Friday, November 27, 2009

Making the Scene at Macy's

Today I made the scene with Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. Macy's, the world's largest store (OK, maybe GUM in Moscow is larger, and I'm sure they have something in Dubai that makes Macy's look like a bodega, whatever) on the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday aka "Buy Nothing Day." Rev. Billy and his choir preached (Don't support those Corporate CEO's!) gave out a Buy Nothing Day Fun Page for the kids, and I gave out a slightly more edgy flier about environmental crisis.

What struck me as soon as I got out of the D train from Brooklyn at 4:45 AM(which opens right into the JC Penney at 32nd Street and 6th) was the pleasant mood everyone was in. Two ladies coming up the stairs with me were joyful. "It's open already!" they said about JC Penney. It was all light and happy above ground (except for the guy selling counterfeit DVD's on the sidewalk; for him it was just another day.) A big crowd of at least 750 people was packed into a 60-foot wide pen in front of Macy's. Rev. Billy was exhorting people not to go inside: "It's not too late to save your soul."

I started giving out my fliers about species extinction and consumerism. People took them gladly. After giving out a few, I adopted a new pitch: "Special offer today." Now, everyone wanted one of my fliers, which showed an extinct species of frog. Rev. Billy liked the flier, too, and changed his message for a bit, preaching about, "Global Warming inside -- all these products, they're harming the environment. It's not too late to shop shopping and save the earth."

A young and enthusiastic Latino couple walked by and I trust one of my fliers at the woman, about 25 years' old, accompanied by her boyfriend. She had the same twinkle in her eye as everyone else. "What's is about?", she asked. I explained that not only were many of the products at Macy's producing poisons that were harmful to animals and plants, but that the world's growing population was pushing native species to extinction. She nodded. Her boyfriend or husband got my argument immediately. "Yeah, he said, when they make the products, the chemicals they use are toxic," he said. "Too many people," he agreed. "there's not enough room for the animals."

His girlfriend gave me a big smile. With a thumbs up, they went into Macy's.


Blogger RC said...

Thanks for sharing your post. I wondered what Rev Billy was up to today, and your post & pic were great - I used your picture on my blog today.

5:38 PM  

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