Friday, November 26, 2004


So far I've done it -- despite the myriad news stories heralding this Black Friday as the biggest since 9/11 and gushing over the spike in online sales and touting the many mall-area traffic jams, I've not purchased a single thing today. So far. More from the AdBusters web site (

"For 24 hours, millions of people around the world do not participate -- in the doomsday economy, the marketing mind-games, and the frantic consumer-binge that's become our culture. We pause. We make a small choice not to shop. We shrink our footprint and gain some calm. Together we say to Exxon, Nike, Coke and the rest: enough is enough. And we help build this movement to rethink our unsustainable course."

I buy nothing at least once a week and it's a very good feeling indeed -- like giving your finger to The Man without getting caught. If you haven't tried it yet you should....

Some ideas for alternative activies from Buy Nothing UK (


1. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day!
2. Take up culture jamming.
3. Decorate your window box or front garden instead
of a Christmas Tree.
4. Make some noise or be quiet.
5. Hold a FREE concert.
6. Volunteer - contact your volunteer bureau for details.
7. Turn your mobile off and chill out.
8. Go to the top of a tall building and look at the view.
9. Play football (with the girls).
10. Walk to work - take a map and find a new route every day.
11. Collect signatures for a campaign.
12. Sing in the shower.
13. Paint your fridge or washing machine in a bright colour.
14. Collect wild food: windfalls, blackberries, mushrooms.
15. Gossip.
16. Have a bath in candlelight.
17. Look at the Encyclopedia Britannica website.
18. Learn to count to 10 in every language.
19. Grow your own beansprouts.
20. Play the guitar / piano / harmonica.
21. Make dressing up clothes out of your old clothes.
22. Henna your hair.
23. Collect scrap: toilet rolls, fabric offcuts, paper, plastic,
and take it to an adventure playground.
24. Arrange flowers.
25. Find out the names of all the plants in your local park.
26. Go out in the evening and look for bats.
27. Write a letter to your MP.
28. Take up jogging.
29. Finally take the toaster apart and try to mend it.
30. Have a picnic.
31. Take the things you bought last weekend back to the shops.
32. Plant some daffodil bulbs in waste ground and then watch them come up in the spring.
33. Brew your own wine or beer.
34. Become a Samaritan.
35. Make your own postcards and put them in the
racks at your nearest museum or art gallery.
36. Write a letter to a friend in rhyming verse.
37. Think about sex and sexuality.
38. Join a cycling club.
39. Take up culture jamming.
40. Sit on the top deck of a bus and make up stories
about the people you see.
41. Collect jokes and tell them.
42. Cut a friend's hair, or plait it.
43. Think of a script outline for a film, then borrow
a camcorder and make it yourself.
44. Decorate a birthday cake.
45. Make your own furniture out of milkcrates, shopping trolleys.
46. Meditate/pray.
47. Create a dance routine with friends and then do it at the bus stop.
48. Sit in the sun/walk in the rain.
49. Borrow a dog and take it for a walk.
50. Learn a poem.
51. Write a song.
52. Visit a friend.
53. Tell a joke.
54. Clean the kitchen.
55. Learn French.
56. Smile.
57. Tell someone you love them.
58. Practise tai chi in public (e.g. in front of
Starbucks in order to spread the 'non-capitalistic' vibe...)
59. Exhibit all your unwanted goods and invite people
to come and swap their useless things with yours.
60. Help an old lady with the general household
repair or tidy up her garden for her.
61. Water your plants.
62. Go to the park and find someone who you don't
really like at first sight.
63. Talk to the person and try to find something nice about her/him.
64. Take a picture of yourself with that person.
65. Wash all your unwanted clothes, iron them,
and take them to your local charity shop.
66. Go and get a library ticket if you haven't already got one.
67. Borrow a book from the library - take an overdue one back.
68. Read the/a book.
69. Feed the birds - tie a bag of peanuts under a tree.
70. Tell a story to the loved ones (e.g. friends, family etc).
71. Listen to the radio.
72. Clean your windows (but be careful).
73. Say 'thank you' to your local binman/street sweeper.
74. Make a nice tape for a friend from your existing
CD collection.
75. Prepare special buy nothing day hamburgers
out of nothing. Hand them out to the public for free
and tell them that the burger is completely free of BSE.
76. Bring your empty glass bottles to the recycle bin.
77. Make, not buy, a birthday card and a
present for your partner or friend.
78. Write to your nan.
79. Polish every single shoe you can find in the house.
80. Make someone tickle you.
81. Rearrange your space.
82. Breathe more than your fair share of the air.
83. Pleasure yourself.
84. Ask your friends to perform a piece of
theatre for your amusement.
85. Assume you are wrong.
86. Make yourself happy.
87. Stop smoking.
88. Learn a magic trick.
89. Stay in bed.
90. Stay in bed with a friend.
91. Knit yerself a big woolly hat and matching scarf
to keep out those nasty winter chills, brrrrr.
92. Write poetry on used/reusable paper.
93. Make things like picture frames, jewelry boxes
out of ice lolly sticks etc.
94. Paint BND info onto shopping bags and carry
lots of them around empty.
95. Grow something.
96. Barter something.
97. Build (and fly!) a kite made of bin bags and
other odds and sods.
98. Tidy up your beedroom!
99. Evaluate the last 10 things that you bought
and evaluate their effectiveness (cost, enjoyment, etc).
100. Discuss your last 10 purchases with a family
member or friend - did they really bring you any happiness?
101. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day!

