The AT&T Park Field-Stormer, And The Unforgivable Commercialization Of An Art Form


Your tech startup is going down in flames, and your idea of damage control is to storm the field while wearing an advertisement. You have introduced commercialism to a beautiful art form. You monster.

Suppose you have a tech startup. This startup is a facial-recognition app that you market to bars and nightclubs; it allows these establishments to snap photos of their patrons and analyze their measurements to determine their ages and sexes. This information is aggregated and made public, so that bros far and wide can learn which bars are totally rife with smokin' babes and which are totes dong-fests.

Sick startup, bro. Suuuuuper sick startup. Problem: for some reason, people find this idea creepy. They would rather not be photographed without their explicit consent and have their bio-metrics analyzed. It's a terrible trope from every action thriller made in the 1980s about the 2020s, they say, and it's an invasion of privacy.

Oh shit, bro. You're in trouble, bro. You're preparing to launch this service in San Francisco, but the media has caught wind of the controversy. People are threatening boycotts of bars that use your service. You scramble to contain the damage by agreeing to an interview with a journalist from AllThingsD, a nationwide tech publication. So you'll go to a bar to talk. No probski, right bro?!?!?

Late yesterday afternoon, I was supposed to meet SceneTap CEO Cole Harper at a bar in San Francisco, so I could get an in-person view of his company’s nightlife monitoring system that was set to debut today at various local venues.

More than an hour after we were scheduled to meet, Harper finally emerged from the bar. We were no longer welcome to do a press interview inside, he said.

The manager had been tearing Harper a new one, after getting hostile phone calls all week about the SceneTap launch [...]

Red alert, bro. RED. ALERT. Gotta turn the tide here, bro. Gotta make something happen. The bros don't call you C-Dogg for nothin', bro. You see the big picture. You got it allll figured out, m'man. You're a mastermind. You see all the angles. You got this. You got this. You got a plan, bro.

This is your plan, bro.


This occurred the day after the AllThingsD interview and the planned San Francisco launch. I do not know whether the fellow in this suit is CEO Cole Harper, or an employee, or a hired goon, or what. I do not know because, unlike almost every other field-stormer I have documented, he completely obscured his face. YES INDEED, FRIENDS: a man representing a company that photographs and analyzes people without their explicit consent, refuses to show his own face. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

For my part, I am trying to obscure my abject disdain for this knucklehead and I am doing a terrible job of it. I'm sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. To the video:

I'd like to take just one moment to commend YouTube subscriber TheMattmic806 for providing such excellent video documentation. It's quite rare that we get to see an entire field-storming, from start to finish, documented within one video. Seriously, terrific work.

I cannot extend commendation to this ding-dong in the body suit, however. Never mind that the print on your suit was too small to reasonably expect anyone to read it. Here, I find myself in a quite unfamiliar position, one in which I'm rooting for the security personnel to take him down. You see ... you see, advertisement has its place. But field-storming is a beautiful art form, an expression of brazen, unauthorized independence.

Commercialism has no place in this realm. Can't you see that? Have you missed the point so thoroughly? I can't help but imagine that if the universe was created by your clumsy hand, the birds and beasts would howl offers of discount auto insurance across the prairies, and a circled ™ symbol would revolve around our Earth in lieu of the Moon.

Sigh. To the statistics.

Run time: 38 seconds
Estimated run distance: 400 feet
Evasions: 0
Indignant gestures: 1 (gestured to crowd with outstretched arms)
Articles of clothing worn: 1 (full-body spandex suit)
Security guards in play: 1

That's right. For the first time over the course of these studies, a security guard managed a completely unassisted takedown. I salute you, friend.

I'd like to note one more thing: this fellow attempted to escape. Part of what makes field-storming beautiful is that usually, the performers act in acceptance of their fate. They rarely attempt to escape. Only one -- the legend of Minute Maid Park -- has escaped the field successfully.

Did you think this was how it worked, you knucklehead? That your act did not require sacrifice?


This is the territory of the very bravest among us. This ain't no Bayside startup. You are far from your Aeron chair and your Macbook and your renovated balcony office in the gentrified neighborhood.

You're in the wilderness now, motherf***er.

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