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Thrill The World with 350

I went to see a friend dance in the worldwide Michael Jackson tribute Thrill The World yesterday.  Two hundred plus people all dressed like zombies participating in an annual simultaneous dance of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with hundreds of other people around the world.  Very surreal.  Last year there were more than 4,100 people from ten nations around the world participated in the synchronized event.  The numbers from yesterday are still being tabulated.  They all preformed the same choreography to the same music all at the same time.  It was coordinated using video instruction and audio files found on the web site ThrillTheWorld.com along with cellular conference technology at the time of the performance.

And when it was all over and the final pictures were taken somebody yelled, “350!”.  At that, a group of Michael Jackson Zombies spontaneously lay out on the floor forming the iconic number that has come to represent the awareness of Global Warming as a world wide crisis.  Again, very surreal, but also very awesome.

The tribute aspect aside I find this a perfect example of a strictly 21st Century phenomenon.  With the wide spread use of instant communication and particularly the increasingly availability of broadband internet which allows for video this would have been an almost impossible task.  That the community that had the interest and commitment to utilize the tech was the fan base for a controversial Pop Music star speaks volumes about our world culture.  The fact that the same community also had an awareness of the 350.org effort and with no forethought participated in another worldwide effort was both surprising and encouraging.  I prefer to see it as a sign of the nascent beginnings of a world consciousness that may, if it develops quickly enough, save us as a people and a planet.  It gives me hope.

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