Thursday, September 18, 2008

Billy Part Deux

After I made what in retrospect was a semi-disjointed post, our lovely Anjha asked me what the hell Reverend Billy and Church of Stop Shopping was. Well;
The Church of Stop Shopping is an activist performance group based in New York City, led by Reverend Billy, the stage name of Bill Talen. Using the form of a revival meeting, on sidewalks and in chain stores, Reverend Billy and his gospel choir exhort consumers to abandon the products of large corporations and mass media; the group also preaches a broader message of economic justice, environmental protection, and anti-militarism, protesting sweatshops and the Iraq War. Though it continues its street theatre activities, the Church has also appeared on stage and has toured internationally.
Which is a much better nutshell summary than I could write. The Church's website is more descriptive of the spirit of the ensemble, but I'll leave that as optional reading.

Now, if you've never been in an African-American and/or Baptist-style church service that features call-and-response and music to beat the band, the Stop Shopping church is bound to confuse you. While the Blues Brothers is a movieified version, its close enough to serve our perceptions right now. Just substitute the Jesus with an anti-overspending-consumerism message, and you have Rev. Billy and the church.

You might have also seen the the trailer for the documentary about Reverend and his choir a couple of years ago.

1 comment:

iamcoyote said...

That's pretty cool, idio. I can get into that kinda religion!