photo credit: wikipedia
What Would Jesus Buy?
By Robert van Alkemade (2007)
What Would Jesus Buy? is a documentary highlighting the crass commercialization of Christmas in western society. Its main focus is the 2006 Christmas tour of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. Reverend Billy is one of the culture jamming performance activists featured in the 2001 movie Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture.*
What Would Jesus Buy? intersperses scenes from the tour with grisly photos of frenzied Black Friday stampedes and interviews with avid consumers as they indulge their compulsive need to shop.
High points include the attempt by Reverend Billy and the Choir to “exorcise” the Walmart home office, their visit to Mall of America in Minnesota (the largest shopping mall in the world) and their appearance at Disneyland on Christmas day. Disney managers (who are world-renowned for their viciousness) had Reverend Billy arrested, and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir held an overnight vigil outside the Anaheim jail.
Reverend Billy’s website is http://www.revbilly.com/
In October he and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir will open for Neil Young for his tour of the Pacific Northwest.
*Culture jamming is a tactic used by anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream cultural institutions, including (but not limited to) corporate advertising. The term is credited to Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters magazine and author of the 1999 book Culture Jam: the Uncooling of America.