Here's what's happening in other cities:

Victoria’s Dirty Secret
In New York activists will be dressed up as Angels with Chain Saws to protest the deforestation of the Boreal Forest for the production of glossy catalogues. It's a spoof of Victoria's Secret's recent ad campaign: ‘Angels Across America’.

Jammer Radios
Imagine rush hour commuters bombarded with BND anti-ads. In L.A. Culture Jammers are reclaiming radio with low-power FM transmitters.

BND Japan
Become a Zenta: put on a Santa costume and meditate in front of HANKYU department store, Kyoto, 2pm - 6pm.
Trade coffee fairly: one cup costs 100g of rice, 5 sheets of seaweed or 200g of flour.Enjoy a free meal and some conversation at one of Japan's "biggest and most colorful homeless communities" in Kamagasaki.

Throw a temper tantrum in a shopping mall.
Visit a fast food chain in a chicken or cow costume with a banner proclaiming things like "You're not having my chicken wings."
Stage a classic conga to finish off the festivities.

AND. . .
* Reverend Billy in New York with Greene Dragon Look out for the 9 Theses Against Corporate Rule posted on CEO Headquarters in Times Square, and listen up for radio interviews preaching the good word of anti-consumerism.
* Radio Spots on community stations in Whitehorse Yukon, Chicago, San Diego and Redway California.
* Also in New York, Freegans are doing a dumpster diving tour.
* Seattle is cycling with Critical Mass.
* "Nothing" billboards in Auckland New Zealand.
* Fake barcodes in Manchester England, with "Economic Zone" mocking NAFTA Free Trade Zones.
* Take a break from shopping in Oxford England. and relax in the "Fun is FREE Zone " with music, entertainment, juggling, face-painting and arts and crafts.
* Street theatre performances: "Dresses of Mass Seduction" in Melbourne Australia. Oil barrel sculpture in Raleigh North Carolina. "Death By Latte" in Montreal.
* Improv. actors in Madrid Spain are poking fun at the 'Culture of Consumerism' and holding a concert and storytelling sessions.
* Shopping vultures in Flagstaff Arizona. Creative minds in Austin are coming up with jams like. . . a shopping cart grand prix.
* Dallas does Boycott Bush.
* Philadelphia: Black Spot, Black Friday.
* Food court potluck in Victoria, BC.
* Memes in Sacramento shopping bags. . . BND slogans slipped into pockets of new clothing and bags.
* Massive street party in Halifax, NS. Radical cheerleaders in Denver. Money drop in Salt Lake City.
* Public Forums on the "Culture of Consumerism, and Reclaiming Public Space" are being held in Anchorage Alaska. Across campuses Internationally University Students are having a clothing swap, free-market stores, fair trade coffee, book swaps and spreading the word about the Barefoot Economics Manifesto and World Peace Week events.

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