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04-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
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I shot a Bay-to-Breakers run. With the finish line visible. With a long long lens. From high above.

I wasn't interested in mixing with bloodthirsty crowds, with impeding oncoming runners, with capturing drops of glistening sweat and soaked pants and throbbing muscles and sore feet, with tortured expressions. I kept a safe distance, at elevation. I treated the approaching throng as a procession of army ants or a surging flood wave, devouring the asphalt -- a force of nature, not a human event.

It's a mob scene. A mob is not a person. A mob is a creature of its own creation. I've been in mob scenes that weren't as friendly and good-natured as civilized public-street athletic events. I've been at public-street athletic events, and even solemn religious processionals, that turned into ugly mob scenes. I've learned to always have a getaway planned, or at least a safe refuge to retreat into.

Am I overly paranoid? (Remember, even paranoiacs have enemies.) Like I said, I've experienced some of this stuff. Anyone who wants to mix in with the crowd, to be up-front on the action, fine. I'd rather at least be atop a van or in a balcony and not have to worry about my size 18 feet getting stomped or my pocket picked or various other damage. I am no longer indestructible. Bother.


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