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Consumer Frenzy
November 26, 2004 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Buy Nothing | Buy Everything. On the one hand, curbing conspicuous consumption, but on the other hand... oooooh, shiny.
posted by Capn (36 comments total)

 
or have it both ways guilt free, coz it's not your fault.....
posted by qwerty155 at 7:53 AM on November 26, 2004


she posed as a Saudi Arabian princess and a Victoria's Secret model.

and no one at AMEX thought this was odd....
posted by three blind mice at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2004


and no one at AMEX thought this was odd....

You'd be amazed at the size of the extended Saudi royal family. I went to college with a Saudi princess. They're everywhere.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:16 AM on November 26, 2004


I hear that if you don't go shopping, the terrorists win.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:31 AM on November 26, 2004




I couldn't live there, I couldn't live there, I couldn't live there...
posted by jon_kill at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2004


I hear that if you don't go shopping, the terrorists win.

I hear that if you do go shopping (and use gasoline to make it more efficient), the terrorists win.

What to do, what to do...
posted by wah at 9:02 AM on November 26, 2004


I guess it depends on what flavor pundit you favor.

And who you consider a terrorist.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:14 AM on November 26, 2004


Me, I like to save my money.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:17 AM on November 26, 2004


This assumes that I'd want to go out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving...

/me ventured out at 8AM to get some groceries and nearly died.
posted by ubernostrum at 9:21 AM on November 26, 2004


Me, I like to save my money.

How very unAmerican of you.
posted by wah at 9:31 AM on November 26, 2004


I'm Canadian.

From wah's link:

America's Total Debt Report states , "America has become more a debt 'junkie' than ever before with total debt of $32 trillion (household, business, financial and government sectors), or $115,322 per man, woman and child."

Now that's scary.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:40 AM on November 26, 2004


Here's a compromise: Donate online to any of 80,000 registered charities. No gas, no guilt. You still get to spend, but you don't buy anything (unless you count camps for kids, food and clothing for the needy, life-saving operations, etc.)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:43 AM on November 26, 2004


You know, if you don't spend you are unpatriotic. Oh, and ShopHappy Holidays from the Department of Homeland Security.

But if you are one of those who are concerned
that you haven't heard from Secretary Ridge in much too long and are
yearning for the good old days when you could depend on an alert elevation
every few weeks -- especially during the holiday season -- rest easy.


Happy Holidays back to you, gubment. Happy Holidays back to you.
posted by RobertFrost at 9:54 AM on November 26, 2004


While I dislike conspicuous consumption, and while I'm all for not wantonly spending your money without thinking about who it eventually supports, at the same time I'm a big fan of being inconspicuous about your non-consumption. That's why adbusters and its ilk drive me downright batty.

Not spending, not buying crap because you are told you must is its own reward. Smug superiority over others is asinine and defeats the purpose. And while there is nothing with living a life as an example to others, isn't the whole aggressive marketing of your lifestyle to others part of the problem?
posted by aspo at 10:01 AM on November 26, 2004


Or, as we call it in the dystopian-future that is Chron X, "Happy Wintertime Consumer Day!"
posted by andreaazure at 10:05 AM on November 26, 2004


You know, if I have $115,322 of debt, I think I should at least have a Powerbook to show for it. Or even an iPod.
posted by keswick at 10:17 AM on November 26, 2004


9 Theses Against Corporate Rule
posted by homunculus at 10:38 AM on November 26, 2004


The Reverend [of the church of stop shopping] in Action.
posted by wah at 11:02 AM on November 26, 2004


Any of you NY folks should see Rev. Bill and the Church of Stop Shopping. His performance is religious experience. He was one of the featured characters along with the BLF in Culture Jam. Guerilla theatre used for the forces of good, he is a modern day saint.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:07 AM on November 26, 2004


aspo: If I point out that buying fleece toy tampons is contributing to the war in Iraq, it is not because I feel smug or superior. I really believe many people don't see the connection, or they think the connection is too small to worry about. I want a better world for my children, and that's something we decide with every choice we make. Should African Americans or women have been more inconspicuous about wanting to vote?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:21 AM on November 26, 2004


Interesting related thing from How to Save the World: WHY YOU CAN'T JAM THE CULTURE ... Maybe it's time, for the people's sake, to give up on the people -- the political tyrants, the scheming corporatists, and the social idealists -- and find a better way to find a better way. If we can't jam the old culture, we'll have to use science (again) to invent and pre-seed a new one, ready to carry on when the old one crumbles under its own weight. Shudder, if you will, and then imagine that.
posted by amberglow at 11:44 AM on November 26, 2004


weapons-grade pandemonium, there's a connection? Or did you just use that as a hypothetical example? What's the connection?
posted by dabitch at 12:19 PM on November 26, 2004


oh.. the fleece. gotcha.
posted by dabitch at 12:37 PM on November 26, 2004


I am working at a retail job to pay the bills (for the first and last time in my life) and I have gotten to the point where I actually feel dirty being a part of the whole construct. I am already anti-consumer-culture to begin with...
I got up this morning at 3am EST to be at work at 5:30am when we opened, and there were 120+ people waiting at the door, stomping and champing like horses at the starting-gate.

When they opened the doors, it was mayhem. People crashing into each other with carts, running, spilling coffee on themselves. People get into a store, and they behave like animals. There were shoving matches over pushcarts. Disgusting.

/rant
posted by exlotuseater at 12:42 PM on November 26, 2004


Of course, we are animals--we just pretend we're not.
That's where smug and superior apply.
If you observe people shopping and think "We are all apes," it's hilarious.

This behaviour used to make sense, when we had to drag dead animals back to the cave to survive, but now it's vestigial; we're buying things we don't need, and the consequences are reversed: we're destroying our planet.

The nail in our coffin: When resources or food are scarce, or go "bad" (read: "out of fashion") primates don't ration--they hoard. Advertisers use this, and the cycle accelerates.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:46 PM on November 26, 2004


On the biggest shopping day in the known Galaxy, I always think of my favorite strip from the Parking Lot is Full (R.I.P.)
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:45 PM on November 26, 2004


This whole Buy Nothing Day needs rebranding...and how do you get souvenirs to remember the day?
posted by Ugandan Discussions at 3:54 PM on November 26, 2004


Intriguing link, amberglow. 13 million more Americans shopped today than voted on November second. It has to be something radical to change the priorities of this nation.
posted by uni verse at 4:53 PM on November 26, 2004


While I sympathize with the anti-consumerism movement, I went out and got some awesome deals on computer hardware that I've been waiting to upgrade for a while. Today was the day to be a demon customer and cash in on the crazy deals. I bought 3 things I was planning on getting, anyway, and saved myself almost $200 (after I fill out the pesky rebate forms).

Of course we should all do our part to fight the consumer that we've been trained to be. But skipping the stores on one day doesn't do anything, it just means you're giving them business on Saturday instead of Friday. It's about as logical as the "don't buy gas on May 6th to show OPEC we mean business." A true boycott is an all-out ban, not just taking one day off.
posted by knave at 5:09 PM on November 26, 2004


this is hysterical, but not very effective, i don't think: Vandals apparently glued the locks on dozens of Lafayette’s biggest retailers, forcing hundreds of shoppers to wait in long lines as “Black Friday” slipped away and frantic store managers summoned locksmiths, witnesses said.

uni verse--i wonder tho--it's good that people are thinking about it, at least.
BuyBlue is a smart strategy for now, but not an answer, i don't think. What that answer is, tho....
posted by amberglow at 5:22 PM on November 26, 2004


13 million more Americans shopped today than voted on November second.
Perhaps they were offered a better product.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:48 PM on November 26, 2004


they weren't offered a better product today, weapons--just a cheaper one.
posted by amberglow at 6:15 PM on November 26, 2004


I meant a better product than those offered on November 2nd.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:24 PM on November 26, 2004


I meant a better product than those offered on November 2nd.

better than the future of the world?!
posted by wah at 9:55 PM on November 26, 2004


Apparently, if you do the math.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:16 PM on November 26, 2004


Suffrage
When I left Target it was too late to vote.
The new TV works great, though.
Wonder why I suffered the defective one so long.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:02 AM on November 27, 2004


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