Pillow Fight 2008: A Salute to the Observer

Yeah, I was out there with all of the rest of them; the observers. We all had our cameras and we were ready for the action that was San Francisco Pillow Fight 2008. It’s in its third year for the city and has grown to a pretty sizable event. I slacked out last year and didn’t go, but managed to walk the five minutes from where I was working to see it this time around.
It’s a fun thing and a great way to work through any Valentine’s Day angst before going out for the evening. People enjoy themselves and they bash the crap out of each other. But, by and large the one thing that I saw was the ring of people that were taking photos on cameras or cellphones (ergh…), and people filming the thing. It seemed like there were more spectators than there were participants. Number One Fan and I were planning to participate, but couldn’t find any pillows that we felt like destroying, because destroyed your pillow will become. I was shocked as to how many pillows blew up and then of course with the explosions, came the feather down which was nasty to say the least. It ultimately didn’t matter as everyone was really enjoying it despite the inability to breath or see.
But still, there’s the issue of all of us just watching, which admittedly cuts down on the potential fun that everyone could be having. Scoring this point home so eloquently was a fellow walking around in a purple outfit saying, “Bloggers! This is not a spectator event! Get a pillow and get in there!” He could not have been more right, especially as I’m proving now by racing home to put up a 2008 Pillow Fight Gallery and write this article about it. And yes, I do see the irony in this. I’m a blogger and thusly I spread irony on my toast for breakfast.
In the end, I find the blogging aspect a fine endeavor, but there’s a simple way to cut down on the amount of photographers and videographers like this guy and that’s to have the fight an hour later. The light was pretty sketchy at 6, but with a huge aperture and 1600 ISO you can still get off good shots. But in just 30 minutes or so, it all goes to crap and you’ve got to use a flash, which just doesn’t work well on fast moving, large crowds like this. Toss in all the feathers floating around and you get some really lousy shots which would hopefully equal more people fighting. Of course, without the voyeurs watching them, would you lose the participants as well? It’s a funny society here these days.
Next year, if I go, I think I’ll leave the camera at home and pillow-up early on. I’m just a littler terrified because there are folks who come fully masked up (I laughed when I first saw them until I couldn’t breathe), padded out, and armed with some nasty, stanky pillows and even leather couch cushions, which I think is unfair. There are some rules to Pillow Fight, to which I would add a sixth: ‘If you come to Pillow Fight, you have to fight.”
Pillow Fight 2008: A Salute to the Observer

2 Replies to “Pillow Fight 2008: A Salute to the Observer”

  1. good post. there were plenty of blogging spectators (me included) and im sure it would have been more fun to actually participate.

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post. It’s a silly state of affairs, but then again, I really enjoy being able to read about any event from the most minute to the most massive because this city is so blog-horny.

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