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.
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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.