28 October 2008

Three Things

Filed under: Culture, Reflections — ktismatics @ 7:57 am

During the Big Game Saturday night between Fairview and Boulder High Schools, some kid streaked across the field brandishing a fake sword and wearing nothing but a pair of running shoes and a red hat. He was tackled by police officers and taken into custody. Now the authorities are threatening to charge this kid, whose name is Tom, with a felony sex crime. This would mean that, for the rest of his life, everywhere he lives Tom would have to register with the local police and have his name posted on a public list of sexual predators. Why pick on this particular streaker when Friday night everyone walking through the downtown Boulder mall, including trick-or-treating kiddies, will witness the tenth annual Naked Pumpkin Run? I’m sure you can imagine what this event is like — some guy who participated last year told a local reporter he found it to be “super liberating.” Kids at Fairview (the Knights, hence Tom’s fake sword) are now wearing homemade “Free Tom” t-shirts to school. I like the ironic touch of announcing the pro-streaker cause on an item of clothing.

Tomorrow night at the University of Colorado’s Mackey Auditorium, popular memoirist David Sedaris will give a public reading from his latest book. He got famous by reading his short humorous pieces aloud on National Public Radio. Ticket prices range from $42 to $65.

And if you needed any more reassurance that capitalism is here to stay, consider this guy. He’s apparently the most successful of the untold thousands of people who write and film advertisements for real commercial products, post them on Youtube, then solicit as many people as they can to go watch their ad. These are free marketeers in a literal sense: they aren’t paid for their work; instead they compete with each other for best ad. The winner is selected by popular acclaim, meaning that the top-rated ad must already have proven itself a viral marketing success in the marketplace. The winner gets a prize from the company being touted in the ad: sometimes the prize is cash, usually it’s a free product sold by the company. The losers get nothing other than the knowledge that every day somebody out there is watching the internet commercials they wrote, filmed, and posted for free.


1 Comment »

  1. Here’s the story on the Naked Pumpkin Run from today’s Boulder Daily Camera:

    The 10th annual Naked Pumpkin Run in Boulder turned rowdy, as police began ticketing some participants for indecent exposure late Friday night and hundreds of other costumed revelers started chanting “Let them go!” and telling officers to “find real criminals.” A man in a red cape and sword climbed the pinnacle in front of the Boulder County Courthouse on the Pearl Street Mall, leading the chant with his sword. About a dozen people were ticketed shortly after the crowd started its Halloween run at 10:45 p.m.

    The group of runners, who annually shed their clothes and streak Pearl Street wearing only pumpkins over their heads, was huge this year — and that was part of the concern for police, who have rarely ticketed runners in other years. “We wanted to do something before (the event) got out of hand,” said Police Chief Mark Beckner. “This was a good opportunity to enforce the law.” Though police haven’t typically busted up the naked fun run, city officials did warn the public earlier this week that tickets weren’t out of the question. In past years, police haven’t had the staffing levels to ticket the runners, Beckner said, but this year the Halloween run fell on a Friday when a lot of officers were scheduled to work. Beckner likened streaking to speeding — police can’t catch them all, but they do what they can.

    This year’s streakers were a diverse group — young and old, who were costumed as vixens and nuns, ghosts and witches earlier in the night. Veteran runners were handing out a few useful tips to the newbies in the backyard of a house on Grove Street before the run. The inside of a freshly gutted pumpkin is slimy, and the squash helmet is bound to slide around on a runner’s hair. “Handles are the most important thing in pumpkin running,” said a second-year runner who preferred not to identify himself. You also need visibility, said the man, who had carved his jack-o-lantern upside-down so he could peek out of the wide mouth as he ran. Others aren’t so modest — with their bodies or their names. “This is my second time; it’s so liberating,” said Jill Fountain. “It’s a whole bunch of people taking off their clothes. It’s like making fun of being nude.”

    Shortly after 10 p.m., a Norseman (who appeared to be one of the leaders) started to rally the troops. You must have a trash bag for your clothes if you run, he told the crowd. And most important, don’t throw away your pumpkin — this is Boulder, after all. “We are composting the pumpkins,” he yelled. “Await further instructions after the run.”


    Comment by ktismatics — 1 November 2008 @ 7:42 am

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