on the topic, so that's the weekly archive.)