Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flash "mob"?

I'm sure most of you have seen a flash mob video.  There's even a TV show about flash mobs.  In case you've never heard of it here's how Wikipedia describes one.  A flash mob (or flashmob)[1] is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, artistic expression.

Today was my first experience with a flash mob - and I use the term mob very loosely.  I think there were maybe 15 to 20 of us at this location. Today was an occasion for poets all over the world to express themselves.  James and I took part in 100 Thousand Poets For Change.  No, I'm not a poet but I tagged along with my poet husband.  I also kind of liked the whole idea of the event.  It wasn't really about poets, it was about people demonstrating simultaneously (95 countries participating) with other communities around the world expressing their wish for change -  addressing war, racism, global solidarity, human rights and a lot more. 

We gathered at Kroger, a grocery store, at 11:30 AM, when others around the world were also gathering.  We entered the store, pushing around grocery carts like everyone else doing their Saturday morning shopping.  I was the videographer so I wasn't pushing a cart but James was.  The drums began to play and the group gathered at the front of Kroger, by the customer service counter.  They chanted  a poem agreed upon at an earlier date.  A poem written by William Carlos Williams.  The poem goes.

So much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

In addition to the poets reciting this poem there were people wearing paper mache' chicken heads.   Outside Kroger sat my friend, Colleen, holding her chicken, Betty, beside the red wheel barrow.
 Betty was a real trooper.

I was inside holding someone's phone that sent a live feed to the 100 Thousand Poets For Change site, along with my own camera.  Here's a video of our small group participating.

As we left the store the manager followed us out telling us to move along, but in the end none of us went to jail.  As he coaxed us to leave the parking lot I could see a small grin on his face.  From there we went to the court house and did it again.

I have no idea if events like this can make any difference at all but I like the idea of solidarity, and find it comforting to know that in 95 countries others were joining us today in one expression of peace.


  1. Good job!!! I thought of you guys as we packed cow horns with manure. I wonder who had the most fun today!

  2. I like the customers faces as they were leaving.....LMAO....Mike