The Earth Wants YOU

The Earth Wants YOU is a motivational handbook and album, meant to inspire people to challenge the consumerism, racism and militarism that are killing our planet. Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping offer up a DIY spirituality for activists, a heady mix of humor, insightful critique, passionate commitment, emotional catharsis, and example after example of creative, joyful, Earth-inspired direct action. Stop shopping and feel the love as you sign up for the struggle of our lives! 

Read the first three chapters! Buy the book at City Lights. Listen to the album.

"You must check out the newest from my favorite transcendent and down to Earth preacher." — Laurie Anderson, musician

The Earth Wants YOU is a motivational handbook for earth activists, filled with inspired visions of a wild, creative, Earth-led cultural revolution. Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping offer up a heady mix of humor, insightful critique, passionate commitment, emotional catharsis, and example after example of vibrant direct action. Stop shopping and feel the love as you sign up for the struggle of our lives! Earthalujah!

"Singing instructions for joining the Earthalujah choir!"—Jodie Evans, CODEPINK

"My Earthmojis are smiling for Reverend Billy! And that's all the dirt you're gonna get from me. O;"—Justin Vivian Bond,trans-genre artist, Radical Faerie

"Mama Earth will shake us ALL off unless we shake shit UP and shut it DOWN!"—Bertha Lewis, The Black Institute

"This is what makes social movements succeed—it's the big love-slog we have to go through to achieve change."—Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Men

"Join Rev and his merry band of activists as they imagine ways of arousing concern for the environment and racial justice."—Coco Fusco, creator of Eu Sou Um Consumidor

"When the singing activists hit the high notes in a bank lobby or a DARPA lab or the back aisle of a Walmart, they wipe away the veils hiding the madness of our corporate-controlled, consumer-crazed society."—Annie Leonard, director of Greenpeace USA

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13217256_10153446762585974_8447129656643006314_o.jpgBerta Caceres and Father Dan Berrigan and Michael Ratner, David Bowie and Oliver Sachs and Prince, the names that ride on the surface of our modern storm of suicides and cancers and drownings of refugees. 

We are a nation that is finally unable to continue its tradition of death denial. Our eternal life was something we murdered the natives with. Now we die, alone in our homes, with America exploding in the windows by our deathbed, like cartoon apocalypses... 

It took a bad president to kill the word hope, but it took all of us to turn the Promised Land into a gated graveyard. Our family this Sunday hiked with through the vast resting place called the Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. It was at one point an A-list tourist destination, equal in the 19th century to the numbers who visited Niagara Falls, but now this 600 acre green world is abandoned. 

People no longer mourn. The rare car that appears zooms by like a fly buzzing by ancient rocks. Is sorrow possible from the blurred vision of an SUV? I mourn Prince's passing with a hundred YouTubes. We make our way back to realistic life by walking for hours through the tombs with a child who continually asks about the lives of the people reclining in the mausoleums crushed by the falling trees of the hurricane.

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Levitating the de Young Museum

The Church of Stop Shopping has come to believe that it is critical to levitate the de Young, and is sending its senior pastor, Reverend Billy Talen, to do this important work.  He will preach on Wednesday noon, April 20th in front of the museum. At 7:00pm, he will read from his new book, The Earth Wants YOU, at City Lights, 261 Columbus Avenue.

deYoung-Museum.-Photo-courtesy-cisl.edu_2.jpgHere is the Reverend’s invitation:


The de Young was constructed to resist levitation or flight of any kind.  Many of the museum’s trustees and donors insist that the building should not fly or float or make any move at all.  And yet, it is generally acknowledged that in this time of apocalyptic weather, increased tremblers and tsunamis, long distance desperate migrations of plants, animals and humans – and outright extinction – it is no longer realistic to assume that the building won’t move at all.

Indeed, the institution’s big donors make the world outside the museum – levitate!  Fossil fuel investors take key roles in the de Young, as they do in art museums throughout the West.  The extracting  and emissions of burning, the flooding as plastics, fluids and gasses that persist in the soil and water and air…  The world is in flames from the careers of the wonderfully dressed grandees at the de Young parties.  The monumental pillar of the museum seems to give “society” a place that they don’t believe is in fiery motion. 

Now the intransigence of the de Young has a new bulwark against the accelerating capital that shreds every thing outside.   In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, the museum admits that it is drenched in Monsanto’s RoundUp, with its carcinogenic toxin “Glyphosate.”  Look at the map.  Undoubtedly families are covered with the stuff as they walk away from an afternoon of culture.

Our church researchers suggest that there is a sort of death-wish here.  The museum seems to be telling us that now we can ignore our own impending extinction in an artistic way.  Since the Earth’s crisis was brought about by the investments so gratefully cultivated by the museum, it appears that “art” is a distraction arranged by our own executioners.

On Wednesday the 20th, do we want to levitate the museum or ground it?  It is the park, which is a kind of art exhibit featuring the Earth – that must save us.  

Rev Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir performed against the Koch brothers and their $100m gift to Lincoln Center.  Two of them were arrested.  They have exorcised the oil money from the Tate Modern, both in London and Liverpool.   Working with BP Or Not BP? the church gave an unasked for concert in the BP-sponsored British Museum.

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