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I’m having a little issue with consumerism/marketing

As is everybody. I don't watch TV very attentively. But it's still there and a loving God in His infinite wisdom and mercy somehow neglected to give me earlids, so I can't insulate myself from it and still remain in modern society. Who in the world now has not seen that lizard representation of an insurance company? Just for instance. They're branding us. and that's their exact word for it. When I was a kid branding was usually an exclusive term about livestock. Branding a calf is your way of declaring ownership. My short time working at an advertising company, just doing the trained monkey work, like putting cans of soda on doors in the midst of the Cola Wars of the 1980s (we had a contract with a very large conglomerate which among other other things involved a streetcorner table exhibit with cans of two competing brands of soda called "Take the BLEEEP Challenge") changed my perspective away from Madison avenue which I never saw and Wall Street which I also never saw... See, that soda pop promotion was the one time in the company's history in which the workers were required to wear advertising. And the rest of the time we were forbidden. Concert Tee Shirt? Sports Team Logo? Unpaid advertising. The company was PAID to advertise, right down to those of us who put grocery store weekly ads on doors. You might love the team or band a whole lot, but the fact is that shirt is YOU paying THEM to work for them in their advertising campaign. In most jobs it's the other way around, you get paid for your work. Even in sub-minimum wage contract work. How about a national or local Don't Work For Free Day, wherein each participant refuses to wear advertising (and yeah, that includes shirts and pants with a tag or even a large print of the manufacturers name on them). Take it further, don't talk about your favorite band or TV show or sports team (which is really revenue generating entertainment, not an actual contest of skill) or supporting the Army or any other Corporate Government entity. Try, for just one day. Fat chance any corporate information (buy our products) medium or media will let anybody know it's happening. (buy our products damn it) This is an example of the struggle of actual social activism, writ small. So the seeds are planted. Let's see if anything grows, other than the corporate weeds.

The war on Christmas they worry about

What it's going to take to revisit 350ppm, to reverse climate change, is not carbon trading, wind turbines, miraculous scientific leaps, or a COP15 conference. The anti-technology has been known to us since sustainable times, when mankind didn't have to transcend his wants, because it was challenge enough to seek for his needs. Conservation.

Black Friday is Buy Nothing Day

The big day is upon us, the Black Friday meme is in full force, doorbuster deals are pitched to begin as early as 4am. Everyone wants to catch the early worm shopper, and NMT is no exception. We call your "growing excitement" and raise you one BUY NOTHING DAY. Consume nothing, except comestibles, go nowhere except by self-locomotion, and reclaim your pre-industrialized sustainable nature. That's to attack the consumer culture addiction from the abuser's side. Stop buying what you don't need. This BND, Adbusters is going after the problem from the supply side by declaring a General Wildcat Strike, because how are we to arrest the consumer culture juggernaut without calling on the workers at the cogs? But it's asking a lot of a social class who can afford it least. Many of us already aren't scheduled to work on the day after Thanksgiving. I'm not going to work, probably neither are you. But if you're a retail clerk, unprotected by unions and armed with neither sick days nor savings, you can hardly risk giving your boss the finger on the day he's expecting to earn a bonus. Taking down the marketing megalith is going to involve enlisting the working class, but not for one day. They're already to be the front line casualties of any successful attack on consumerism. But you on the couch: turn off, tune out, drop down and show us some effort.

I knew Black Friday, and You Sir, are no Black Friday

If this year's "Black Friday" fails to pull retailers out of their red ink, should the dubious protologism retire its presumption to speak for consumer confidence? I think it should. Wasn't it really just an economist's "for the Gipper" meme --putting the solvency of the market on the shoulders of Christmas shoppers, rallying them to pull the economy into the black, regardless if it meant spending themselves into the red? I hate it when emotion-charged phrases are usurped by pretenders. Hiroshima was "Ground Zero" before the WTC, the "Homeland" was Nazi Germany, and "Black Friday" was Robinson Crusoe's, well, Man Friday. "Black Friday" in general has represented whichever awful event befell that day of the week of recent memory. It may be a wonderful anti-racism step to appoint a rare positive attribution to the word "black," but I object to its use here to exacerbate affluenza, targeted against the best efforts of sustainability educators to reframe the day-after-Thanksgiving as Buy Nothing Day. If you are a booster for consumerism, black is an accounting concept meaning profitability. But how disingenuous to expect that those outside the balance sheet should share the enthusiasm. For example, it's not everyone's Good Friday just because Notre Dame wins that day. Good Friday, by the way, is also called Black Friday, as is any Friday that falls on the 13th. Below I will list history's Black Fridays, lest nocturnal Wikipedia cobbler elves continue their PR visits to bolster the retailer claim to the term. According to "Wikipedia" the earliest citation for a shopper's "Black Friday" is 1966. But in actuality, the expression came from Philadelphia bus drivers and policemen referring to the traffic congestion created at their city center on the busiest shopping day of the year. But Philadelphia retailers objected to the negative connotation. Perhaps as a result, the "black ink" angle surfaces, attributed to a store clerk, offering a more upbeat, chamber-of-commerce-friendly spin. Hmm. Many people think Black Friday recalls the Stock Market Crash of 1929. It does, and they're right to be confused about which day of the week it was in particular, because the first day of the crash became known as Black Thursday, followed by Black Friday, then the next trading days, Black Monday and Black Tuesday. What other occasions in man's history have warranted the dark coloration? Let's begin with Black Sabbath: Black Saturdays Sept 10, 1547, disaster for Scottish defenders at Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, Scotland Aug 6, 1621, Mass hysteria caused by dark stormy night confirming Armageddon arrived with Episcopacy, Scotland Dec 28, 1929, Massacre of Mau demonstrators by NZ police, Samoa June 13, 1942, Disastrous UK Battle of Gazala against German Afrika Korps June 29, 1946, UK Operation Agatha against Zionist terrorists in Palestine Oct 8, 1962, height of A-bomb scare, Cuban Missile Crisis Dec 6, 1975, Beirut massacres which started Lebanese Civil War, Lebanon July 31, 1982, worst road accident in French history, (on annual "Black Saturday" when entire of population takes to the road for vacation) July 14, 1984, Honk Kong exchange rates fall to all time low Aug 20,

Buy Nothing Day 2009 now Wildcat Strike

Do you recognize the cat at right? It might be a child's zoo animal rubber stamp if it didn't look so angry. This is a stencil that dates to the Wobblies, when working men were angry. When labor organizers had to fend off union busters and Pinkerton goons, actions had to be called in defiance of the bad contracts and entrenched company-union bosses. Something for UFCW Local 7 to think about. The hasty stencils painted on factory walls announced: Wildcat Strike! Adbusters resurrects the wild cat for the 2009 Buy Nothing Day, whose impact might be better felt as a GENERAL STRIKE. Buy nothing, drive nowhere, turn out the lights, turn of the electronics, go for a walk, and do not go to work. For one day. The day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving by the way goes off the calendar too. Find something else for which to be thankful besides feasting at the expense of the Native Americans, themselves starved, infected, and driven from their land. Someone someday will be able to mobilize a real general strike. Until then, what can we lose by trying? Do it. This is the splash page which Adbusters recommends for websites planning to blackout.

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