Friday, November 20, 2009

buy nothing: BND#09

[art by barbara kruger]

if descartes armed with plastic in one hand & scissors in the other instead of lube had a love child with warhol, it would be barbara kruger.

i have loved her for an eternity & today is an excellent opportunity to pay homage to her social activism in highlighting that not only does money not buy taste [the evidence is everywhere - stretched hummer anyone?] but no matter what you buy, it will not change your life. even though she says it will. that's irony 101 for you.

seventeen years ago [back in 1992], a guy called ted dave in canada created "buy nothing day" which was essentially a fast against consumerism -his original vision was to initiate a day of action for society to examine the gross issue of over-consumption. it was championed by the infamous adbusters magazine [my long time favourite culture jammers in town] and thus an international movement was born...

buy nothing day is an annual event. this year it's to be held in north america november 27 and internationally november 28. buying nothing is an horrendously difficult commitment as we move further away from the earth & closer to the the shops. i mean they're in our homes/minds now... closer still.

our credit cards & mobile phones have long since replaced lionel's blankie as personal security icons. we have evolved, as coined in my 2005 documentary with social economist clive hamilton: "ALIENNATION" into consumer bots. one step over the line of micro-chipping or bar codes tattooed onto our forms "for her swiping pleasure".

reiteration of jingles in popular culture have replaced fabled nursery rhymes as we unconsciously parrot away witty throwaway anecdotes with photographic perfection from repetitive imprinting of various ad ditties which become the new mythology. you're soaking in it... you have to opt out like a haight & ashbury hippie if you want to escape. we are surrounded.

the government doesn't want us to think. they want us to shop. affluenza is a corporate-made disease. capitalism depends on slavery to the system which is ensured through consumerist addiction. must have more stuff: the new mantra for an updated religion.

most television networks will not seriously cover buy nothing day despite the fact that is active with huge followings in over 65 countries [if you see it on the news it'll be in the fluffy animal segment at the end]. adbusters have experienced huge censorship & most networks will not carry their ads. apparently their money is not as good as everyone else who are promoting us to buy... well anything will do. just buy it. dammit.

creation of desire is an almost scientific artform these days for marketeers. we have been collated & databased to the eyeballs. psychologists and marketeers fuse forces to coax and coerce us to want more stuff. but how much stuff do we really need?

buying nothing for one day won't change the world but it is a vehicle for raising consciousness & examining purchasing behavior. it's not until going through the exercise of locking up your cards that you realise in the western world how often we use them. some people around the world never have that opportunity & merely face the consequences of our wasteful actions. who said that life was fair, huh?

what would happen if we did not conform. obey. consume. ??? cheesy as fuck but to quote john lennon & yoko ono: imagine. and then buy nothing.

november 27: USA
november 28: the world

1 comment:

  1. about 75% of my days are buy nothing days already, not that I'm hating.