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August 3, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Tourist Lanes & New Yorker Lanes One afternoon, field agents of Improv Everywhere "...created separate walking lanes for tourists and New Yorkers on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk. Department of Transportation 'employees' were on hand to enforce the new rules and ask pedestrians for their feedback on the initiative."
posted by ShawnStruck (72 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I lump the improv everywhere people in with flashmobs as people i find distastefully narcissistic.
posted by modernnomad at 6:41 PM on August 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Said it many times before... and I'll say it again.. GO HOME AND GET OUT OF THE CITY
posted by ReeMonster at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2010


Real New Yorkers avoid tourist traps to begin with.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2010


They needed traffic cones to narrow the flow, and flashing signs and arrows, and mandatory ID checkpoints, and tasers..... THEN it would have been funny!
posted by HuronBob at 6:48 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Improv Everywhere is obnoxious, stupid, and not welcome on the sidewalks I walk on. These people are being being worse than the tourists. At least the tourists provide valuable income for the city, what does Improv Everywhere bring to NYC? I am not amused by their childish antics.
posted by fuq at 6:49 PM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


As the media tried to figure out who the anonymous artist was, The New York Times City Room blog wondered out loud, “Maybe it’s Banksy.”

Oh I bet you were praying for someone to pull that comparison out of a hat.
posted by 2bucksplus at 6:50 PM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love the dude that's like, "I walk pretty fast though."
posted by edbles at 6:53 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I lump the improv everywhere people in with flashmobs as people i find distastefully narcissistic.

Distastefully narcissistic? I haven't been there in a while, but you do know that they're in New York City, right? You want humility? Move to fucking Milwaukee.

They seem to be pretty harmless. I feel like if Improv Everywhere was just a group of 6 or 7 guys that nobody had heard of people would be less snarky about this.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:58 PM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I used to think that Improv Everywhere sounded obnoxious in theory, but the ideas and execution made me grudgingly admit that their stuff was pretty funny. I don't feel that way anymore-- last couple of FPPs suggest that they've turned the corner and are now just as obnoxious as they're supposed to be.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:06 PM on August 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jumped the shark.
posted by empath at 7:08 PM on August 3, 2010


Said it many times before... and I'll say it again.. GO HOME AND GET OUT OF THE CITY

Seriously -- people are trying to see the sights here! Don't you have a drab apartment in Brooklyn to loiter in?
posted by escabeche at 7:15 PM on August 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


I could swear this iss a double, so people have already expressed their unfounded hatred of Improv Everywhere in that other thread.
posted by Think_Long at 7:16 PM on August 3, 2010


I LIKED IMPROV EVERYWHERE BEFORE THEY GOT BIG.
posted by edbles at 7:16 PM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


escabeche -- I'm talking about Improv Everywhere, not tourists. I love tourists. Come to my city, check it out, have a great time; I'll even give you some tips on where to go.. but Improv Everywhere? Get the fuck out and go home to South Carolina.
posted by ReeMonster at 7:18 PM on August 3, 2010


(taps fuq) Your monocle, sir. I think you dropped it.
posted by Diablevert at 7:23 PM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, how dare they fucking have a little fun! NYC is serious business, sirs!
posted by muddgirl at 7:26 PM on August 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Afroblanco: “Real New Yorkers avoid tourist traps to begin with.”

I don't know about that. Most of the "real New Yorkers" I know still live in New York City, after all.
posted by koeselitz at 7:29 PM on August 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


what does Improv Everywhere bring to NYC?

In one instance, they brought a free wedding reception to one couple who got married at City Hall.

For that reason alone, they're in my Cool Book.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 PM on August 3, 2010 [9 favorites]


Real New Yorkers avoid tourist traps to begin with.

I work in the Financial District, and getting to the subway in the afternoon is a challenge, to say the least. Because of the wide barricades around the NYSE ... wait, I see what you did there.
posted by swift at 7:38 PM on August 3, 2010


I liked Improv Everywhere before they were a group of 6 or 7 guys I'd never heard of.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:40 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once I was at the mall and some teenager - decked out in goth/punk/emo/however it is the youths dress these days - approached me, his friends snickering off in some corner and a little smirk of his own across his face. I was sitting at the food court enjoying a burrito.

