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Northwest Cachers; Read the article below and be creative. That is all.


Flash Mob


Is it performance art or the ultimate surprise party? A social phenomenon known as the 'flash mob', which began in New York and relies on e-mail, appears to be spreading worldwide.


Using mass e-mailing, the organisers bring together what their invitations describe as 'inexplicable mobs' - large crowds that materialise in public places and suddenly dissipate 10 minutes later.


Since the first flash mob was organised in Manhattan in May, by a mischievous underground group called the Mob Project, the practise has already spread to other U.S. cities, while plans are being drawn up for events in London, Rome and Vienna.


The concept's creator, a shadowy figure known only as Bill, started off by e-mailing 50 friends to gather at a retail store in downtown Manhattan. The plan was foiled after the store was tipped off, forcing Bill to introduce an element of subterfuge.


For mob number two, participants were asked to gather in advance in one of several bars and only then were handed a leaflet detailing the target - Macy's department store.


More than 100 people suddenly appeared on Macy's home furnishing floor and, as instructed by the leaflet, began discussing whether to purchase a 'love rug' for their fictitious commune. To the bewilderment of the sales staff, the crowd then melted away as quickly as it had formed.


As Bill's e-mail pool has expanded, so has the size of the gatherings. Mob number three saw nearly 200 people flood the lobby of the swanky Hyatt Hotel and erupt into synchronised applause in front of bemused guests, while number four involved the invasion of a shoe boutique in Soho with participants pretending to be hick tourists from the southern U.S. state of Maryland on a bus trip.


"It's a spectacle for spectacle's sake - which is silly, but is also, as I've discovered somewhat to my surprise, genuinely transgressive, which is part of its appeal, I think," said the mysterious Bill in an e-mail exchange. "People feel like there's nothing but order everywhere, and so they love to be a part of just one thing that nobody was expecting."


A spokesman for the New York police department was wary about commenting on the legality of the mobs, but said the police would intervene only if there was criminal intent. For the most recent event, on July 24, one group gathered in an Irish bar, trying vainly to act casual as they loitered around the jukebox mentioned in the invitation.


"Are you with the mob?" whispered one anxious first-timer, only to be shushed with a knowing nod and wink, followed by a nervous giggle. A Mob Project representative surreptitiously handed out instruction leaflets, guiding that group and others to a grassy knoll in Central Park, opposite the American Museum of Natural History.


The mob began at 7:18 pm precisely - the 300-plus participants having synchronised watches with a time zone website - and the surreal instructions were followed to the letter:

· For the first three minutes, make as little noise as possible. If you can make a realistic bird call, you may occasionally do so.

· By 7:21 pm, you may make all bird calls, unrealistic or no.

· By 7:23 pm, you may also mumble, 'bird noise'.

· By 7:25 pm, you may also call out, "Nature here! Come get some nature," to passers-by.

· At 7:26 pm, chant "Na-ture" for 20 seconds, cheer and disperse.


"It was over before I could work out whether it was really clever or really dumb. But either way I kind of enjoyed it," said Lorien Poole, 24, who was e-mailed by a friend.


Just a few hours later, the event was the subject of heated discussion on several website chatrooms devoted to the flash mob trend. "It seems to me that while this is all fun, harmless and interesting for now, that it is just a matter of time before a fight breaks out and the mob becomes a riot," wrote one pessimistic participant.


Bill has made it clear he intends to wind up the project before it gets out of hand, although the concept appears to be taking on a life of its own.


San Francisco, Minneapolis and Phoenix have all staged their own events, while the first European mob took place this week in Rome, when 300 people entered a music and bookstore and asked for non-existent titles. The idea has also been adopted and given a more political agenda by other groups.


In Detroit, a group of gays and lesbians organise the 'Detroit Guerrilla Queer Bar', which targets a local straight restaurant or bar for 'swarming' on a designated night. And in Boston, Reggie Cummings, a black software developer, coordinates 'friendly takeovers' by crowds of black yuppies of downtown bars with a traditionally white clientele.


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The author of this article needed to do a bit more research. Flash mobs have been going on in Western Europe for a couple of years. I think it began in Finland, with quick-messaging on Nokia phones. I suppose the NYC ones are more of an organized event, whereas the European were kids being spontaneous.


