November 20, 2007

Buy Nothing Day

This Friday is National Buy Nothing Day. Traditionally, the media labels the Friday after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday". Named after the cheery events of Black Tuesday, the day is marked by above average sales, long lines, and a myriad baiting schemes.

Adbusters is an organization determined to limit our consumption as a human race. They sponsor Buy Nothing Day, but it is largely a grassroots campaign. Their website has some startling stats, and fairly humorous videos. Have fun poking around. And don't buy anything on Friday.

Quick note: The end quote is long today. I hope you can make it through to the end. It's worth it, I promise.

"Our gross national product ... if we should judge America by that - counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."
Robert Kennedy


Dustin Tramel said...

Buy Nothing Day will solve nothing but it will make some people feel self-righteous for a day... before they go back to participating in their consumer culture.

Samuel I. Richard said...

Or it could raise awareness and cause people to question their consumption.


Quinn Patrick Kelly said...

Maybe I want to feel self-righteous for just one day. And every other day.

Samuel I. Richard said...

It's definitely a good feeling, I'll give you that. Too bad Jesus didn't endorse it...