The recent rash of supposed "flash mob" crime in downtown's glitzy Streeterville neighborhood have the Chicago media in such a frenzy that a man being robbed by four kids of his iPod downtown got a longer write-up in the Tribune than four broad-daylight shootings on the South Side. A blogger on this very website wrote a post entitled "Forget 'Fast Tracking to Anarchy': We've Arrived," regarding the sporadic incidents.
But Chicagoist, among others, has griped that groups of youth committing crimes shouldn't be described as flash mobs. They may well have a point: in several of the incidents described with the "f" word, there was no evidence that the crimes were coordinated by social media, text or any other digital communication, seemingly a cornerstone of flash-mobbing. Not to mention, they write, flash mobs are usually for the purpose of entertainment or general silliness.
Fortunately for the terrified people of Chicago, the good folks at Improv Everywhere are descending on the city this weekend to remind us what a real flash mob is all about.
Here's the idea: you download (but don't listen to) an MP3 file, and store it on an MP3 player. Then, on Sunday, you head to the park, and at exactly 1:30 p.m., start the file. Hundreds if not thousands of people will start following the instructions on the roughly 35-minute recording.
We cheated and played the file, and trust us, hilarity will ensue.
For the full instructions on what to do, and to download the MP3 file (but seriously, don't cheat like we did) click here.
And if you don't believe us about how goofy and amazing this will be, watch highlights from a previous MP3 experiment:
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