The Trump Depression Hotline starts tomorrow. Thirteen member of The Stop Shopping Choir will crisscross the UK in a bus, performing and doing actions -- this is an old tradition for us, we first went to the UK with the Choir in 2005 and we try to go back every couple of years. We learn so much amongst the activists of the UK, going back to Reclaim the Streets and the Anti-Road Movement, Ange Taggert and the vacuum Cleaner and our ultimate spiritual guides the Space Hijackers, the No 3rd Runway renegades and the wonderful artists of Liberate Tate--among so many others including our collaborators on this trip BP or Not BP
Rev at the Tate Modern by Sophie Mullins
Various iterations of the Stop Shopping Choir are on the Road over the next few weeks. First to Portland, Oregon for a residency with BOOM arts and an exciting day with Portland's Resistance then Nine cities in the UK and after that a trip to Zurich and Cabaret Voltaire to celebrate 100 years of DADA, in this most surreal of times. We are so grateful to all the supporters of the Church of Stop Shopping who make this possible. THANK YOU.
President Trump takes a phone call from Hurricane Harvey because Donald loves the sensation of talking to the most powerful citizens of the world. Such phone call would be very interesting, since Harvey is a radical activist, as was Sandy, and Katrina and Rita.
Undoubtedly the POTUS would ask Harvey to stop shutting down American oil production. Sandy took an abrupt left turn in the North Atlantic and nailed Wall Street. Katrina overturned many oil drilling platforms in the gulf and Rita, well, does anyone remember - back in 2005, the spectacle of herds of SUVs trying to flee the oil town?
1st Nation peoples teach us that the Earth is a living being, with things to do, statements to make, good and bad moods, healing powers and health issues. A hurricane's strong wind makes the connection of many things. We could call it a thought and a message. And yes a Category Four is full of angry thoughts.
The photo here shows Harvey, and Irene, and I understand that Irma is in the waiting room, angry as hell. These are intelligent beings and we need to hear the common sense in their screams. Fossil Fuel extraction must stop immediately.
Yes, Harvey is intelligent. Wouldn't it be great if there were two intelligent beings on that call?
We are ready to return to our gardening in Trump Tower. I speak in code-words here, but just to say our first write-in sessions commence the week of Sept 11-19. We feel that our work in the public garden on the 5th floor of the Devil's "700 ft. tall gold-tinted Presidential erection" is the laboratory of culture that we've been looking for.
For The Church of Stop Shopping, after 17 years of work in anti-consumerism around the malled world, we have come full circle to face the King of Consumerism. He brands with every glance. Trump steaks. Trump jets. We are TRUMP PROTESTERS.
At the Write-In ritual, the surprise details of life that flow from our pens and pencils onto the notebook are radically pre-social, are what art was supposed to be. We will slip our message into the minds of passing tourists, or sing our writing in tactical earth-worshipping gospel.
A Selfie will become its opposite, call it an OTHERIE. And what is that? It's taking down the wall. It is the sensual aliveness of the unscreened face, the direct experience. Earthalujah! Shopping has stopped!
Shopping ends and living begins. If the tourists on the bottom floors of this tower stop shopping? Oh then the bankers, real estate moguls, hackers and lawyers in the upper penthouses suddenly become unmonied and very lonely. They crawl to the elevators to join us on the ground.
We are at such a time now, when serious crazy action calls out to us. It is what we know we must do and can do. Start the culture over. Go to nothing, find nothing (not easy to do, the products will be screaming to keep us from a quiet moment. But put on your costume and crank it up.
Enter the Sacred State of Exalted Embarrassment. Shout the truth in a place that the rich call private but which used to be public. Sing a radical harmony and never lose the beat. There's justice in the beat. The beat is process of constantly starting over.
A big bunch of cowards from Trump down to local pols and cops - let a torch-burning KKK and Nazis parade for the world. So public policy results in psychological cruelty to people for whom lynchings are fresh in mind. I'm thinking of African-American children most especially.
If we could surround the KKK with thousands of peaceful people - that seems ideal. But let's be realistic, there are some of us who will be suckered into the same violent self-righteous as the hard right we face. If we had the battle of Charlottesville in a hundred cities, that's not better.
We should go in the other direction. Much of the 36% of the country that still support Trump are just libertarians who watch too much TV. To quote Nelson Mandela, "People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love..." We need to engage with them. We need to learn to talk and listen with everyone we can, and find a way to reverse our fear of The Other. This would be those with different religions and skin color and cultures, but also other living beings of the Earth.
The Earth's crisis tells us that we can't waste time with unproductive anger. Not now. We need to self-cultivate a radical forgiveness that encourages the same in others. Learning to talk across class and race and gender lines, standing at a front door, with something better to offer than a Democratic candidate. Let's talk about saving each other. Let's talk survival. This is what the Earth is asking us to do with her fire and flood.
We are in Maine at a dear friend's wedding. Many of the people in the wedding party are from Charlottesville, Virginia where last night a torch parade constituted a direct death threat to African American citizens, with the memories of lynching so painfully fresh. Last night and again today that town will be the site of a march by KKK and neo-Nazis and so called "alt-right" (white nationalists).
If you know our work, then you know that we are devoted to the First Amendment, have created a gospel version of it, and have gone to jail reciting it too loudly. But the racist ritual in Virginia is nothing like freedom of assembly or free speech.
The mayor of Charlottesville is defending the open torch march on the basis of the First Amendment. This is a travesty. The holocaust of lynching of African Americans, thousands of legally unresolved murders in open view... How can't this be banned? And when will politicians condemn it appropriately?
There is a larger statement that is made by this march and it is a terrible setback. There are people who think this Nazi march balances as an issue with Black Lives Matter. It does not. The Nazi's are saying "We can kill you." The black activists are saying "Stop killing us."