Which took place in early January, because I am the Internet’s Worst News Source. Because there is some limit to even my quest for publicity through cheap tricks, I have also chosen not to illustrate this post with a photo of female participants in the event in their underwear, although there are certainly plenty of these floating around.
Anyway, the “No Pants Subway Ride” is an annual event in which people turn up on their local subway/underground/metro without pants/trousers/pantalons, and then, it seems, take lots of photos of each other doing this and post them on the internet. The weird thing is, that unlike most of the outbreaks of painful public wackiness you see, there doesn’t seem to be an actual reason for all this. It isn’t for charity, which is the go-to rationalisation for anything in which people either act like prats or do something they probably wanted to do anyway but were too PC to be seen doing (“it’s not a lavish high society event, it’s a lavish high society charity event!”).
It isn’t some kind of organised protest against society’s insistence on clothes either, or else presumably the participants would actually turn up naked (and almost certainly get arrested). No, this is pretty much running around in your underwear for a laugh, although the organisers are apparently a plonkerish sounding crew of
unemployed actors performance artists called Improv Everywhere who seem to have vaguely subversive “artistic” reasons for pulling off zany pranks.
Now, in theory, running around in your underwear is funny, sort of, but (and this is what the participants don’t get), any humour is crushed out of it by the time it’s become an organised annual event for masses of people that’s been running for years. There’s no spontaneity left, no real individualism and what you’re left with is basically the real life equivalent of a forced meme. That funny cat picture/scene from some anime with hilariously apt caption might have been amusing to start with, but by the time the worst and least-imaginative posters have crapped it out thousands of times, you’ll want to weep every time you see it. It becomes comedy for the unfunny, creativity for the uncreative and being daring to the most conformist.
And that’s pretty what I think the No Pants Subway Ride is.