"Excuse me sir," he says, holding back from snickering to himself. "Do you like zebras?"

I stare at him blankly. I make a concerted effort to make sure he knows, through my facial expressions, that I am the opposite of amused, "weirded out" or even confused.

"You know...zebras!" he says again, oh-so-goofily. Yes, I get it kid, you're trying to be "random". His friends are watching a few tables over as if it were an episode of Jackass. I keep staring, then I take out my cell phone and pretend to write a text message.

"Dude, you don't like Zebras???? Like, at all???" He's grinning like an idiot.

I stay focused on my phone. I lift my index finger and tell him "can you excuse me for a second?" and pretend to start making a call as I turn away from him. He finally walks back to his friends to go do whatever else the fuck it is that teens do when they've been abolished from every single lawn in their community. Christ they pissed me off.



Improv Everywhere are basically like these teens, except they do it to everyone all the time and post it on youtube and they get lots of attention for it.
posted by windbox at 7:44 PM on August 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


Improv Everywhere is obnoxious, stupid, and not welcome on the sidewalks I walk on.

Yes. Make it stop, Assholes.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:48 PM on August 3, 2010


I don't get the haters. Sure, it's not exactly "improv", but frankly, neither is improv. It's harmless, amusing street-level performance art you can just wander into.

I honestly don't know what kind of miserable-for-the-sake-of-being-miserable human being I'd have to be to not be just a little cheered up after wandering into this sort of thing. Does Rob want to give me a high-five? High five, Rob. A whole Best Buy full of blue-shirted, khaki wearing nerds? Excellent. Twins all over a subway car, or Star Wars, or a car full of people with no pants on? Bring it.

I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder.
posted by mhoye at 7:51 PM on August 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


Just for context, they painted the sidewalk next to the Flatiron Building. (The chalk line would be on the right side of the building, in this photo.) One of the most photographed buildings in NY, if not from that angle.

And just to be clear about it, New Yorkers love tourists. Why, I've seen New Yorkers nearly come to blows over who's going to give the tourist directions. I'm not in NY right now, but give my dad a call. He'll show you around.
posted by anshuman at 7:51 PM on August 3, 2010


It's harmless, amusing street-level performance art you can just wander into..

Unless they faked liking your music, or being your friend...
posted by R. Mutt at 7:57 PM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder.

I do too, but not when it means intruding on people. Getting everyone together and not wearing pants on the train? Whatever, be my guest. I'd most likely be laughing right along.

But if I had a shitty day at work, was feeling pretty miserable* and just wanted to get home, and then some grinning idiot comes up to me with a camera trying to tell me that these are the "tourist lanes"? I would probably just keep my head down and keep walking as I fantasize about how sweet it would be if only for that one minute it was legal to kick the living shit out of people.

*Why yes, yes I had one of those days in case you were wondering.
posted by windbox at 8:01 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder.

Why? What makes weirdness an inherent good? Why not make random people's days better if you must meddle?
posted by enn at 8:11 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope the next FPP is about cheese cause it'd go great with all this whine.
posted by inigo2 at 8:11 PM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not feeling the hate here. The newest Improv Everywhere skit is just brilliant social satire. I mean, who else would have the balls to open a mosque 2 blocks north of the WTC site? That shit is comedy gold.
posted by felix betachat at 8:25 PM on August 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


I mean, who else would have the balls to open a mosque 2 blocks north of the WTC site? That shit is comedy gold.

I know, right? And the one before that, the Collateral Murder stunt? Genius!
posted by item at 9:06 PM on August 3, 2010


Weirdness is an inherent good because it provides a break from the monotony and drudgery that so many of us hoped to avoid when we moved to New York. It reminds us that there is a world outside the "get crushed and make money for your bosses" mentality that is so much of the available work these days. Moreover, we can be part of that break, and it's easy. There are people who want us to join them.

Plus, when I my work does take me to midtown, I sure would appreciate not having to push through a sea of tourists to get where I'm going.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:42 PM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder.

