portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article portland metro

alternative media

Buy nothing day is stupid

what am I supposed to eat on buy nothing day? Stuff I bought yesterday? Then what's the point?
Excuse me, but if everyone quits buying things, we will all starve. This whole idea is ridiculous. Read Karl Marx. Marxism is all about consumer abundance.

I mean, what would happen if every tattoo parlor, every bike shop, every natural food co-op, and every club where rock bands play was suddenly dark and silent on "buy nothing day"?

Am I supposed to boycott all the businesses who sponsor shows on KBOO, all the businesses who advertise in the Alliance and the Mercury? WHY? This is just stupid.

Is everyone on Indymedia going to "buy no Internet services" on buy nothing day? We'll see. I doubt it. And

If there are NO posts on Indymedia tomorrow, then buy nothing day will have been a success.

Are we all supposed to dig roots to survive, like the Cambodians in "The Killing Fields"?

Rather than have a "buy nothing day", why not make every day a "buy no stupid products or services" day?
You Don't Gotta Be Smart to Be Ineffective .. 29.Nov.2002 00:16

But Sometimes it seems to Help

The reason that the day after Thanksgiving was declared to be Buy Nothing Day is that, in recent years, that day has been the *busy* shopping day of the year. (According to an item I just heard on tv news, the day when the most money is spent is the Saturday before Xmas.)

Now, personally, I started becoming aware of all the post-Thanksgiving Day big sales just a few years ago. And I'd never heard about that day being the "biggest" (or actually, just "busiest") shopping day until AFTER I'd heard about Buy Nothing Day.

So Buy Nothing Day is basically a scheme to get anti-corporate folks not to take advantage of the freebies and discounts offerred on what's arguably the best shopping day (or the most hectic, and therefore the worst) of the year.

One of the more disappointing aspects that I find to BND is that it attacks corporate-fueled consumption in a way that's least visible: To the extent that the Buy Nothing Day campaign is effective at reducing shopping it isn't discernible because it will appears to be a *slowing* of the annual rate of *increase* of sales or customers on that day. So it's set up to appear to be ineffective no matter if it ever actually begins to develop an active following.

Now if activists actually use the day to Go Out to Greet Shoppers with street theater and flyers, to educate folks about our pimp-driven economy and the compulsive, materialistic, anti-democratic, death-promoting way of life it fosters, it can be meaningful. But, unfortunately, most people that know about Buy Nothing Day contribute merely by trying to "buy nothing" on that day. Like so many of our foci, it really shoots off-the-mark and attracts attention to its own absurdity rather than pointing squarely at the substantive issue it purports to be addressing.

On the other hand, Buy Nothing Day is better than an ad to buy something no one needs, made by someone who's paid starvation wages, using resources in a way so as to destroy the planet. And some of the stuff that Adbusters and other folks come up with are pretty interesting and informative.

 http://adbusters.org

Consider it an excercise in self-discipline 29.Nov.2002 00:35

Tipping Point

Whether it makes any dent in the statistics, or has any other external effect, is debatable, to be sure, but I think it's useful just as personal experiment, just to see if you can do it. When was the last time you actually didn't buy anything for a whole day? At the very least, it's worth trying for that, for the personal challenge. And, if you can, also go out and hand out fliers, or do some street actions, or whatnot, and get the word out there to others.


the way this economy is going... 29.Nov.2002 00:56

jason

the way this economy is going, there are plenty of people who will 'buy nothing' on friday out of sheer financial desperation.

but don't you worry. george w. bush has a plan to get things moving again by attacking iraq, committing further genocide on the iraqi people, and seizing all that oil by installing a military dictatorship similar to the one he has planned for america.

Don't Buy "Corporate" 29.Nov.2002 07:30

Den Mark

I've always taken Buy Nothing Day to mean Buy Nothing CORPORATE Day. I've always taken it to mean Think About What You Buy & From Who Day. It's to spread word about buying with care. I myself don't adjust anything on BND because i already live simply & buy locally when possible & despise wal-mart & vile companies like that & never go to them for anything. If wal-mart gave away its junk for free, i would not go there, knowing the slave labor they employ, both directly & indirectly. Buy Nothing Day is important, as it gets people to think.

Buy nothing 28.Nov.2004 22:48

a dude who was there

no you say(author of origional poting) that it would suck if all the businesses got no business, thats not completely what BND is about. if you where downtown and knew what was going on, than you whould have known that in the fliers we handed out where socially and environmentaly exceptable businesses. the point of BND is to try to cut down on giving such major corporations a huge profit on one day. its a boycot. companies that make huge profits on this day are mostly huge corporations that use small indonesian children to manufacture their products. we find it sick that these companies should exist much less recive such huge profits on one day. so its not about putting your local food co-op or bike store out of business, its about boycotting socially unexceptable corporations.

peace