GOOD

Buy Nothing Day Is Here—Join a Whirlmart Near You to Celebrate Buy Nothing Day: Another Approach to Black Friday

The 8th annual Buy Nothing Day is here with creative calls to supplant shopping trips with community, parades, and empty shopping cart meet-ups.


There are some pretty good deals on Black Friday. That's partly why—and partly because—it's the biggest shopping day of the year. Americans writ large head to major retail outlets, stand in line for hours, and take home more stuff and more debt. Retailers go from “in the red” to “in the black” for the year, and we all get some shiny new gifts for the holidays. The American way, right?

But corporations are thriving while real income for Americans lags stagnant. Buy Nothing Day is also the Friday after Thanksgiving and it's here to offer another option for all of us who shudder at the prospect of shopping mall mayhem.


“Consumerism is based on the idea in society that we never have enough and that getting more things will make us happier. It is preying on people’s basic feelings of contentment in order to make a profit for the few,” says Cindy Rosin, a spokesperson for the New York City-based Freegans and a supporter of Buy Nothing Day.

This alternative approach to Black Friday started in 1992 by Canadian artist Ted Dave to bring awareness to the social, economic, environmental and psychological effects of over-consumption. It is currently promoted by Adbusters magazine with worldwide Buy Nothing Day Meetup groups.

Billy Talen, the Reverend of the performance group The Church of Life After Shopping and former New York City mayoral candidate for the Green Party, is an outspoken critic of the culture of consumption. “You’re distracted in the society of the spectacle because you have so little to do with making it,” Talen tells me by phone. “It’s the corporation’s creation. So you’re left with a processed sensation.”

This consumer rebellion is as much for the individual non-shopper as it is a statement of protest against a corporate state by his view. “When you leave a product on the shelf, your body and soul start reclaiming itself,” says Talen. “Consumerism is never surprising. It is predicable." His alternative call to arms? "Be imaginative.”

Last year we found five groups who particularly excel at not buying things. Consider teaming up with one of them if you're worried about being lonely in your celebration of Buy Nothing Day.

Or head to an event:

The Freegans are hosting a Whirlmart, where individuals will silently push empty shopping carts through the aisles of a large store. PETA has organized a nationwide Fur-Free Friday, and Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping are hosting the 8th Buy Nothing Day Parade in New York City at 3p.m.

Image: (cc) by Flickr user SqueakyMarmot.

Articles
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
"IMG_0846" by Adrienne Campbell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an effort to avoid a dystopian sci-fi future where Artificial Intelligence knows pretty much everything about you, and a team of cops led by Tom Cruise run around arresting people for crimes they did not commit because of bad predictive analysis; Bernie Sanders and other Democratic candidates have some proposals on how we can stop it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
Governor Grethcen Whitmer / Twitter

In 2009, the U.S. government paid $50 billion to bail out Detroit-based automaker General Motors. In the end, the government would end up losing $11.2 billion on the deal.

Government efforts saved 1.5 million jobs in the United States and a sizable portion of an industry that helped define America in the twentieth century.

As part of the auto industry's upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) made sacrifices in contracts to help put the company on a solid footing after the government bailout.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jimmy Kimmel / YouTube

Fake news is rampant on the internet. Unscrupulous websites are encouraged to create misleading stories about political figures because they get clicks.

A study published by Science Advances found that elderly conservatives are, by far, the worst spearders of fake news. Ultra conservatives over the age of 65 shared about seven times more fake information on social media than moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election.

Get ready for things to get worse.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture