Monday, December 01, 2008

Shopocalypse Now!

Economic turmoil whirls about the planet these days, and the best part of such dire times is that it offers a chance, for those who seek better days, to examine and hopefully improve the way we live.

So in the wake of news about how you did or did not shop on Black Friday and the rising and falling world economy, here's some information I've found which can, at least, challenge your way of thinking. That's the first step in identifying the habits and ideas which may lead to problems with worldwide impact of both positive and negative results.

A bonus can be found here too - since we are into the Christmas season, perhaps the info provided will lead you to experience a holiday that has meaning beyond the moment. Some readers will repulsed by the following, some may be inspired. My goal is simple - to encourage you to consider that now is the best time to Think about the way we live and work.

Your first video, then, is a short take on Consumerism:

The second video is from Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, who uses satire and public performance to jolt you from assumption and into thought. A new documentary about the Reverend and his Crusade, "What Would Jesus Buy?", is now in theaters. The trailer for the movie is here.

Amy Goodman talked this weekend with the good Reverend -

Part 2 is here and Part 3 here.

I have many friends who work for big corporations and who work very hard to provide for themselves and their family. And they are surely not bad people. Providing for our needs has never been simple, but too often we pay dearly for our choices. Here's a Q and A with Reverend Billy which you'll want to read. As he says:

The key fundamentalist church in this country is not the church of Jimmy Swaggart, the key fundamentalist church is the church of spacey consumption, the fundamentalist church of transnational chain stores, transnational product life, the media and the rest of it. That's what really leaves us with a very set kind of set of behaviors and set of gestures and set of language -- meaning, language meaning -- and it's all done in the name of freedom and democracy, but that's just an advertising campaign."

Finally for your consideration, an artist named Chris Jordan created a project with some astonishing imagery as he photographs what we waste and what we use, from plastic bottles to paper to cell phones. Check out the results here.

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