After watching the above video of a yesterday's "aerobics flash mob" on the 16th Street Mall, I think it's fair to declare the "flash mob" concept officially dead. And thank God. The spectacle of seemingly-spontaneous, absurdist street theater popularized by left-wing "prank-tavists" and urban, drama club hipsters began to lose its remaining sense of cultural relevancy for me last year when I saw a flash mob weaved into the plot of one of those prime-time CSI shows.
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And here we have an aerobics flash mob organized by LiveWell Colorado, a state-sponsored fitness non-profit funded by millions in federal grants intended to lower obesity rates. They're not the only local public health campaign that has turned to so-called guerrilla marketing to project their message onto the public. This spring, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers slapped hundreds of oh-so-mysterious "Love Heals" stencils on sidewalks across the city.
I'm all for people losing weight and curing cancer through love or whatever. But if your underground media effort involves high-end ad agencies, pulling permits and obtaining permission from property owners and security guards, then it's not really underground. It's Big Brother in spandex.