March 20, 2013



A Proposed Campaign from Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir
Savitri D, Director

This campaign is based on the observation that the seriousness of our present circumstances on Earth - is not taken realistically by modern human beings.  Our institutions and public personalities seem to have no way to respond to the plunging physical life of the biosphere.  Most of us have heard vaguely about an "Extinction Wave," also know as the "Extinction Spasm," and "Extinction Spike."  There are grand pronouncements in the science section of the Guardian about "the sixth great mass death in our planet's history…"

The world community of natural scientists is at it's wits end.  The professional students of the biosphere don't have a clue - how do you alert consumer society to the phenomenon of an extinction that must, in time, spread to all of us?  No one argues that it is possible for homo sapiens to exist on Earth alone.  However, that is apparently the official plan at this time.  Or it is the inevitability in the absence of any plan.  Whereas consumers line up to buy tickets to blockbuster films that depict graphically the end of the world, the actual thing is beyond thinking about.  Not by boggled individual ticket-buyers or by nation-states either.

Our campaign will address this stupification.  We will attempt to break through by inhabiting the visual presence of the animals that are extinct.  Our first selection is the Golden Toad, also called the Monteverde Toad or the Allelujah Toad, which was killed by the aggressive drought from climate change in its mountain home in Central America.  We will wear masks and big hands and slithery onesies based on the likeness of the toad.  Then we will enter the private property of big banks that finance the climate change with their investments, most especially the top climate-killer of them all:  JPMorgan Chase.

Clearly "extinction" as a concept does not have the strength to break through the consumer hypnosis of our time.  One example:  the convenience of iPhones is so aggressive now, glances of the eye and waves of the hand can direct the visuals on these hand-held screens.  Death of life can be taking place on all sides, but we are sucked into our gadgets.  We need to up the ante, and inhabiting the lives of the dead is our gambit.  The "Revolt of the Golden Toad" is only the beginning.  Waiting in the wings are Kauai-o Birds, Vivaporous Lizards, Australian White Possums…

The direct actions by extinct species anticipates how comic security officials must act out on a human-scale what is accomplished over time by, say, coal-fired power plants.  Will we see the uniformed law enforcement apprehend the Golden Toads and demand that they leave?  And hand-cuffing the animals, will they be forced into police cruisers?  The Royal Bank of Scotland does not consider extinct animals an alluring customer demographic.  UBS will initiate a NO EXTINCTION rule for its lobbies.

Somehow, modern consumes must look up from their iPhones, must walk out of their special effects apocalypses…  One way into the psych-bubble might be to present the extinct animal on the screen.  We will make all aspects of the extinction campaign, from costume-making to arrest, into media that seeks to lead the consumer back to non-pixelated life.

Protest rallies by climate activists have proven to be inadequate.  Consumerism's system quickly labels us as "protesters" - a product that doesn't sell.  No, we must actually make fools of ourselves on a shocking level.  We must invade the market from without.  We must interrupt.  Consumerism and Militarism are psychologically mesmerizing processes.  For our survival's sake, we must find a way to make extinct animals more emotionally crucial than the three-headed slathering villains of the silver screen, who send us to erotic heights by their 3-D teeth closing on our heads.  ßßß

The Revenge of the Extinct Golden Toads… sounds like a bad 50's film.  It is our clumsy beginning.  And yes, the people who were lucky enough to hike up into the mountains of Costa Rica and actually witness this glowing creature in its native cloud forest - they testify how its beauty can never be replaced.  The songs of the First Nations peoples that wondrously brought the beauty of this creature to their community gatherings…  that is the performance that must crash through the glass walls of life-less credit derivative swaps.