Paul Makepeace ;-)

October 07, 2004

London Pillow Fight Club - aftermath (Events)

This early evening what seemed like several hundred folks gathered in front of St Paul's Cathedral for the first London Pillow Fight Club. I showed up a little after the posted 17:40 kickoff and it was in full, literally, swing. A core of probably a hundred or so battlers were beating the stuffing out of each other...'s pillows, and quite obviously enjoying themselves. Quite a sight!

Especially amusing was that the London Mayor's two Roll Royces were there with the usual police escort. Around about 18:00 they drove off and had to drive, very slowly, right through the middle of the pillowfighters. Much laughter, and the moment the back of the car had made it through the middle another frenzied skirmish broke out, hilarious to watch.

What I love about these sorts of events is that a critical mass and density of people arrive in one spot joined loosely by an idea. This spontaneous community forms out of an event, becoming a pretext for meeting others, gathering new friends, and reconnecting with old. Something similar happened with the otherwise totally bizarre David Blaine: the spectacle of him hanging starving near Tower Bridge drew crowds round the clock. Many would then just stay there having had their fill so to speak of hungry Blaine. Why stay? Cos there's a bunch of people there which they are connected with. That tiny bit of connection is enough. Isn't that saying something?

Had a discussion on a list recently about talking to strangers and how 'hard' it is and how it's not the done thing. I think this is bullshit. We have a deep and abiding need to connect with others. Anything that taps into this is a given success, and yet it's attempted far less frequently than it could be. Seeing this sort of event happen is really heartening. Iit makes the extraordinary a little more ordinary: that we can meet one another and have fun doing it.

A German couple asked me as I was leaving for the Dana Centre, "Why are they doing this? What's it for?" To which I replied simply, "It's for fun!"

[I have a little movie and a landscape shot I'll post after I've processed them when deadlines over.]

Posted by Paul Makepeace at October 7, 2004 00:34 | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?