Gateway to the Final Shopocalypse

05/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This lost soul, Brian Lindstrom, calls his brain-scanning of the minds of religious people the key to the "Future of Branding." He apologizes for offending someone -- but that is the plot's McGuffin, a head-fake. What this guy is doing is smoking out the last remaining independent humans. He will find and reduce to Consumerism the last of the saved souls.

If the pursuit in "Pursuit of Happiness" is, as you understand it, essential to the pleasuring - then you have to join me in insisting that this man be outed. (There will be a hundred and a thousand of him quickly. This smells of the future we will have to deal with.)

If desire is biologically schemed by corporations, then it can be manipulated by those who would persuade us that as we make a purchase, what we are really experiencing is Democracy, Freedom, American and Status, Youth, Sex... It takes Consumerism to a level where choice is replicated like never before, at the same time that all choosing is false. So all moral choice would be retained by the seller, the owner of the pavlovian branding that this corporate lecturer imagines. That power simply cannot be in the hands of corporations.

The vision of the pure evil is also a vision of the future of political struggle. This man tries to make all change corporatized. All change would serve the bottom line. Change would be a sensation that we purchase, an electrical brain circuitry strategically charged. But those who make non-violent change impossible, by reducing it to the virtual world of buying, make violent change inevitable.

Now in our church we're not there yet. We're still back in the land of change through humor and music, organizing and boycotting, rising and galvanizing. We meet the Future of Branding with serious prayer and hilarious warrior-ing...

We still believe that this is possible in the face of the emergency with the earth, the economy, and perma-war. But this guy, with his brain scans of faith, gives corporations their next step. The evil is clear. Politics will never be the same. Our politics must start over. The decision is a simple one. The seed for the new politics is the knowledge that saving our souls is worth it.

We used to say that the key American fundamentalism was Consumerism, and the alternative was the possibility of a spiritual life. After Lindstrom's marketing breakthrough, it is more like: LIVE FREE OR BUY!

--- Rev Billy