Movie of the Day – What Would Jesus Buy?

I guess this is about as topical a film selection can be for a day like today.  It’s Black Friday and like most people, I am watching the news in hopes that there will be some piece on the chaos of stampedes and fights that break out at local stores.  Sure it is a bit of mean thing to think would happen, but it’s bound to happen.  Anyways, I personally do my shopping online so that saves me some trouble and conserves my fighting energy for more important things.  So gather around the table or the new flat screen television you got on sale during Black Friday and see what it is that Jesus would buy.

Bill Talen is a New York-based activist and performance artist who since the late ’90s has won notoriety for his character Rev. Billy. Rev. Billy is a wildly charismatic street preacher and self-appointed leader of the Church of Stop Shopping, who began his career speaking out against the gentrification of New York City, the forced renovation of 42nd Street, and his favorite symbol of the evils of international marketing, the Disney Store. Since then, Rev. Billy has expanded his targets to include a number of firms (including Starbucks Coffee and several fast food chains) who engage in unfair labor practices and exploit Third World resources for profit; he also performs with a full gospel choir and a four-piece band as they spread the message of overcoming the consumer culture, speaking with your dollars and questioning what advertising and corporate spokespeople have to say.   ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The movie itself is an honest crusade on the rampant consumerism that has a strangle hold on society.  I will not say that I am above buying needless items.  I am sure that I don’t need over 500 movies in my collection, but there is something to be said about the lure of spending money on products in a frivolous manner.  Rev. Billy’s actions aren’t disingenuous, but rather the wake-up call that some people need in their daily life.  He makes a decision to be socially conscious crusader and bring attention to the consumer culture in a direct, albeit somewhat intrusive way.

The performances that the group does are a great, in your face way of getting the message out to people.  The message and aim are clear, but I think that the public and audience isn’t as receptive to the message as he would like.  It’s understandable that people are set in their ways, but his actions aren’t without response.  The groups actions get them noticed by the media, police and prominent figures, all these things bring attention to their cause.  I personally enjoyed the different locations that they went to and stirred up emotions.  The preaching, the songs, and the theatricality of the performances are what make it compelling and should get you to listen just a little bit closer.

I am not posting this as some form of message to you to stop buying into the rage filled Black Friday sales, but it should make you think a bit when you realize how strong the compulsion is to buy into it all.  The Rev. Billy is on a righteous crusade, although I could do without the Jesus angle.  Maybe more of a focus on family than anything else.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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