Get Thee Behind Me, Wal-Mart

A good long story in The New York Times Magazine today (registration required, etc., and it goes into archives in a week, so read it free while you can) on Rev. Billy Talen and his Church of Stop Shopping:

“In the Church of Stop Shopping we believe that buying is not nearly as interesting as not-buying. When you back away from the purchase, the product may look up at you with wanton eyes but the product dies quickly back onto the shelf and sits there, trying to get a life. The product needs you worse than you need it, remember that.”

The guy’s a righteous pain in the ass (here’s the S.F. Chronicle’s version of his story), which I mean as a compliment. It is odd to read about him though, in the midst of all the mag’s Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Armani, and other fashion and financial services porn.

(Disclosure: I am one of the fallen: I actively seek out Starbucks for solace whenever I’m outside the realm of Peet’s.)

One Reply to “Get Thee Behind Me, Wal-Mart”

  1. Dan-O: Great story. I have to confess that I wasn’t aware of Reverend Billy even though he could very well be a neighbor of mine. Yeah, and I agree with what the guy advocates, even if I do pop into Starbuck’s on occasion. I have to say though that I have never set foot in a Wal-Mart and–from what I know of their labor practices–probably never will. At any rate, the guy has a good message because it gets people to think about the issue of planet wide mall-i-fication.

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