My Obsession

My Obsession

meaning behind flash mobs life as musical

A version of this post ran last December: today’s version has been beefed up a bit for 2013.

My husband has a longstanding obsession with tattoos. It’s not just the image on the bicep that gets him, but the meaning behind it: why did someone choose to make that specific image a part of their very body?

A friend is obsessed with postcards. Not just the cards, but the meaning: how does someone choose which single image will carry their love home?

My own longstanding obsession didn’t used to have a name.

Back in high school, I drove my friends crazy by wishing out loud–too often and too excitedly–that life could be like a musical. There we’d be, just going through our days, when suddenly the clouds would part, the music would soar, and we’d break into song and synchronized dance steps.

In 2003, my dream became real, in a sense, when the flash mob was born. The whole idea seems silly but I love them all the same, these synchronized performances plopped right into the middle of ordinary life.

A flash mob may seem like just a song or a dance, but I suspect there’s more to it than that. That’s why they go viral; that’s why they make us cry. These musical moments plunked down into our ordinary lives give us a glimpse behind the curtain: for a few minutes, our individual stories merge into the same script, showing that we’re all part of the same Great Big Story.

Here are some of my favorite life-as-musical videos. Tell us your favorites–and leave the link to any others you love–in comments. 

Christmas flash mob at Mall of America

Isaac’s proposal (read about a follow-up video here)

Som Sabadell flash mob

WestJet Christmas flash mob (see their 2013 video here)

One Day More flash mob at Warsaw mall

photo credit

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  1. Patti says:

    Have you ever seen the movie “The Fisher King?” It’s odd and pretty depressing, but there was a scene in which one of the main characters (who is grief-stricken) sees the girl he loves, and all of Grand Central breaks into a lovely choreographed dance. It primed me for my flash mob love.

  2. Shelly says:

    I don’t know how to post links with my phone or if it’s even possible, but if you go on YouTube and search “Roosevelt party in the usa”, you’ll see a flash mob at my kids’ old school before I pulled them back out. If you watch the time, at 1:13 (app.), it’ll show my son wearing a white tshirt, jamming out. He’s quite the dancer! (This was filmed 4 years ago.)

  3. Pingback: My Other Obsession

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