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Got It, Spend it (redux)

[Repeat Alert: This is from last year's Black Friday post. I woke up today thinking it was Sunday for some reason. Realized later that it's Friday. Oops. Have to get to work.]

Today is the official AdBusters Buy Nothing Day. It's a day when all the culture jammers keep their hard earned money in their pockets to send a message to corporate America that overconsumption will kill us all in the end.

gispi2.gifNot in my backyard, kiddies. Today is If You Got It, Spend It Day. Hell, even if you don't got it, buy it.

Send a message to the world that we are gathered as one to keep our economy going. Send a message to the buy-nothing supporters that it is about the economy, stupid.

While the culture jammers will be having "swap meets, teach-ins, concerts, street theatre, credit-card cut-ups, postering, potlucks," instead of shopping, particpants of Got It, Spend It Day will be tearing up the aisles in toy stores looking for that Princess Barbie, swapping discount coupons, eating at chain restaurants and creating origami with their mile long store receipts.

While the Ad Busters believe that "Over consumption is mother of all our environmental problems," we believe that under consumption is the mother of all economical problems. While they say "the more you consume, the less you live," we say...umm, right.

Now, we are not suggesting that your run out to your nearsest mall or K-Mart on
this Black Friday. Anyone who ventures out to a store on this special day has to be insane. No, just sit in front of your computer and click away. Shop through catalogs. Order over the phone. You don't have to leave your house to

Anyone who is a parent knows what will happen if you hand out gift exemption vouchers to relatives in lieu of exchaning presents. There will be mutinity. Let's face it, our kids aren't Ned Flanders' kids. They won't get excited over an imaginary Christmas.

So buy something today. Buy anything. Just don't buy nothing. Do it For The Childrentm


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While the culture jammers will be having "swap meets, teach-ins, concerts, street theatre, credit-card cut-ups, postering, potlucks," instead of shopping, particpants of Got It, Spend It Day will be tearing up the aisles in toy stores looking for that ... [Read More]

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I've got all my Christmas shopping done, but I've got an ebay auction to pay for as soon as the seller sends me the shipping amount. Does that count? g

Ha! I just bought the extended edition of "The Two Towers" as a joint gift for me and my guy. Take that Adbusters!

Heading over to Amazon.com, then the Gap's website. Probably will give to the Center for Consumer Freedom, too.

And normally I don't give to politicians, but what the hell, Buy Nothing Day only comes once a year; I'll make a gift to the Bush Re-Election Campaign, too.

I went to the PX today and bought some flags. I am going to carry them on a Blackhawk from Baghdad to another location. I am giving them to the local American Legion, along with Photos and certificates.

I may also go to the WalMart web site today and order some stuff. (Am I allowed to say "WalMart" now that she's got ads?) I really miss the pre-dawn insanity every post-Thanksgiving.

Hey, my wife is in labor. We're not buying anything today, except maybe a nursing bra. Not like we planned this to coincide with the special day or anything...

I split the difference and bought the 2004 calendar for White Sox Childrens Charities.

Right on, Michele. Spending money feels good--and there's a good reason for it.

I lost interest in Addbusters because they ran out of new things to say years ago... I lost respect for them because they made the shallowest possible arguements (and used the many propaganda techniques they decry) to run down the war on terror...

More lefties who think that republicans are a worse enemy than Al Quada - even if they are Canadians.

Oh and I'm just sick of whiners anyway. Yeah our society is the most fucked up in the world, sure.

Joseph wrote:

"...for White Sox Childrens Charities."

Unfortunately, said childrens charities could probably field a better ball team than the White Sox. Oh well.

I bought tires!

I also bought rope lights, ham and turkey, socks, a mirror ball ornament, and ice cleats so I don't break my ass walking to the bus. I would have bought an inflatable Homer Simpson Santa if I had found one. Alas, Target and Fleet Farm have both let me down.

Anybody know where to find an inflatable Homer Santa in Minnesota?

We spent most of the day sleeping, and then puttering around the house. Only shopping we did was for some groceries. This was not a socio-political decision; in a split shift household an extra round of sleep is of great value.

In fact, my philosophy on such matters is "Live well, so that others may, well, live."

Adbusters: You know, I get the message that our lives should be more than about buying things, and I'm glad there are people in the world who want to be saying that.

But I look at the adbusters site and I think about some dude sitting at home, with his Dell made in China and his desk made in Indonesia, with his faux-tribal art tatoo and his handmade Ecuadorian shirt, and he's sipping Guatemalan coffee, listening to Nigerian music on his Japanese CD player, and he's printing up these stickers and saying, "Yeah man! Bring down consumer culture!"

In other words, bring down consumer culture that isn't like mine."

Could someone explain to me either end of this argument? How does it help the economy if a consumer goes deeper in to debt by buying with money they don't have (long run, not short run)? And how does it help the consumer if they buy fewer items? What will they do with the excess money after they have a pile of it under your mattress and they are 90 living in a shack?

The thing about debt is that if it is entered into rationally, it gets payed down over time, and if one is being lifted by a rising tide, its impact keeps going down. When we went $30,000 dollars in debt to buy our first rundown home, that was close to three years salary, and the mortgage payments were a good deal more than we had been paying for rent. In fact there were months when we had trouble meeting the mortgage, and did without other things (like telephone or fixing the busted pipe so we could turn the water on upstairs) but in the long run you ask about we sold the house for $180,000 and moved to a city where we could buy a much nicer one with half the money. Thanks to the "tax cuts for the rich" this left us with lots of money to put back into the economy.

For me, November 28, 2003 was

Sit On My Ass And Not Do a Damn Thing Day.

I didn't even know it was Buy Nothing Day again. I bought a cup of tea and a bagel yesterday, while sitting at an Evil Corporate Chain Bookstore™. Had I known about BND, I would still have bought the tea and bagel, but I probably would have enjoyed the act even more.

Yes Triticale I understand what good debt is, but no one is talking about going out and buying things that will become assets on the day after Thanksgiving. We are talking about going to Wal-Mart and trying to clean them out of Commemorative Elvis egg beaters and the latest season of King of Queens on DVD. All I am asking is what is the benefit to the economy if I go in to debt buying these things that are worthless before I leave the store?

Dan: that was a cool post even if I couldn't make sense of that "bring down consumer culture that isn't like mine" line. It was cool that you made a good arguement with your examples that consumer culture isn't western at all, it's just the world economy chugging along.

I sit here typing on a laptop designed in Japan for an American company, assembled in Mexico. ;)

The point I was trying to make there, Joshua, is that when the people who flock to the Adbusters banner, or to the Miami protests, say that they want to end "corporate rule" or knock down "consumer culture" and stop globalization -- these folks almost always have in mind a vision of commerce that is also world-wide, and also involves massive flows of capital from place to place. The difference is that it's on the things they approve of.

In the perfect Adbusters world, there wouldn't be a Financial Times or an Economist -- we'd all be reading Harper's. There'd be no such things as Folgers or Nikes -- but there would be Doc Martens and Fair Trade Certified coffee.

In other words, you don't have to push their model too far before you see that it's really about wanting you to make their choices, rather than have real freedom.