Category Archives: Shopocalypse
I was thinking about how to title this post about the mass consumerism that starts the day after turkey day. Then I cracked open my emails and found this from Alternet. I went to the site linked in the article before I actually read the Alternet writeup. I thought it might be a joke after watching the trailer. It was hysterically funny while being so disgustingly true. But as the first two paragraphs in the Alternet piece tell us, its a true calling for Reverend Billy and his flock:
Bill Talen, known as Reverend Billy, doesn’t mind making a fool of himself. He is happy to throw himself on the floor in a fit of religious ecstasy, perform cash register exorcisms or go caroling with the 35 members of the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, singing such favorites as “Fill the malls with wealthy people,” to the tune of “Deck the Halls.” He does all this and much, much more in the new documentary about him and his Church of Stop Shopping, What Would Jesus Buy?
Ten years ago Talen came to New York and, struck by the commercialization in Times Square, wanted to do something. He saw the people getting the most attention were the street preachers, so getting into his role, he bought a clerical collar to go with his white caterer’s jacket, dyed his hair blonde, combed it into a tall pompadour and started preaching against over-consumption.
Now Talen is known for his protests against, among others, Disney (the “High Church of Retail”), Victoria’s Secret, and Starbucks. The coffee chain has banned Talen from going into any of the stores in California, and he is the subject of a memo to its employees, “What Should I Do If Reverend Billy Is In My Store?” When he decided to take his church across the country in two biodiesel buses in December 2005 to face the Christmas season head on and preach against the Shopocalypse, Filmmaker Rob VanAlkemade and his crew tagged along.
I think Reverend Billy has it right. “Fill the Malls with wealthy People” sung to the tune of “Deck the Halls” is perfect for the bullshit that begins today. The reason its called Black Friday is because, I think..the retailers hope to go into the Black financially, filling their coffers with other peoples money. Money that is most likely spent on people the consumers love and care about, but still..its so vulgar to me. If you feel as I do, then you must stop by Fran’s blog and check out her post on this same subject..its a goodie and sure to rile you up as well as make you laugh just a bit.
Crossposted at UnCapitalist Journal