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Tuesday, September 22

Flashmob as political satire

Chancellor Angela Merkel may well have a new enemy to worry about when she is making her campaign speeches: irony.
Der Spiegel

On 18 September as Merkel gave a campaign stump speech in Hamburg she must have at least blinked as every so often the air was punctuated by loud 'YEAH's!'

Der Spiegel reports that a Flickr user posted a picture of the placard announcing Merkel’s rally online on September 11 and sent the link to friends on Twitter. Placard said, “The Chancellor is coming,” and underneath, the user wrote: “Yeah.” Ironically.

Soon after, the invitation went viral on Twitter and sites like Nerdcore and Spreeblick and the flashmob was on.

The people who went did it apparently as a joke and Merkel soon cottoned on.
In Mainz the flash mobbers held up yellow and black signs with "Hurrah" written on them (yellow and black are the colors that symbolize a coalition between the CDU and the FDP) and they too called out "yeah" after Merkel finished every sentence. However, at Monday night's meeting the chancellor did address the hecklers. "It can't hurt to yell something else other than yeah after every sentence," she said. The group then repeated Merkel's words, saying nonsensical things like "growth", "back door" and "five" after the Chancellor did.

The phenomenon could have unintended consquences. A German Twitter user said after the Hamburg flashmob, "Wouldn't it be funny if the international audience got the wrong impression?" Maybe, she worried, they would think it was some sort of "alarming German political euphoria."

There has been some German un-ironic talk of 'banning' and although I can imagine how delicious something like this might be during the 2010 UK election campaign I can also imagine the reaction of the British bobbies vs the German polizei — which is kindof ironic ...


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