Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday Absurdity - Part 3: "Shopacalypse"

This has to be in the running for best new word of the year.

From Newsweek, What Would Jesus Buy: The'Reverend' Billy Talen preaches the gospel of his Church of Stop Shopping.

Pass me the reverend's collection plate. I'll drop a couple of bucks in.
And what, exactly, is that message? Actually, he has many, and they're detailed in "What Would Jesus Buy?," a new documentary by director Rob VanAlkemade and producer Morgan "Supersize Me" Spurlock. The new film is Reverend Billy's tour de farce—a ferociously satirical and cynical take on consumer culture, pegged to America's most sacred spending season. Dolled up in High Evangelical style (equal parts Jimmy Swaggart and Reverend Lovejoy), the blond pompadoured Reverend Billy crosses the country with his Church of Stop Shopping, from New York City to Disneyland, breathing brimstone about America's impending "shopocalypse." If the messenger is charismatic and funny, his message is deadly serious.

And this is so very true:
You've targeted Disney, Starbucks, Wal-Mart. What's the common thread here?
I would say the three of them have a problematic relationship to public space. All three are claiming they're the new commons, the new place where people go when they are not working or at home. We believe Christmas is the commons. The sidewalks and streets and libraries are commons, not Barnes & Noble.

Go read the rest. I need that documentary now.

Meanwhile, let's get back to some absurdity.

Alcohol may have been involved in a Chicago fist fight. This was not a squabble over a Zune music player, or an Xbox. It was over a...... turkey.

And what's more all-American and wholesome than the family sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner? Well how about domestic abuse and suicide combo in Memphis!

It's hard to top that. Well, not really. How about five dead in a Maryland murder-suicide combo.

If your turkey day did not involve fist fights or gunfire, take a moment to give thanks.

UPDATE: Blue Gal posted video at Crooks & Liars.

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