The visitors of the National Air and Space Museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, were delighted by a first-ever flash mob organized by the U.S. Air Force Band. Starting with a single cellist, who began playing in the middle of the floor, this performance kept expanding right in front of the unsuspecting museum visitors. The four-minute performance of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World,” made me want to see it firsthand. The grandeur of this flashmob is impeccable. Please, enjoy, and click LIKE and SHARE.
The term “flashmob” was added to the 11th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary on July 8, 2004. It is described as an “unusual and pointless act,” which is not applied to events and performances organized for the purposes of politics (such as protests), commercial advertisement, publicity stunts that involve public relation firms, or paid professionals.
The first flash mobs took place in Manhattan in 2003. They were organized by Bill Wasik, senior editor of Harper’s Magazine. His first attempt was unsuccessful, because the targeted retail store has been tipped off. However, his next flashmob worked out, thanks to the secrecy of the members. It took place on June 17, 2003 at Macy’s. More than 130 people gathered, convincing the sales assistant that they lived together in a warehouse, and were shopping for a “love rug.”
Wasik claimed that his idea behind organizing flashmobs was to make fun of hipsters and to highlight the people’s will to be an insider or part of “the next big thing”. The Vancouver Sun wrote about the idea, “It may have backfired on him … [Wasik], he ended up giving conformity a vehicle that allowed it to appear nonconforming.” In another interview Wasik said, “The mobs started as a kind of playful social experiment meant to encourage spontaneity and big gatherings to temporarily take over commercial and public areas simply to show that they could.”