An interesting concept, though -- must be fun to act silly and confuse everyone for a few seconds. icon_smile.gif



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here's another quote from that article:

"In Detroit, a group of gays and lesbians organise the 'Detroit Guerrilla Queer Bar', which targets a local straight restaurant or bar for 'swarming' on a designated night."


Methinks this would work good for us 'swarming' a bar full of dissenting lesbians.

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You guys in portland are luck enough to have someone already set up a website. For those in the portland area though the site has closed and is now inviation only. Here in GA there has been one in Atlanta (an hour north, im in Macon) last wednesday where about fifty people dressed in red gathered in a mall and read the Miranda rights and left. Also there was one recently in NYC at the toy r us. there was an article in reuters about it search google, "flash mob".


Happy Hunting icon_smile.gif



If war protesters don't believe in violence what would they do if we punched them in the nose?

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Perhaps we can have a Flash Cache at a big mall and pretend that our GPS units are scanners and go around pointing them at people and moving them like some Star Trek medical scanner. Do it silently but pretend like you are taking copious notes. Do that for 10 minutes and then end the Flashmob and go get some grub and talk about it.



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Team Joyson and I sent The Quantum Mechanic the instructions, but I guess we were too late icon_frown.gif The event was definitely different. Just a small turnout -- maybe 30 people? -- but it was all worthwhile when one bypasser told us to get a life. Ahhh, it doesn't get any better. There were a reporter and photographer from the Willamette Week, so look for an article.


The second e-mail said there'd be more information coming on how to "invite" others to join the mob.

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Well if a 340 person e-mail list yields 30 people, they'd better get started building a larger list if they hope to get the 200+ people they were bragging about. The photographer from Willamette Week kept shoving his camera in people's faces which got a bit annoying, but then again us shouting "COFFEE PEOPLE"..."STARBUCKS"... etc. got annoying for some people as well.


For those of you who didn't make it... which is everyone except Bodoni & us... 2 teams arrived at different locations (sharks & jets), and then began to walk (fingers snapping) to opposite corners of 23rd and Hoyt where a Coffee People stands on the SW Corner, and a Starbucks 50 ft away on the NW Corner. We then proceeded to shout the name of our respective Coffee Shop at each other. "COFFEE PEOPLE" "STARBUCKS" "COFFEE PEOPLE" "STARBUCKS"...

It was fun initially (a 6 yr old kid who wasn't even with the initial group started shouting w/ the Starbucks croud, then switched to the Coffee People), but became awkward after about 4 mins when people started reving motorcycle engines & shouting stuff. In the end, we all cheered & walked away.


Fun? I'm not sure. I think Bodoni said it best when he said it was "different". At least I had him there to share in the embarrasment... which is more than I can say for my wife who was across the street & up the block.


"And then Trogdor smote the Kerrek, and all was laid to burnination."

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Allright, I'm not sure if interest in this has dropped off or not, but here's info on the next mob.



When: Saturday September 13th @ 1:13pm

Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park (near Salmon St. Fountain)

Duration: 8 Minutes

What: Red Light / Green Light


We will be playing one of my favorite children’s games.. Red Light / Green

Light. Here are the rules.




Start by choosing one person to be the Stoplight (someone will be pre-chosen),

more commonly referred to as "It." Line up the children side by side at least

30 feet behind the Stoplight.


While facing away from the children, the Stoplight calls out one of two

commands. He can call for a "green light," which allows the children to run

toward him. OR can call out "red light," all the children must freeze before

the Stoplight turns around. If the Stoplight catches anyone moving, he can send

this person back to the starting line. The first person to touch the Stoplight

wins and gets to be the Stoplight in the next game.


SO.. Gather near the Salmon Street Fountain just before game time. Look at the

fountain, enjoy the river and the lovely sunshine (my sources say sun, but be

prepared for rain..). Then at 1:13 on the nose head to the large grassy area

just north (to the left if you are facing the river) of the fountain. Line-up

and face the “IT” person who will be out in the middle of the field.


We will play the game; starting over if someone wins, until our time is up. At

1:21pm everyone will applaud for 10 seconds and disperse.

Why do I have the strange feeling that someone's going to suffer loss of limb from this? I remember as a kid, these games turning into more of an all out tackle session than any semblance of the peaceful game they make it out to be here. Anyone planning on going?


"And then Trogdor smote the Kerrek, and all was laid to burnination."

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