One Last Hallelujah: Quinquagesima
Today is Quinquagesima, supposedly fifty days until Easter. It’s the last day that we sing any kind of Hallelujah, or alleluia in a Sunday service until Easter Sunday. Verily there are two more days of the carnival season before the start of lent: Ash Wednesday, but for most of us we won’t be sitting about singing the Hallelujah Chorus until next Wednesday. I thought that today I’d share some of the little things that bring me a bit of joy, some moments of Hallelujah.
They are flash mobs. Most people are familiar with the T Mobile flash mobs Their first one from 2009 is probably the best. The only thing that bothers me about this is that it’s an advertizement. That fact, in a way, makes it cynical. There is an ulterior motive: selling something.
Here in New York there is a group called Improv Everywhere. The last flash mob they executed was on the 100th Anniversary of the opening of Grand Central Terminal, but that was not the first time they’d brought a Terry Gilliam kind of joy to Grand Central:
Improv Everywhere does not only create these moments of joy, but they are also good citizens, rooting out evil and rebellion wherever it may hide. Imagine the surprise felt by all of New York when it found out that there was a Rebel cell active in our city. It was more shocking than a snowstorm in February, and it was Improv Everywhere who was responsible for capturing, perhaps the most dangerous, member of the Rebellion hiding in plain sight:
That was not the first time Improv Everywhere surprised New Yorkers on the subway. They are also also responsible for the annual “No Pants Subway Ride.” not afraid to push the limits of propriety, or to point out just when someone else has pushed propriety to the point of absurdity they also organized a shopping spree to Abercrombie and Fitch, topless:
Am I the only one who remembers when Abercrombie and Fitch stood for quality and tradition? What’s the line in When The Idle Poor Become The Idle Rich?
When poor tweedle Dum
Is rich tweedle Dee
This discrimination will no longer be.
When we’re in the dough
And off of the nut
You won’t know your banker.
From your but-ler.
Let’s make the switch.
With just a few annuities
We’ll hide these incongruities
With clothes from Abercrombie-Fitch,
When the idle poor
Become the idle rich,
When the idle poor
Become the idle rich.
Ach! Times do change. People even think that the Hallelujah Chorus is a Christmas song. Really it comes at the Easter moment in The Messiah oratorio, but as today is the last Sunday for Hallelujahs for a while here’s one final flash mob at Christmas time singing an Easter song in a mall:
Sadly, this too was an advertizement. sigh.