Zoom! Zoom! Let’s jet over to Manhattan for a visit with NYC’s Reverend Billy (Billy Talen) and The Church of Life After Shopping. Reverend Billy’s entertainment is better than a loaded MasterCard…it’s priceless.
Here’s some footage from a recent Reverend Billy “Stop Shopping” get together.
That was so much fun, how about a smidgen more?
In 1996, Reverend Billy established The Church of Life After Shopping. He “preaches” the overriding theme that consumerism is overwhelming our lives. His shtick is fashioned after the old southern revival meeting adorned with a 34-member gospel choir and 8-piece band. He encourages his congregation to frequent local independent shops vs. large chain stores and carries a special loathing towards Starbucks.
Reverend Billy often uses the term gift economy. I had no idea what a gift economy meant so I did a little research. Gift economy is people giving products and services to others for no explicit rewards. Your neighbor shares the fruits of her garden. Another bakes bread. Yet another provides plumbing services. All this given without expected compensation. The “rub” for Reverend Billy is that the US market economy lives and dies on consumerism. Where’s the love in that, children?
Naturally, Reverend Billy is a defender of the first amendment since his performance relies on freedom of speech. In fact, on one occasion in Union Square, he was arrested while reciting the First Amendment to the police over a megaphone. Now that incongruity should make you smile.
News flash! The good Reverend is running for mayor of New York City. I’m sure Michael Bloomberg is shaking in his boots Italian A. Testoni’s. At least Reverend Billy has the nomination of the Green Party and a spot on the November ballot. That’s more than Mr. Bloomberg can attest to.
If a trip to NYC is in your future, visit Reverend Billy’s website at http://www.revbilly.com for his scheduled appearances. This is a must see.
Anyone with the motto “put the Odd back in God” has my vote!