It might be the many generations of dour New England Protestant in me, but I just want to be left the hell alone. Leaving the house should not obligate one to run some Trustafarian's obstacle course.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:52 PM on August 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


Though I more or less agree with you not only is 'trustafarian' a pretty damn dated term but I fail to see how the IE folks would even fall into that category - at least by the content of their videos.
posted by item at 10:03 PM on August 3, 2010


I feel disappointed that this thing is not another thing.
posted by clockzero at 10:09 PM on August 3, 2010


I LIKED IMPROV EVERYWHERE BEFORE THEY GOT BIG.

I MAKE MY OWN IMPROV AT HOME.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:00 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's harmless, amusing street-level performance art you can just wander into.

It's bullying and tormenting innocent and unsuspecting strangers for your own amusement. Sufficiently advanced Improv Everywhere is indistinguishable from the sociopathic personality disorder.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:19 PM on August 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't get the haters

I think it boils down to this:

Fuck you. Leave me alone.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:21 PM on August 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


One for the Improv Everywhere haters: a similar hoax campaign was done in London. Ten years ago.

Fast forward to a fortnight ago and it's actually being discussed seriously.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:40 AM on August 4, 2010


"I'M WALKIN' HERE!"
posted by bwg at 12:43 AM on August 4, 2010


I think it boils down to this:

Fuck you. Leave me alone.


yep. That's about right.

I live in New York, and it's always a trial to get from point A to point B. Time to rest, time to think, and time to decompress can be hard to come by and is therefore precious. That's why when I go to the library I don't want to run into a bunch of assholes dressed as the Ghostbusters, ostensibly "protesting library cutbacks" but making no real statement whatsoever. And why I don't want to run into a re-enactment of Star Wars on my evening commute. And why, in a city that is already sometimes very unpleasantly crowded, I don't want to be part of their "funny" tourist lanes.

The commute in New York is not like a driving commute for a lot of people. You are not in a hermetically sealed box where you can flip on the stereo and bliss out. Especially for people who have to change trains there's a lot of sitting and standing and waiting in sweltering subway stations and being pressed up against sweaty people for 20 minutes after waiting in said stations and 10 minute walks on either side of the subway. In the best of those circumstances, you might be in a position where you can pull out a magazine and read.

I don't have a problem with subway buskers, really. I give pretty much any time someone's performing on my train. They're just trying to make some scratch, and they make no pretenses about their performances, which can be really very entertaining. But the thought of having to endure these simpering shit heels does not make me happy. More than one person in referring to their This American Life appearance points out simply refuse to acknowledge that their little tricks aren't a delight for everyone who unwittingly walks into them, and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they continue to perform these 'missions.'

As for the sanctity of the commute, which so many of us wish to preserve? The city's about to put an end to all of that.
posted by orville sash at 12:57 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wholeheartedly support tourist lanes. A sidewalk is a lane of traffic. LET'S KEEP IT MOVING, PEOPLE
posted by Eumachia L F at 1:24 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, how dare they fucking have a little fun! NYC is serious business, sirs!

I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder.

Have all the fun you want. Do weird stuff. What makes their "performances" different and distasteful is that they require the participation of other people. When your "performance" relies on dragging unprepared strangers into your scenario and relies on those strangers' reactions to having been thrust into an incongruous situation with no warning or consent, you aren't a performer anymore. You are just a bully, fucking with people for your own enjoyment.
posted by gjc at 4:44 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The level of introvert rage in this thread is fascinating. I'd much rather be accosted by an IE hipster douche who A) won't get in my face and B) I think I can take. Rather than the 6'-2" angry man in the Bryant Park tunnel getting in everyone's face and literally blocking people's path and calling them sluts to tell them they're going to hell. The video doesn't show the boring people who kept their earbuds in and ignored them, which although an option with IE is not an option with most of the assholes who get in your face everyday on your commute. We see videos of people engaging with IE because they had time and were bored and wanted a moment of interaction. We don't see video of the people who just walked on by. If you're a New Yorker and haven't honed your, "Sorry, man" (hustle walk quickly away) move, then you might be suffering from some sort of brain disease and should first seek treatment and then move OUT OF A FUCKING CITY BECAUSE SHIT LIKE THIS IS THE POINT OF CITIES.
posted by edbles at 5:19 AM on August 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


No, it really isn't.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:21 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What gave you the impression that this was the point of cities? There's plenty of great public art in NYC that isn't a.) terrible and b.) in my face. But you've really proved my point - there is no way to get around brusque, abusive, or insane people in the city. Why the hell should I have to endure confrontations from people in the name of "our" enjoyment?

