Los Angeles, is a city often shrouded by the stigma of the entertainment industry. It is seen as a superficial place devoid of community and soul. Much of this judgement comes from bad experiences in a town that publicizes mostly celebrity news and award shows. In the afternoon of Saturday, December 15th the shopping center at Hollywood and Highland was overrun by a crowd. They were not waiting in line for red carpet entrances to the Kodak Theater nor were they clamoring to spend their money in the shops, or even to see a show. The crowd formed just to sing and dance, and smile. Odd huh?
Perhaps odd if you think of the context that city has been painted with. It is indeed odd for a group of actors, musician, dancers, business people, from all walks of life and religious backgrounds to come together to shout, and hug strangers. Odd perhaps, but maybe a better word is extraordinary.
Hundreds of people poured into the plaza and at the chime of guitars, began singing “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles.Their harmonies were not perfect but their hearts were filled with a motivation to do more than just “like” and post but also to act. For a generation that is all to often described as wayward and without cause, this group of people seems to have found one.
The group was formed by Preston Smiles, an actor, artist , surfer and LA native. He’s decided to get together as many people as will join him to propel a movement that is dedicated to spreading love. It is a simple goal, but somewhat complicated in execution. So many of us have become jaded and cynical that we perceive pessimism as realism. Preston, is an optimist, a person who believes in the human potential and knows though brilliant, we sometimes need to be reminded of our own light.
The Love Mob is the reminder that we are not all chasing dollars, and the world is not entirely corrupt. It is a calling to anyone who has seen the beauty of another person, or shared a deep moment with a stranger. It is a break from the stigma Los Angeles has been covered with, it is a breath of fresh air amidst all the pollution.
In light of the recent shooting in Connecticut, this reminder is all the more essential. Preston is not alone, he was joined by friends, family, and strangers. Once the music began even more people started in the singing and marching. The event was a momentary distraction from the holiday hustle. It was human graffiti sprawled out stopping everyone to help them notice that is isn’t all bad.
The Love Mob isn’t over. There are plans to carry out a larger event in 2013 and keep the effort going. With the speed of information, we will have soon moved on to other news that may bring that cloud over us again but for now we can enjoy it, and soon there will be another reminder.
If you think it is a little odd, consider what you think is normal. To take a stand for what you believe in, to inspire people to be kind, hopeful, and loving are all things that should be the norm. So given the choice, I’ll say that we could use a little bit more oddity in Los Angeles.
to be continued…