My introduction to a "flash mob", was the very well rehearsed, well financed, "T-Mobile's Home For The Holidays Surprise" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcmfCXwAFs4 It must have been a great experience for the shoppers. As Janie pointed out, flash mob videos can be very polished. I'm guessing that the sound track on that video was dubbed in from studio recordings? It looked as if areas in the mall were closed to the public, as well, for the performers to be able to move as a group, unobstructed.
So, no, gnu, I wasn't moved to tears by the first flash mob video that I watched. It was a performance. I was caught up in wondering about the staging details, camera angles, etc.. I didn't see it as 'the "giving" of one's self in such an endeavour', rather I thought, "Gee, it would be so much fun to participate!"
The video that you linked to today was different in that it was a smaller group of more "ordinary" people with a message that I've been guilty of ignoring, or at best, have been giving lip service.
It hit me hard today. The imagery was powerful, stressed out people rushing around spending money they may not have to buy things for people who already have too many things, a giant tree and mall overdecorated "for the season", children visiting Santa to add to the consumerism. Against a backdrop of sale signs, a beautiful familiar song rings out, followed by another, and another, all with the same message. People in the crowd stop to listen or to join in the singing, then, at the center of it all, beside the giant "holiday tree", a couple with a tiny baby... all eyes are on him. A child kneels before the baby, then another kneels.
Beautiful! What a message!
No doubt those singers had practiced and knew their parts. It may not have been spontaneous, but the message was so well presented. It was a very emotional experience!
Thanks for sending it around, gnu.