But, you know, if you don't like telemarketers, you might be suffering from some sort of brain disease and should first seek treatment and then turn OFF YOUR FUCKING PHONE BECAUSE SHIT LIKE THAT IS THE POINT OF PHONES.
posted by orville sash at 5:45 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Fuck you. Leave me alone.

New Yorkers love tourists but hate everyone.l
posted by smackfu at 5:54 AM on August 4, 2010


I thought it was lighthearted and fun; the picture captioned "One dog was from out of town" made me laugh. You guys must lead Very Important Lives indeed to get so bent out of shape by some lines of chalk.

It's bullying and tormenting innocent and unsuspecting strangers for your own amusement.

a) It's neither bullying nor tormenting.
b) It isn't just for their own amusement-- lots of other people -- including some of the participants-- found this amusing.

You don't want to interact, fine, don't interact-- just go about your business, scowling. However, unless they are physically assaulting you or screaming into your ear with a bullhorn I fail to see how they are hurting you.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:00 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like to have a choice about engaging in someone's art project. That's common courtesy.

If I don't get a choice, it isn't really an art project; at least, it isn't a polite, civilized one. And, you know, if your performance art isn't going to follow civilized rules of engagement, you shouldn't be surprised if someone adds their own bit of uncivilized improvisation to it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:07 AM on August 4, 2010


So does it matter that you weren't involved in this, just that you could potentially have been if you were in that particular area at that time?
posted by smackfu at 6:13 AM on August 4, 2010


unless they are physically assaulting you or screaming into your ear with a bullhorn
posted by orville sash at 6:15 AM on August 4, 2010


Heh. Just wondering how many of the pissed off NYers are really imports from the likes of Arsecrack, IL.

Fun idea tho'. Of course NY walkers don't even realise how easy they have it. Nice wide walking areas, easy grid system & generally flat as a pancake. Come to my hometown & battle with pavements a few feet wide littered with A-boards, parked cars & bikes, and hills you have to crawl up.
posted by i_cola at 6:19 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah I get that some of their other stuff may have been irritating, but this particular example seems pretty easy to opt out of. You got lines on the sidewalk you can ignore. You got a lady with a clipboard whom you can ignore and two guys explaining stuff that you can ignore. Can you explain what is so intimidating to you about some people standing around on a sidewalk. With cameras!!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:22 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want a DO NOT STAND HERE MOTHERFUCKERS zone at the sidewalk subway entrances.
posted by yeti at 7:14 AM on August 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


When your "performance" relies on dragging unprepared strangers into your scenario and relies on those strangers' reactions to having been thrust into an incongruous situation with no warning or consent, you aren't a performer anymore. You are just a bully, fucking with people for your own enjoyment.

I tend to wonder how many people get edited out of Just For Laughs "Gags" because they're not in the mood for weirdness and humour. And let's face it: most of us aren't always in that mood (though some people have an extraordinary talent for cheering you even when you don't want to be cheered). I tend to think that weird/unexpected and potentially humour events are a good barometer of personality, that you get a sense of how playful the person is because it can cut through mood, but that's probably the Fundamental Attribution Error through and through.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:28 AM on August 4, 2010


Weirdness is an inherent good because it provides a break from the monotony and drudgery that so many of us hoped to avoid when we moved to New York. It reminds us that there is a world outside the "get crushed and make money for your bosses" mentality that is so much of the available work these days. Moreover, we can be part of that break, and it's easy. There are people who want us to join them.

What is weirdness after all? When I was a lad, piercings and tattoos were 'weird' and edgy. Jeez now so many people have tattoos and there is even a reality TV show about a tattoo artist. The non-conformists are probably the ones who are NOT inked! Grandma probably has a belly piercing along with her flash mob at Phase II of del Boca Vista.

