Hands Up! Don't Shop!

1526145_10152407662455974_959576272421191199_n.jpgThe business plan of capitalism is the end of us all, but we won’t violently overthrow the corporations and the governments. We will tell new stories. The ground upon which we all walk will need to shift, meanings of words change, values must radically change.

This phrase, “Hands Up! Don’t Shop!” was shouted by crowds of young people in Ferguson when we bussed there on Black Friday. We learned so much, can you imagine? --- that the Church of Stop Shopping would be a part of this. Hurting small retailers is not the point, but the big boxes and malls of St. Louis are the shaping force in that city, as racist and violent as the police. The sweatshops and factory farms, with their minimum wages, the privatized commons and marketing hypnosis, the corruption of governing and theft of taxes, the colonial wars and poisoning of the Earth… Well, Walmart and Monsanto and Chase repeat again and again a horror story.

But that is it. Consumerism shapes stories. When everything is commodified, then we are passive, standing in line before the machines, and reality is dictated to us by the rich. The ringing of “Hands Up! Don’t Shop!” through the night, by rhythmic fist-pumping teenagers and mothers and ministers and teachers… is telling a new story, and the soldiers and their Desert Storm surplus armor cannot stop the rising up from obedient consumption. 

Finally the plot is changing. Are we listening?