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robertogreco : buynothingday   2

My Favorite Holiday — The Message — Medium
"So, sure, Buy Nothing Day is a made-up holiday, popularized by Adbusters and Wired, and even so I’m certain that I “celebrate” it in some sort of non-canon way. At the same time, when I come back to Vermont to my part time public school job and see the tiny menorah that is buried somewhere under the “holiday” tree in the school’s display, I appreciate having one day of celebration that I can be all in on. I campaigned for that menorah, and yet seeing it under the tree gives me a feeling of defeat.

I’ve commemorated Buy Nothing Day in some fashion or another for the past two decades — it’s only been an official thing since 1992 — in two basic ways.

1. I don’t spend any money at all. No matter what.
2. I spend part of the day outside. No matter what.

One of the initial impetuses for #2 was Bill McKibben’s first book The Age of Missing Information which he wrote in 1992. Bill McKibben is better known as the guy behind 350.org. He’s an earnest, sensible Vermonter concerned about climate change and other things that are ruining the world. This was back in the earlier days of cable television and the endless ruminating on what would actually be on those 500 channels we were promised.

In 1992 I was just out of college, living in Seattle, just learning about the Internet, didn’t have cable TV. McKibben found the US city that had the most cable channels, Fairfax Virginia, and recorded 24 hours of programming on all 93 channels. He watched these over a period of about six months, a thousand hours of television. Then he spent 24 hours in the Adirondacks, just thinking about things, and compared the experiences and wrote about them.
“What sets wilderness apart in the modern day is not that it’s dangerous (it’s almost certainly safer than any town or road) or that it’s solitary (you can, so they say, be alone in a crowded room) or full of exotic animals (there are more at the zoo). it’s that five miles out in the woods you can’t buy anything.” ― Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Now it’s pretty easy to fall into a lazy “Kids today…!” rant about the effects of technology on our lives and our culture. In my current life, I have more jobs that are online than offline, and even the offline ones are about teaching people to get online. I make jokes about becoming a raspberry farmer to get away from it all, but I could never hack the hours. Farmers get up early. McKibben’s not a snot about his observations, he just makes them and moves on. He later wrote a book, Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas, which was a project done with local churches to spend more money and time making sure everyone had their basic needs met and less money and effort on the shopping part of Christmas; creating genuine traditions that instilled a sense of well-being and fellowship, not feelings of urgency and competition."
jessamynwest  buynothingday  consumerism  holidays  2014  consumption  cv  glvo  christmas  blackfriday  traditions  billmckibben  environment  sustainability  well-being  money  time  fellowship  urgency  competition  technology  tv  television  life  living 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Adbusters’ War Against Too Much of Everything - NYTimes.com
"It was 1968, and a left-wing student rebellion in Paris resonated worldwide. He says he imbibed the spirit of rebellion, and it changed him.

“Until Occupy, the greatest political movement I’d ever seen was the uprising of ’68. It really inspired me, and I’ve been running on that energy — and have been trying to recapture it — ever since.”"

"He [Aiden Enns] describes himself as a “progressive Mennonite” and says his approach is a “pretty mellow campaign not driven by high-energy organizers.”

Advocating a life of material simplicity and spiritual richness, Mr. Enns urges people to “make things for others themselves, not to just go out and buy.” He says he and his wife make gifts like wooden figurines and animal dolls for children, and salsa and relish for adults."

MR. LASN freely acknowledges that he is inconsistent… doesn’t make gifts for friends and family; he buys them… says his lifestyle isn’t really sustainable…"
handmade  consumerism  buynothingchristmas  buynothingday  sustainability  politics  aidenenns  ows  occupywallstreet  1968  2012  adbusters  kallelasn 
december 2012 by robertogreco

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