Well I guess in a pubic place the IE crowd have as much of a right to be annoying as shit as the 19 year-old Mormon "elders" and Jehovah's witnesses. But let's be frank. the "edginess' of this went out of fashion long ago. They are this generation's mimes.
posted by xetere at 7:42 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dear fucking God give me Tourist Lanes and Local Lanes in Philly's Reading Terminal Market before some dude in golf pants from Tampa gets murdered.
posted by The Straightener at 8:04 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


They did it for kicks. Oxford Street in London may be doing it for real.
posted by djgh at 8:26 AM on August 4, 2010


New Yorkers love tourists but hate everyone

No, see, you don't get it. New Yorkers are the friendliest fucks on the planet. You drop something? Here, let me get that for you. You're lost? I can tell you ten different ways to get where you want to go. Someone harassing you? Prepare yourself for the anti-bystander effect where everyone fucks that person's shit up.

Notice the common theme? It's all about civility in the eye of the storm. Order from chaos. Helping you to get shit done, because we all got shit to do. THAT is what cities are about.

The shit in the OP is the antithesis of this. It's all about selfish, personal bemusement. It's not about helping people. Not really. It's about trying to make a joke at everyone's expense. If they really wanted to help speed along foot traffic they would spray paint their pithy little message and back the fuck off. Not try and engage every single person in a hopelessly pathetic attempt to reinforce the joke. GET IT? DO YA GET IT? HA HA HA GET IT? Fucking put a lampshade on your head and go walk out into traffic, asshole.

Just wondering how many of the pissed off NYers are really imports from the likes of Arsecrack, IL

Who gives a flying fuck? Here's the thing: every town has a New Yorker living in it. Someone that wishes places were open all the time. Someone that gets pissed off when people are walking slowly, three-astride, hand-in-hand, slowing everyone else down. Someone that just wishes people would get to the fucking point and move the fuck along. Someone with an innate sense of when to use the word fucking as a descriptor.

Not every one of these folks are lucky enough to be born in New York. But some are lucky enough to get themselves there, somehow. They come from all over the world, these friendly, impatient fucks. And when they take their first steps into the melee and breathe in that funk, they know they've found home.

And you know what? Nobody in New York gives a fuck where you're from. That's other places that care about that shit. You must be from one of those other places.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:31 AM on August 4, 2010 [11 favorites]


The big problem for me is that this stuff just isn't funny. Not in a "I'm personally bothered by your outre behavior!" kind of thing. It's just. Not. Funny.

And why call yourselves "Improv" when everything is meticulously planned? Also, what's the deal with airline food?
posted by Skot at 8:54 AM on August 4, 2010


Yeah, how dare they fucking have a little fun! NYC is serious business, sirs!

I wholeheartedly support making random people's days just a little bit wierder
[sic].

Like sitting next to the guy covered in a festering protective suit made of soiled diapers on the C train wasn't making my day a bit weirder already.
posted by wcfields at 9:39 AM on August 4, 2010


Here’s my post-coffee take on the situation.

Things that are probably true about Improv Everywhere and this stunt in particular:

A) They probably aren’t as clever as they think they are.
B) They’re media darlings and that is obnoxious given A).
C) Navigating a sidewalk with chalk on it and smirking “Agents” is a relatively simple thing compared to the everyday challenges of standard commutes most New Yorkers. (see: the mentally ill, religious people, transit delays, dooring for bicyclists).
D) Their performance art is not to everyone’s taste, including some of the people that may have walked by that intersection.

A+B+D does not equal BULLYS STOMPING ON THE LITTLE PEOPLE.
A+B+D equals slightly obnoxious minor inconvenience that is generally considered par for the course in city life to some, and break from the monotony of a daily commute for others.
posted by edbles at 10:08 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't think this is funny. My uncle was killed by improv.
posted by found missing at 10:34 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


found missing's uncle: YES, AND! . . .
*BANG*
posted by Think_Long at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't think this is funny. My uncle was killed by improv.

Well, at least it wasn't premeditated. *sad trombone*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:42 AM on August 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


*sad trombone*
posted by inigo2 at 11:02 AM on August 4, 2010


INT. SPARSE STAGE WITH LOW LIGHTS, BODY STREWN ON FLOOR COVERED IN BLOOD. Lieutenant Horatio Caine gets down on one knee, rolls the body over

HORATIO: Male, early fifties, looks like blunt force to the head.

