November 28 is the busiest shopping day of the year. It’s also the seventh annual Buy Nothing Day, a worldwide campaign of theatrical interventions in chain stores and shopping malls to protest sweatshop labor and the spiritual vacuum left by hyper-consumerism. BND is prompted and loosely organized by Adbusters magazine. Hook up with a group planning mischief in NYC by checking adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd/.
Maybe the most entertaining event of the day will be Reverend Billy’s sermon outside the Plaza Hotel at 1 p.m., in which he’ll preach, in Southern Baptist-style, about the “mindbending pornography of the free market.” He’ll be joined by members of his Church of Stop Shopping, who sing uplifting anti-consumerist gospels, one of which goes “Come happy/Leave hungry.” Then the Rev and his flock will infiltrate the “transnational flagship battalions” on Fifth Avenue and proselytize about sweatshop labor and banal interior decoration.
Ironically, Reverend Billy, a/k/a Bill Talen, has a book coming out on Buy Nothing Day, called What Should I Do If Reverend Billy Is in My Store? (The New Press). Just wait a day to buy it.