this coming Saturday is buy nothing day. The premise is quite simply not to get embroiled in the whole panic culture which occurs every Christmas period. Consumers madly running around shopping centres throughout the UK to buy friends and family masses of presents. Our culture now insists that we do this, anything less would be seen as being scrooge-esque. I’m not saying that giving isn’t part of Christmas and life generally but the demands placed on parents on buying presents for example, is grossly over-hyped during the festive season through advertisments, marketing and children’s unrealistic demands created through the materialistic society we live in today.
In fact this whole commercially driven culture has infected every last crevice of our society. Branding, advertising, marketing is forced upon us every moment of every day.
There is a way out though! I recommend getting hold of Kalle Lasn’s excellent book, Culture Jam (How to reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer binge – and why we must). It explains the situation in American and how the American “brand” that billions around the world try to imitate is no more than a facade created by multi-billion dollar corporations. It goes on to promote a how a new revolution could overcome these corporate nastys! Having read it, you really do think how your life has been shaped by this over-commercialisation. Kalle is also the author of the adbusters website, the promoter of buy nothing day and other “culture jamming” activities.
The term “culture jamming” was originally phrased by Mark Dery and his original article is here. Googles culture-jamming section is vast, containing sections on some of the most controversial aspects. Worth a look
So try to supress your urge to go shopping on Saturday and do something less boring instead!