Life After Billboards

Submitted by yobe on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 11:25am.


Life After Billboards

One by one these gigantic walls go white. Product messages poured down upon us from those frames for years. Now? ----empty signs everywhere, over the highways, on the walls of subways, in frozen cornfields -- a stark image of our new freedom. But we are wasting time.

The plan of Consumerism was that the built environment would make turning to any other system impossible. And yes, we are left with miles of pavement, empty big boxes and office buildings, and many empty rectangles. But we can do our magic now. They never thought that the billboards would fall silent, the permanent scream of products get laryngitis. This is our opening.

We must act. For months we’ve been paralyzed, watching executives go to jail, applauding the President, and then the Super Bowl. Now is the time to start talking and listening again – magicalize the foreground. The littered concrete in front of an empty billboard is sacred ground. Go there and talk to a stranger who tries to walk by buried in an iPod. Nudge him. Get in his way and be ready with your name and ask for his. You are re-starting your neighborhood. Make hand gestures at the woman on her cell – act as if you need directions. Play the fool. Break through.

Wait too long and the products will get the stimulus package. Children, WE ARE THE STIMULUS PACKAGE! So let’s stimulate. Begin to talk sing shout and trade in this space that’s opened up. Start communicating and in time the giving and taking, the skill-swapping, the money will follow. We are the future economy. It is in our bodies. It will come from us - by making language, making community, in the present tense.

The products have left us standing here on the frozen pavement, where the air was once full of gigantic best-friends, lovers with fantastic eye-contact offering us purple pills, whispering to us from those paradises inside the billboards. Oh - the prosperity that wasn’t. How can this cold parking lot be our valuable frontier? We have to help each other. We’re out of practice.

The products have momentarily gone silent. The corporate guys are holding their breath. The billboards wait for their products. Will we start talking to each other in time? Can we refuse to be their Consumers? Yes, we are citizens in our own community, in our own economy. We do the talking now.


Rev Billy - Posted on 07 February 2009 Source: Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping
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Submitted by yobe on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 11:25am.


Anonymous (not verified) | Sat, 02/14/2009 - 9:17am

Have you seen How Cuba Survived Peak Oil?

Add to your strategy a goal to get people to work together to grow their own food.