Shopping Sickness

Stick the finger up at corporate culture for Buy Nothing Day

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the global corporatization über-fuck at the heart of modern-day culture? Does the gestapo-chic aesthetic espoused by Kenneth Cole and Prada make you think about the message you're sending by wearing their styles?

Social rigors demand that in order to have some say in the direction of the times, you must drive the right car, eat at power restaurants, and most important, accessorize appropriately. Not only must you wear the right sneakers, but you must hoard a massive supply. You might only wear a pair once, but no matter what you do, keep each one.

Carrie Bradshaw is the devil. The Sex and the Cityheroine and style maven suffers from the same affliction that Imelda Marcos suffers from. The two don't have a shoe fetish, they have an addiction. It's an addiction to buying things, of having the latest Hermes handbag, of getting attention not by espousing personal virtues but by flaunting the material goods you have.

Enter the glossy publication Adbusters. Calling itself the journal of the mental environment, this British magazine is trying to salve the misguided disease of consumerism by promoting its annual Buy Nothing Day. Strategically planned for the day after Thanksgiving, perhaps the busiest shopping day of the year, proponents of Buy Nothing Day will be prancing around malls and urging folk to subvert the powers that be by not spending a dime.

So go ahead, wave a middle finger to George Bush and his corporate cronies. At least for one day. After all, participating is easier than going to the mall and waiting in line among the masses. You can stay home naked or in your jammies and enjoy the charms of a home-cooked meal. Instead of going to the local corporate coffee dealer such as Starbucks, you can make a pot of joe in your kitchen. People actually do that, you know. Don't know how? You can find instructions on the Internet, or just call your mother.

 
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