DELKO: Do we know anything about him?

HORATIO: Hard to say, I'll find his wallet.

Delko paces the scene, photographs a piece of novelty foam, finds nothing of interest.

HORATIO: Well, we know one thing.

DELKO: Yeah, what's that?

Horatio holds up creased photograph of found missing

HORATIO: Our victim was an uncle.

DELKO: Who would kill an uncle, and how? There aren't any murder weapons in this scene.

HORATIO: Looks like our killer had to . . . improvise


YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH
posted by Think_Long at 11:08 AM on August 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


ODD COMEDY FACT

While CSI: Miami long ago devolved from ridiculousness to parody to sheer tedium, CSI: Miami jokes remain hilarious. Discuss!
posted by Skot at 11:37 AM on August 4, 2010


Nobody in New York gives a fuck where you're from.

Well, apart from all the people who ask me every time I'm there. But then that's because I don't speak like what they do.
posted by i_cola at 12:11 PM on August 4, 2010


If they were remotely official looking or convincing this would have been funnier.
posted by mecran01 at 3:39 PM on August 4, 2010


Real New Yorkers avoid tourist traps to begin with.

I really wish this was the case.

*Walks out of office building to face the swarm in Hell's Kitchen/Times Square.*

Internal dialogue: Move. Please move. All I want is a coconut water. Really. Just a skosh to the side. Honestly. Please? Oh no, now we have a Shake Shack. A new line to contend with. Coconut water. That's all I want. Please move? The burgers aren't that great. Oh, the M&M store? That way. Yes, past the Toys R Us. Right, um, coconut water. Yes! The deli entrance! Sweet, delicious coconutty refreshment. Oh. A-nother line. Come on, German lady. Pick a candy bar. They're all $1.50. Except that one— it's $2. For Pete's sake, just pick one. No, this specific deli does NOT seem to have Ritter Sport. OK! Here'smytwodollarsandfiftycentsformycoconutwater! And OUT! And....back swimming through the Shake Shack line. Oh, the M&M store? Yeah, it's that way. A few blocks. Past the... *sigh.*
posted by functionequalsform at 10:53 AM on August 5, 2010


I want a DO NOT STAND HERE MOTHERFUCKERS zone at the sidewalk subway entrances.

A firing squad is too good for them. Bring in the velociraptors.

Ideally the raptors will be exhausted and cranky from a long day's work in uncomfortable shoes and just want to GET HOME AND HAVE A GODDAMN BEER FFS.
posted by elizardbits at 11:49 AM on August 5, 2010


Fundamental problem: there are two kinds of people in this scenario:

1- People who like to get in other people's business.

2- People who don't like it when people bother them, and *really* don't like it when others encourage them.

I want to be left alone. If you want to interact with me, follow the fucking rules of society and begin the encounter with a question that purports in some way to ask permission to begin an interaction.

"Can you spare a dollar for a cup of coffee" is fine. "Would you like to take a survey?" is fine. "Hey rich boy, gimme some money" is not. "Smile, honey, you're too pretty to be frowning" is not.

I stand by it: people who do this kind of shit are bullies. Maybe they aren't aggressive bullies, giving swirlies to nerds. But they are bullies in that they are using people to get their kicks without any concern for what those strangers might think.

It's great that some people welcome all comers and would enjoy nothing more than stumbling upon something like this. The problem is that they just can't conceive of, or don't care about, someone who isn't interested. They are social bullies, and fairly selfish. They are so wrapped up in their clever idea that they don't or can't consider that other people have the right to not be interested in their game. Whether they do in fact need to "lighten up" or not. It's my choice to lighten up or not, not yours.

The big, giant difference here is being an obstacle. You want to sing in Union station? Fine. Just don't build your stage in the way of what people are ACTUALLY THERE FOR, which is getting on trains.

"BECAUSE SHIT LIKE THIS IS THE POINT OF CITIES."

No. Really, no. The city does not exist for your amusement, you fucking hipster.
posted by gjc at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2010


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