The Congregating Power of Nostalgia

So, a couple of weeks ago, we were having dinner on the patio at one of the restaurants in the Tempe Marketplace. There was a giant screen over the courtyard playing music videos, which everyone was ignoring until Michael Jackson’s Thriller started.

Now, I’ve never been a Michael fan. I was in second grade when Thriller came out, and I just didn’t dig it. I was playing my mom’s Beatles and Doors records.

But I digress. When Thriller started playing, all the mall patrons gathered and watched the video intently. All eighteen minutes of it. Nobody passed by. I tried to get pictures of this phenomenon, but all you can see is a bunch of peoples’ backs. For eighteen minutes, though, everybody was a Michael fan. Young, middle-aged, old, white, Mexican, goth, hippie, preppie, whatever.

And then, as quickly as it had began, it was over. Thriller was replaced by a Foo Fighters video, and the crowd dispersed as if nothing had happened.

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