Consumerism is really crazy. Any system that converts freedom of expression into shopping -- nuts. A system that wants us to swap out seven kinds of milk for Jackson Pollack's Number 7? And what was Jackson Pollack? Crazy. Not safe. Not someone who could walk down the street in broad daylight in 2013, not with that stick dripping paint -- looks too much like a gun.
Consumption slides into violent fundamentalism when the same product is copped like a drug, when shopping patterns repeat. On the worldwide scale of modern retail, what corporations call "brand loyalty" becomes the vast dancing company called NORMAL BEHAVIOR. Behavior loyalty is a choreography, a limited number of repeating gestures that are approved, like synchronized swimming across the pavement. Acting normal becomes the same thing as being a patriotic American. Men dressed in blue who shoot unarmed people in distress -- that's a product we bought in the USA.
Last week -- brave cops with automatic weapons killed a young woman, Miriam Carey. She was driving recklessly. She wasn't carrying a gun. (No, according to her mother, she had been depressed since giving birth earlier this year. Depression and the crazy delusion that she could talk to Barack Obama -- THAT was what she was carrying.) In New York, we have had two mayors and 20 years of murderous police, and the two broadest categories of unarmed murdered citizens are young black males and people who flip out. All it takes is running down the middle of the street, waving a hammer ominously.
Like with DC's heroes, NY cops are glorified store security, enforcing behaviors, not laws. In our "Church of Stop Shopping" activism in super malls -- we've noticed a kind of terror in the eye of security people when we raise our voices in joyous song. But it's the WRONG song, not the product's song, it is a crazy thing to do -- and must be met with -- law enforcement? It is a kind of clarifying exaggeration to say the cops are now killing the people who are not shopping, not in the choreography, more spellbound by Pollock's Number 7 than by 7 kinds of milk.
CHILDREN LISTEN. We're counting on a good kind of crazy person, aren't we? A person who will surprise us? And lead us? We're waiting in fact -- we're praying for -- the arrival of a VERY PERSUASIVELY crazy person, and then a crazy tsunami of people, to stand up and run out into the street shouting -- please tell me you will be one of those people -- demanding that our killing the Earth stop, that we learn to live peaceably, to gather with other life.
And here is Miriam.