phynedyning

Post-mortem: Buy Nothing Day

In Lifestyle on November 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

If the corporate media is to be believed (WINK!), the Occupy Wall Street spin-off “Buy Nothing Day” held last Friday was…

…a bust for OWS-ers.  Lame-stream media dutifully reported that retail sales were approximately 7% higher than in 2010.  Therefore, goes the (il-logic), OWS had zero impact.

Untrue!

While hardline Rethuglicrats continued (and turned up the volume for) their disinformation about the Occupy movement, the corporate media dutifully banged a bass drum to entice shoppers to buy even more crap they do not need or really even want.  Sales may have been 7% “higher” than the previous year, but corporate retailers spent multiples more of that percentage on advertising and sales events.

Meanwhile, people noticed members of the movement at many area malls.  Shoppers who were exposed to Occupiers on Buy Nothing Day were puzzled that members of the movement did not appear to be the “dirty hippies” of which the immaculately coiffed members of the corporate media spoke.  They found Occupiers to be respectful, clean, and intelligent.  Most of the uncivil behavior PD observed came from mall guards and a few guys wearing seed company hats.  The get a job, a bath, and a haircut taunts did not fly because most of the Occupiers are employed (many are self-employed), and are clean and well-groomed.

There were several interesting dialogs between Occupiers and the indoctrinated.

A commonly heard counter to the Occupy movement is an assertion that there are more millionaires in America than ever before and that the 1% cited by Occupiers is more like 7%.  One of the best responses to such indoctrination was “Even if the number is 7%, who do leaders of our “representative democracy” listen most to…93% of the people…or to the 7% holding most of the money?  Shouldn’t they listen to everyone, rather than just the 7% with the most money?”

“Why do you hate capitalism?” got tossed around a lot.

Occupiers patiently explained that capitalism was not the problem.  Rather, the problem is manifested in crony capitalism where capitalist “winners” are chosen by members of the corporate-chosen government.  Few of the anti-Occupiers had ever heard of haircuts…a banking term where large corporate borrowers enjoy renegotiation of loan terms…while regular borrowers (people with mortgages, student loans, credit cards, etc.) are not given opportunities to revisit the terms of their agreements.

Sure, many in the firm grips of the status quo stood fast.  But there were many regular people who walked away from discussions with Occupiers with entirely new impressions.

Another one of the anti-Occupy myths evaporated like a morning mist:

You guys don’t have any suggestions or alternatives.  You only want to whine.”

Many mall Occupiers helpfully handed out suggestions “Top 10 Ways to Occupy the Holidays and Reclaim the Spirit of the Season”.  These read like the measures my parents and grandparents employed during the last Great Depression

…make gifts yourself (candles, soaps, foods), provide a service you perform as a gift (babysit, fix a car, mow a lawn), buy local goods from locally-owned merchants, give gift cards to local service providers (car tune-up, computer repair, hair cuts), give a gift certificate to a locally owned restaurant, don’t buy gifts with credit cards or with any form of borrowed money, buy from second-hand shops (records, CDs, DVDs, clothing), give the gift of a membership in a charitable organization, take/offer a (free) class on something you do/know or are interested in, and share these ideas with others.

The Occupier’s “shocking anti-American rhetoric” sounded a lot like mainstream dinner conversation in normal homes…over 80 years ago!

As I prepared our modest Thanksgiving Day dinner, we heard a radio spot on the local ClearChannel station (Does anyone remember local radio?) beating a drum for “door buster sales” on Black Friday “EVE”…clearly unmasking attempts to turn conspicuous consumption into a holiday…followed by Cyber Monday…another made-up consumption holiday.  How terribly sad!

Thanks to the outreach by OWS last Friday, more people than ever “get it”.  Even though many may not “get it”, they are beginning to enter the discussion with more than taunts for the Occupiers.

So, here is the Phyne Dyner’s post-mortem on Buy Nothing Day

…it was an unbelievable success.

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  1. Reblogged this on Phyne Dyning Blog and commented:

    This was originally posted last November. Until the conclusion of the 2012 presidential (s)election, a dutiful media predicted that Christmas-season shoppers would buy slave-produced Chinese crappola by the metric ton. Those sales did not materialize and the dutiful media attributed it to everthing from “the looming fiscal cliff” to “the Sandy Hook massacre”…anything BUT the impending economic implosion.

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