Now, I’m infatuated with the Bondi Beach Flash Mob on YouTube. I’m not usually emotionally labile. I’m one of those gay guys still buying into the notion that I’m supposed to be emotionally distant in order to be a man (not proud – just sayin’…). So why is it, then, that this stuff makes me all weepy? What is it about a so-called “flash mob” that makes my lip quiver and my eyes mist up?
Of course I have a theory, and of course I’m going to share it. I think flash mobs (and not just the ones with drag queens) cut straight to my little gay core because I can’t avoid reading into the text the metaphor of coming out. Like the flash mob, we’re everywhere and intermixed among the unsuspecting populace. Like the flash mob, we’ve got our own moves, routines, rhythms and choreography that we know from a lifetime of negotiating how to be gay in a straight world, but the rest of the population just doesn’t know the steps (even if they wanted to join in). Like the flash mob, we know sometimes camp is the only way to resist a world of sleepwalkers taking for granted that everyone around them is just like them, that everyone around them moves and thinks just like them, that everyone around them is here to do just what they do.
When wave after wave of “spectators” jump up over time and join in, it sends chills down my spine. Like the flash mob, we are fabulous, fearless, and fierce in the face of every effort to make us conform to the expectations of the faceless sea of straights sunbathing next to us. I think I know why this makes me cry (this one makes me ball like a baby). I think it taps into this fantasy I subconsciously (until now) carry around, that one day we’re all going to hear the music playing, and as one, we’re going to jump up and start dancing with our freak flags (and our gay flags) flying. And it will be stunning and awesome and beautiful. And the rest of the world is going to smile stunned, and grab their cameras, and think to themselves, “This is fantastic!”
So this turned out to be totally confessional and perhaps not in keeping with what I typically write. I hope the gratuitous pics of Hugh kept you occupied. I also hope you’ll forgive me for my digression. Now I’m going to watch the video clip from Bondi Beach again with the kleenex box in hand.