You Are Not What You Buy (BND 2008)

Buy Nothing Day | Adbusters Culturejammer Headquarters

Looking for something interesting and provocative to take part in this Thanksgiving? Forget standing in a line outside of Walmart at 4 am on Black Friday, instead consider taking part in “Buy Nothing Day.” This is a two-day event put on by Adbusters every year to make the point that we are more than consumers. Some people participate by not going shopping on Friday and Saturday (this would be me), others participate in a wide variety of antics, such as wearing interesting costumes, offering a credit card “cut up” service, the “zombie walk,” and the “Whirl–mart” game. The point is to

…get as many people as possible to buy nothing at all over a 24-hour span on Friday in the United States (and Saturday elsewhere around the world), as a small blow against what they say are the destructive efforts of advertisers and corporations to fuel the deep-rooted human tendency to want the next new thing (New York Times, A Fresh Advertising Pitch).

Buy Nothing Day raises awareness about how obsessed and controlled by consuming in our culture, and experiment with what it is like to not be a consumer for a day (especially on the biggest shopping day of the year).

From the Adbuster site:

As the planet starts heating up, maybe it’s time to finally go cold turkey. Take the personal challenge by locking up your debit card, your credit cards, your money clip, and see what it feels like to opt out of consumer culture completely, even if only for 24 hours. Like the millions of people who have done this fast before you, you may be rewarded with a life-changing epiphany. While you’re at it, what better time to point out real alternatives to unbridled consumption – and the climate uncertainty that it entails – by taking your BND spirit to the streets?

Click here if you’re interested in joining the action.

And for those of you familiar with Reverand Billy’s work, his new documentary has just come out: “What Would Jesus Buy?


Have you ever participated in this before and are you considering participating in some way?

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