If you’re an American in Paris, you’re a 1951 movie or you’re a Gershwin symphony. But if you’re an American in Copenhagen where the handicapped parking symbol is backwards and the movie tickets come with assigned seating, well, you might get lonely for the homeland and then what? Then you go to Meetup.com where you’ll find an active group of like-minded – in a very broad way – folk who celebrate American holidays and just get together for tea and comfort far away from home. As to comforts that are Southern in nature – we don’t know.
And you don’t just have to be in Copenhagen. If you’re Cycling in Huntington Beach, Canoeing in the Boundary Waters, Gay in London, Beltway Atheists in DC, there’s a group for you at Meetup.com. And if there is no group, you can start one. Meetup.com is social networking that blends online and offline lives. Inspired by the 1995 movie “Bowling Alone,” about people being disengaged from society and politics – and that has since changed – Meetup.com urges you to “Do Something, Learn Something, Share Something, Change Something.” It bridges the gap between online and on land relationships.
While Meetups may seem like an original idea, it actually is an evolution from a late 50s concept called, “Happening.” Painters, poets and performers of various disciplines would get together for a Happening that was sort of planned and sort of improvised. This would be the springboard for other “ins” such as the sit-in and love-in but not the drive-in movie. It is not known whether the Happenings coupon books originated in similar fashion. But in the digital age, the Flash Mob is also a Meetup or Happening with its newest incarnation being the Pillow Fight Flash Mob where they actually bring pillows. Watch pillow fight here.
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