Reverend Billy and the Shopocalypse

Posted by Krystle On 11/11/2009
I’ve mentioned the idea that being an ethical buyer means just plain old buying less.  Every product has an environmental footprint, and we should probably start asking ourselves, “Do I really need this?” a lot more often.

Reverend Billy and his choir go around different preaching to people that they need to stop shopping, for fear of the “Shopocalypse,” which is shopping-apocalypse.  They can often be found outside Wal-Marts urging people not to go in.  He’s received more and more media attention over the last few years and Morgan Spurlock (the guy from SuperSize Me), actually directed a documentary about Reverend Billy’s work.

If this is the first time you’re seeing Reverend Billy, it’s important to note that he is actually playing a character as opposed to being legitimately unhinged.  He doesn’t seriously think that Playstations and Tickle-Me-Elmos are Satan.  His real name is Bill Talen and Reverend Billy is a character he created to get people’s attention about issues he thinks are important.  In fact, I’m not sure that he’s actually religious at all.  Essentially he is protesting our culture of mass consumption, but in an interesting and engaging way.

If you haven’t seen any of his videos before, be sure to watch a few on YouTube or check out his movie because if nothing else, it’s quite entertaining to watch people’s reactions to him on the street.  And like the reverend says, be sure to ask yourself this Christmas, “What Would Jesus Buy?”

5 Response to 'Reverend Billy and the Shopocalypse'

  1. Anonymous Said,'> November 18, 2009 at 12:38 AM

    I love that he's using a choir as part of his protest. Its a great way to bring attention. I've been in choirs for years and any public performance brings a huge crowd.


  2. Anonymous Said,'> November 18, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    His hair might draw a crowd too... I always enjoy when people find unique and creative ways to get their message across.


  3.'> December 1, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    hate to be the black sheep of the conversation but do you think maybe the people he shamed the one day came back to walmart the next? I happen to think his 'crusade' is 'righteous' but even I don't think it would go to well if this year I tried explaining to my little sister that I didn't get her a brand new copy of Twilight because of the imminent shop-ocalypse. With something as big as Christmas what alternatives do we have especially if my ethically gift isn't what the one I'm giving it to wants? Maybe I should give the movie so they can feel guilty about their consumption?


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