The Mob

As long as there have been streets and crowds, there have been occasional angry mobs, waving torches and bellowing demands.

As long as there have been streets and crowds, there have been occasional angry mobs, waving torches and bellowing demands.But it wasn't until Harper's senior editor Bill Wasik summoned his acquaintances to the ninth floor of Manhattan's Macy's that the modern mob-a less purposeful, more cheerful, and more easily dispersed creature dubbed the "flash mob"-appeared on the world historical scene. What began as a magazine article in New York soon caught fire around the world, as bored salarymen and college students from Brazil, China, and Europe assembled in parks, train stations, and hotel lobbies to utter nonsensical phrases, sing songs, pillow-fight, wear outrageous costumes, or simply burst into self-congratulatory applause. What was normal was temporarily flipped on its head-those dignified fuddy-duddies who hadn't received the cell-phone communiqué were left on the outside of the joke. Whereas the revolutionary mob is centered on a common desire for bloodthirsty revenge, the flash mob often seems to want nothing more than a few minutes of juvenile kicks, a temporary disruption of the public order. Perhaps these events are a rehearsal, but if so, for what? More effective is Critical Mass, where bicyclists gather monthly for group rides around urban centers, temporarily letting drivers know what it feels like to be in the minority.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n
\nFor example: Rev. Billy TalenRev. Billy Talen's congregations have a political orientation and can easily be classified as acts of Consumer Mutiny or even Politurgy, but their spontaneous engagement of a live public makes them mobbish events at heart. Assuming the role of a platinum-haired preacher, Talen storms chain stores, Starbucks outlets, even Disneyland with a flock of his faithful in tow. He then vigorously exhorts consumers to lay down their credit cards and tote bags and join his Church of Stop Shopping, enveloping innocent passersby in his own anticonsumerist flash mob.
\nHere's a tip: Liquid CourageA tipple of the hard stuff smoothes the tongue, steadies the hand, and makes the moment of crisis bearable (hey, even pleasant). Consider keeping a hip flask handy to quell that pesky fight-or-flight response.
\nRisk: 2Cost: 2P.R.: 6Cred: 3COOLNESS FACTOR: 2.75\n
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

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Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

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